The Nutcracker, a colouring book ill. by Jill Tytherleigh, Lydia Coventry and Sophia O'Connor

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Macmillan Children's Books, 2017. ISBN 9781509853601
(Age: 7+) A delightful gift which combines a wonderfully traditional story with detailed outlines ready to be filled. At this time of year, the book could be used for mindfulness activities with middle years classes, but could also be enjoyed by adult and children alike. The colouring book is an adaptation of the short story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A Hoffman. While the colouring book is interspersed with quotes from the original story, the artist repeats themes of rats and ballerinas with a magical holiday theme which does not depend on the reader to know the plot. The detailed drawings are not too complex, though some are more simplistic, which means no need to concentrate on filling in tiny shapes for hours. There is within the pages, enough detail for those who consider themselves expert with the colouring trend, although some of the simpler pages would be a great starting point for a novice. The quality of the pages mean that pencils, felt tips or connector pens can be used, though I would check for bleeding ink on darker colours. I look forward to seeing this one available in shops ready for the Christmas season, with a festive cover highlighted with red and gold it is sure to be a popular gift.
Clare Thompson