Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much. Every week you pick a book based on the theme of the week and post the original cover, your country’s cover, your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. If you would like to participate or find out more, check out the Goodreads page!
It’s Christmas time, and that means we had to pick a book that reminds us of Christmas. That book for me is The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, by E.T.A. Hoffman, which is set during Christmas. The Nutcracker is one of the classic Christmas stories, and I love the story in general.
For more background on The Nutcracker, Hoffman’s story was rewritten by Alexandre Dumas, which was adapted into the famous ballet. I like watching the ballet adaptations every year. I watch Ovation’s Battle of the Nutcrackers every year, and I was excited to see that my favorite won this year (the Malakhov Berlin State Opera). Since I like comparing versions of the ballet, why not compare the covers of the original story?
Since the story is so old, I cannot find the original cover. For this, I will show the oldest English translation I can find and a German cover since it was originally written in German.
The cover on the left is the cover of a German edition. I would like the cover better if the ink drawing in the corner took up more of the cover. The cover on the right is the 1853 English translation, which I obtained from the Internet Archive. I like the illustration, but I don’t love the rest of the cover.
There are a lot of American editions of this book, so I stopped at six. The covers to the very right (Scott Gustafson and the Penguin Classics editions) are okay. I don’t care for the cover with the red cardinals because I don’t remember cardinals or mistletoe in the story. Is it to hide the fact that it is a children’s story? The Dover Children’s Thrift edition has a lackluster cover. The two on the left are my favorite American covers. The top cover is from a Kindle ebook edition that I reviewed, and I loved that the insides of the books matched the cover. Maurice Sendak always made beautiful illustrations, and The Nutcracker is no exception. These two have a life of their own.
This German edition is my favorite cover because of the graphics and its minimalism. I like the little nutcrackers on the cover, the color scheme, and the title design.
Least Favorite Cover
This is a Polish edition. The oval framed portraits combined with the drapery don’t work for me. Why are there are two little girls for that matter unless one of them is a doll? The font style of the title implies that the story is a Western. That yellow hue on the cover is the part of the cover I dislike the most.
What do you think of these covers? Which book reminds you of the holiday you celebrate at this time of year? Happy holidays, everyone!