The Cajun Nutcracker (Hardcover)

By Chara Mock, Jean Cassels (Illustrator)

Pelican Publishing Company, 9781589809789, 32pp.

Publication Date: September 26, 2011

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Based on the classic E.T.A. Hoffmann tale, this story takes place outside of New Iberia, Louisiana, on Bayou Teche. Young Merrae dances to the sound of Zydeco music and eats gumbo during her family's festive Christmas fete. When her godfather, Parrain Comeaux, arrives, he presents the children with gifts, including a Nutcracker for Merrae.

Later that night, she awakens to find herself surrounded by the Alligator King and his swarm of nutria. But the Nutcracker and toy soldiers come to Merrae's rescue. The Nutcracker then turns into a prince and sails off into the swamp with Merrae in a pirogue. When they arrive in New Orleans, they meet the Sugar Cane Fairy and such dancing delicacies as crawfish, cayenne peppers, beignets, king cake, and a flaming bananas foster.

During the adventure, readers will learn about Louisiana culture, along with a few Cajun words and French phrases. With vibrant illustrations of a fantastical ballet, this book is perfect for aspiring ballerinas.