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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Clarisse, a German Shepherd, is excited about Christmas. When the Droolmeister, her Great Dane godfather, gives her a magical dog toy, dressed like a toy soldier, (“a Muttcracker,” her godfather explains), she is transported into a fantasy world of doggie wonders. There’s a battle between Labrador Retriever soldiers and a three-headed cat king; a Cocker Spaniel Sugar Plum Fairy welcomes them to the Land of Treats; a Dance of Hot Chocolate from Spain, performed by a Chihuahua; and so much more. It’s a Nutcracker classic gone to the dogs!
If you love dogs and you love the classic tale of The Nutcracker, you’ll love this canine re-make. Donna Parrey’s colorful and delightfully entertaining book, The MuttCracker, will charm readers of all ages. There are 15 dog breeds featured as the romping, playful, imaginative characters carry the story along a similar plotline to that of the classic. You don’t need to know The Nutcracker original to follow along. Just open your minds and hearts to a lot of imaginative fun and adventure with many dogs taking the lead roles. I instantly fell in love with Clarisse. Although I’m a Border Collie Mom, I do love a sweet German Shepherd and Clarisse fits the role of lead character so well. She carries the story forward with a charm one would expect from this breed: loving and passionate and downright sweet (you can tell I’m a dog-lover). I was enchanted by the interaction between the various dog breeds, concerned about the vicious cat king, and delighted with the costumed dancing, performing dogs. The story is a seasonal treasure, a treat for all ages.