When a boy is turned into an ugly nutcracker, Marie is his only key to freedom. He, in turn, holds the key to her heart. Marie longs for a friend who understands her, so when she gets a nutcracker for Christmas, she is immediately captivated by its sad eyes. Her empathy, passion and loyalty for the ugly toy lead to a series of strange dreams, ending with heartbreak when she wakes up to find the nutcracker gone. But waiting downstairs is the friend of her dreams...
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Ritva Voutila was born in Finland, but has lived in Sydney since 1981. Her first children's book, 101 Excuses for Not Doing Homework by Carly Little (Scholastic), appeared in 1990 and it became a great success.Since then she has illustrated numerous books for children. She lives in Ballarat, north of Melbourne, with her husband Richard. Margrete Lamond is the publisher at Little Hare in Australia and she has written numerous books for young children. Her own favourite children's book is Little Bear, by Else Minarik and Maurice Sendak.
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