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. Margrete Lamond's retelling of Hoffmans classic tale reduces the rambling original to its essentials, while satisfying the modern taste for strong emotion-based storylines. Ritva Voutilas paintings bring the magic, wonder and terror of childhood imagination to life, and set the action against a lavish Victorian backdrop that both enthralls and reassures the reader.
Margrete Lamond began her trade-publishing career at Scholastic Press in 2002, where she built an award-winning list. Publisher at Little Hare Books/Hardie Grant Egmont since 2006, Margrete's focus is quality picture-books, for which her internationally acclaimed authors and illustrators continue to win awards. Margrete is also a published author, most notably of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein,Tatterhood and Other Feisty Folktales, the Once Upon a Timeless Tale series and, most recently, a re-imagined Nutcracker. Margrete's special interests include visual literacy, emotion in illustration, and evolutionary approaches to the aesthetics of picture-book illustration. Ritva Voutila was born in 1946 in Nokia, Finland. She spent her first twenty-two years in Finland, and came to Australia for the first time in 1968. After two and a half years working in Sydney she returned to Europe, and spend the next ten years in Canary Islands, Spain. She moved to Australia for the second time in 1981, and since then Australia has been her permanent home. Before becoming a full time artist/illustrator/graphic designer in 1983, she has worked as a garden designer, computer programmer/analyst and computer sales representative.