In one of those weird coincidence, just as soon as I bought The Nutcracker (illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger) from Amazon, I stumbled upon an earlier version, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, at a local library sale for a dollar!
In this version the story is a fuller version of the original story from E.T.A. Hoffman (retold by Anthea Bell) and the illustrations are a little more in the traditional mode-more true illustrations of events in the story rather than art inspired and informed by the story.
Having read the story, I have to say it is the same slightly odd, humorous and yet charming story. And as usual, I find Zwerger’s soft, earth tones and style beautiful and comforting. This volume gives you a glimpse into the story and the characters in a less abstract way than the former volume.
I plan to read the full E.T.A. Hoffman version, with illustrations by Mauric Sendak, next so then I can compare the adapted versions to the full story. But to be honest, this volume is really just for the art of Zwerger and only secondarily for the story.