One of our favourite Christmas classic books is the Young Reader's edition of The Nutcracker from the story by E.T.A Hoffman and illustrated by Don Daly. We scooped up a sturdy hard-backed copy from the Sydney Opera House shop after the Australian Ballet's astounding performance of the same ballet a few years ago.
It's a longer version than might suit a single bedtime reading, but comprises five easily digestible chapters. The book is unusually typeset in two columns which, as it turns out, is ideal for reading out aloud so you can scan ahead and adjust to the appropriate theatrical voice or facial expression. The illustrations are a major treat; rich and detailed. The sort of book you should read sitting snuggled up side-by-side with a child so they can absord the impressive full-page pictures while you bring the story to life.