On Christmas Eve 1883, family and friends gather at Fort Davis, Texas. Colonel Grierson has brought gifts for the children, especially Centennia. For her he has brought a wooden nutcracker dressed as a Texas cavalry soldier! Her brother is jealous and after a brief tussle, the nutcracker is broken. In this Texas-themed retelling of the classic Nutcracker story, historical details blend with fiction, and magic warps reality when the clock strikes midnight. At each chime of the clock, the goose-feather tree grows until it overshadows the room, transporting the young girl and the broken nutcracker to an enchanted realm. There the handsome young cavalry soldier battles the Rattlesnake King, and the Bluebonnet Fairy invites Centennia and her companion to a fabulous celebration. Dancing denizens of the Land of the Wildflowers entertain them before the nutcracker soldier tucks her safely under a cozy quilt. An author's note gives a bit of historical context to this charming version of a familiar holiday tale.
About Jennifer Coleman:
Author and elementary-school librarian Jennifer Coleman was born in Scotland before she and her family moved to Texas. She studied elementary education at Angelo State University and earned a MLS from the University of North Texas. With a specialty in learning resources, she frequently writes for Library Media Connections with a focus on how to use reading strategies to engage audiences. Coleman is an active member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She shares a love of ballet with her daughter, who suggested the Texas-style Nutcracker story. Coleman and her family live in Pflugerville, Texas when they are not visiting nearby national parks.
About Wade Dillon:
Wade Dillon focuses on Texas history every day as a member of the staff at the Alamo. As a self-taught artist, Dillon continues to perfect his craft as an illustrator inside his studio, having illustrated The Alamo from A to Z and Davy Crockett from A to Z for Pelican. When away from his studio, Dillon enjoys watching movies with his lovely wife, Lindsey, eating cheeseburgers with his chubby puppy, Harper, and cosplaying his favorite comic-book villains in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas.