“I’m going to leave the Nutcracker downstairs to defend you, my dear. That’s why I brought him. You’re in the finest hands. He’s a very capable soldier.”

“He is an old man with a white beard.”

“He is a young man inside, and strong.”

“Fritz broke his jaw.” She began to cry a little. “The Nutcracker might have helped, but nothing can help.”

“Nonsense. He merely needs to be bolstered. He needs a token to remind him what he is fighting for. That’s why I came up. A soldier or a knight always likes to have a momento of his beloved when he goes into battle. I wanted to borrow a ribbon of yours. I will bind up his jaw with it, as we do when we have a bad tooth. Tomorrow morning I will come back with a pot of blue and make him all better. And you will be better, too. I insist.” (p. 266-67)

“A delightful, mystical, mythical confection by zeitgeist whisperer Maguire . . . Wonderful.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)