The Little Red Elf {24 Days of Christmas Books}

the little red elf bookOnce upon a time, there was a reindeer, a penguin, a hare, and a little red elf.

I will be the first to admit the adorable cover of this book initially roped me in.  A little red elf? How I want to gobble it up cute.  I will also be the first to admit I was a little weary of another Little Red Hen spoof, but this Christmas book is one to have in your collection for 24 Days of Christmas Books.  The insanely cute illustrations that drew me into this book are by Rosalinde Bonnet, a very nice compliment to the sweet story.

The Little Red Elf by Barbara Barbieri McGrath is based around this rather unlikely group of friends.  While the little red elf is fastidiously working her little red buns off in the workshop, her pals are snoozing and relaxing.  One day while doing her daily tasks, the little red elf stumbles upon a few pinecones.  Who will help her plant these pinecones?  You know how the story goes — “not I,” says each friend.  And so she plants a pinecone herself.

This cheery elf can not be deterred and she takes care of the tree alone throughout it’s stages of growth until it is time to bring it into the workshop.  She lugs it in and decorates it, the only thing her friends can offer is criticism.  And so goes life for the little red elf.  But don’t you know, as soon as the morning comes to open all the presents around her beautiful pine tree, all of the friends are ready to help open them.  Typical.  Here is a nice chance to talk about selfishness and the consequences of bad behavior.  The ending threw my daughter for a loop and I had to explain it to her as it is a play on The Little Red Hen aspect, but all in all, she loved it.  Her shocked face at the actions of the friends was enough to tell me the story was sinking in.

This is certainly a book to read to the kids this Christmas, a great one for Santa to bring as well.  With focus on the little red elf’s work ethic in opposition to her friends’ pure laziness, it is a book that will have your kids frustrated!  Maybe they will even offer to help you with your daily tasks.  Crazier things have happened.  The story is solid and Bonnet’s illustrations are beyond perfect.  Must find something else she has illustrated that isn’t in French!  Purchase The Little Red Elf for your 24 Days of Christmas Books collection.

A copy was provided by Charlesbridge Publishing to facilitate this review.

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