The Christmas Elf
by Hsiu Peng Wong
illustrated by Sami Lewis
IG Design Group, Clayton South, Victoria*
Age group: primary school (5 – 10 years)
Format: soft cover picture book, 14 pages
This book came as part of a box set with a plush elf who can stay in the house each December to help Santa.
A short story to build the message of an elf who watches children’s behaviour to help Santa keep his naughty and nice lists current.
I love the illustrations in this book – it is colourful and cheery, and fun to read. There is not a lot of text so the book will suit very young children as well as those able to read it themselves as part of their Christmas excitement.
I also like that there is a variety of children in the story – different genders and skin colours – and that dreams of gifts are not genderised (for instance, one child wants a boat and a doll while another wants a tennis racket, a nutcracker and a doll).
It is an Australian book and shows the elf crossing Australia and New Zealand in Santa’s sleigh. So I would have preferred the use of ‘jobs’ instead of ‘chores’ and perhaps some reference to the boomers instead of just reindeer.
It is a positive that the book gives some constructive ideas for getting onto Santa’s nice list – keeping a bedroom tidy, doing your jobs, finishing your homework and being good to one another.
Unfortunately, by the end of the second read, pages were starting to come loose so the construction quality is not great and I’d be wary of letting toddlers read it alone…
* Unfortunately, the publication date is not printed on the book nor can I find it elsewhere…