Saturday, September 4, 2010
Book Review for The Elves’ First Christmas by Atsuko Morozumi
(Mathew Price Ltd, September 1, 2010)
The Elves’ First Christmas is a 32-page picture book that begins with the elves living happily in the forest, enjoying life, and respecting nature and what it has provided for them.
Then men come—woodcutters—who begin to destroy the elves homes, forcing them to leave. The elves travel far and wide trying to stay away from humans. But they are soon forced to find shelter when a blustery winter storm hits. They come upon a barn that protects them, and they fall fast asleep.
And guess what? The barn belongs to Santa Claus and his wife! They find the elves and make them feel welcome, soon convincing them to build homes and create their own Elfin Village.
Having lots of work to do, yet too busy helping the elves to finish the toys for Christmas, Santa falls ill. Appreciating all the time Santa has put into helping them, the elves want to repay his kindness, so they finish making the toys. When Santa is well again, the elves show him all the work they have accomplished. Santa is pleased, happy with how well the job is done.
The illustrations bring the words to life, creating realistic images of the elves and their journey. The story is simply written and easy to understand; children will enjoy it.
A minor quibble: The story lacked adventure or suspense, which many children today expect, but was otherwise entertaining. This book is perfect for children between the ages of 4–8.