Book Buzz: Merry Christmas, Little Elliot
By Chuck Galey
Merry Christmas, Little Elliot
Written and Illustrated by Mike Curato
Ages 5-7, Godwin Books / Henry Hold and Company
Little Elliot is excited about the approaching Christmas holiday. He and his friend Mouse go to see Santa in the department store for a visit and to make their gift requests known. Giving it some thought, he asks of Santa, “Can you give me the Christmas spirit?”
“I’m afraid I can’t give that to you,” said Santa. “You’ll have to find that yourself.”
This encounter sends Little Elliot and Mouse on a few holiday misadventures. But that doesn’t help him find his Christmas spirit either.
At the annual performance of The Nutcracker, a ballerina’s shoe comes flying off and hits poor Little Elliot in the head. A Christmas ornament on the huge Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center falls off and also hits him on the head. A similar misfortune occurs during a sledding episode down a hill in the park.
Exasperated, they sit on a park bench and wonder if he will ever find his Christmas spirit.
Then something happens – it always does in these kinds of stories – a red envelope, born by the cold winter wind smacks Little Elliot in the (you guessed it) head! However, this is no ordinary envelope! It’s an envelope addressed to Santa that has somehow escaped the post office. They hurry back to the department store to give the envelope to Santa, but the store is closed and everyone is gone.
What to do? He decides to open the envelope to find out more. After reading it, he says: “Let’s go!” And with that, they are off on another adventure.
Riding in a cab on Christmas Eve, they finally arrive at the house of the little girl who wrote the letter. But what did the letter say to prompt them to go all the way to find the little girl?
A heartwarming ending to the journey allows Little Elliot to finally find his Christmas spirit.
Curato is the author of the very popular Little Elliot series. His illustrations, created with pencil on paper then colored digitally, conjure a magical Christmas Eve mood with colorful holiday tableaus and cold snowy scenes. Youngsters will get lost in the illustrations as they discover details relevant to the story.
Merry Christmas, Little Elliot is a wonderful Christmas story that will be a treasured addition to your holiday traditions.