cover image Your Christmas Elf

Your Christmas Elf

Jodi Stapler, illus. by Aiym Akhmetzhanova. Willow Moon, $17.99 (34p) ISBN 978-1-94-825621-6

Taking a page from the Elf on the Shelf playbook, this cozy rhyming Christmas story suggests that every child has their own personal elf, “one that knows you better/ Than you may know yourself.” All year-round, the “designated” elves check in on children’s behavior in between caring for the reindeer, making toys, and baking cookies. As the holiday approaches, the elves keep closer tabs, accompanying children to school (seen hitching a ride on a yellow school bus) and peering through windows. If there’s something menacing about being watched by a personal elf, readers aren’t likely to mind; in Akhmetzhanova’s warm, smudgy scenes (and with names like Gingersnap and Jinglehopper), they seem more cuddly than critical. Ages 2–10. [em](Self-published.) [/em]