cover image How to Catch an Elf

How to Catch an Elf

Adam Wallace, illus. by Andy Elkerton. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $10.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4926-4631-0

The team behind How to Catch a Leprechaun follows the efforts of several children—clearly ones who are destined for Santa’s naughty list—to capture one of Santa’s elves. Mischievous readers will likely enjoy watching the tiny elf attempt to escape traps that include a tinsel net, a family cat, and (somewhat disturbingly) sticks of dynamite nestled in a pile of chocolates, as well as a cowboy tree ornament wielding an electric brand. Why all the threats of violence against someone who’s part of Santa’s gift-delivery operation? It’s never really clear, and before long Santa and the elf are narrowly escaping hams and cookies fired at them through a “Dinner Cannon,” coasting down a river of eggnog, and soaring across the sky on a pizza. Wallace’s rhymes and Elkerton’s in-your-face images hit their comedic marks, but the overall story is chaotic and confusing. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)