cover image The Little Red Elf

The Little Red Elf

Barbara Barbieri McGrath, , illus. by Rosalinde Bonnet. . Charlesbridge, $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-58089-236-0

McGrath recasts the Little Red Hen folktale in a holiday setting. A hardworking elf lives at a North Pole workshop with three lazy but likable toys: a reindeer, rabbit and penguin. The elf asks for help growing and decorating a pine tree along with other Christmas activities, but all three toys decline. Finally, the elf has a meltdown. Readers will giggle at the ne'er-do-well toys in Bonnet's sweetly amusing acrylic and pen illustrations (the reindeer floats Christmas ornaments in the tub), but the punch line—the gifts under the tree are all red hens—may require explanation. Ages 2–7. (July)