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The Elf on the Shelf’s Night Before Christmas

By Chanda A. Bell

Reviewed by Dajo Finlayson and Theo, aged 8

Following on from the previous Elf on the Shelf books (2005 to present day) this title is the latest by this author who is affectionately known as Santa’s Chief Storyteller. Her stories are among the Top 5 bestselling children’s books in the USA in the past 25 years, even surpassing Dr Seuss. Her charming tale of a magical Scout Elf from the North Pole has become a timeless Christmas tradition which tops best seller lists year after year and which has been made into the animated tale, ‘An Elf’s Story’. She is presently the CEO of the company Scout Elf Productions which she founded with her mother and sister in 2017.
Using a variation of the classic poem ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’ by Clement Clarke Moore the author creates the story of the Elf on the Shelf’s chaotic activities on Christmas Eve whilst waiting for Santa to appear at the home of the children and pets he has been watching out for.
The tradition of the Scout Elf involves him being unable to talk but being excellent at listening to the children’s secret wishes. He must not be touched by the little ones or else he will lose his magic, but he must be moved regularly by the parents so that the children can think he is moving to watch them in all places. Finally, he must return to the North pole on Christmas Eve with Santa to help prepare for the next Yuletide season.
Beautifully rich and iconic illustrations in predominantly festive season colours make this a very appealing picture book for young and old alike. A playful and delightful retelling of a holiday classic.
Theo’s (aged 8) response to some questions
What is this book about? The Elf on the Shelf being disturbed in his farewell message to the children by the awakened young boy and his pets. 
Why do you like the main character? Because he causes mayhem with his Christmas tree lights and his candy cane grappling hook!
What did you find the most interesting part of the book?  The reindeer names which included Husky, Hoofer and Mr Fuzzball.
Would you recommend this picture book to your friends? Yes, but only if they still believed in the Elf on the Shelf tradition.
What do you like about the illustrations? They are funny and colourful and show the damage loose pets can do.
Finally, what would you rate this out of 10? Definitely 9.
Lumistella 2023




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