The idea of marking the days of advent with books is not new – it has become popular to give young children a picture story to unwrap on each day leading up to Christmas – but a new book from Camilla Victoria Storm and Nick Simons applies this countdown principle to a cheerful chapter book. It’s a fresh approach that works very well.
Elma the Elf and the Tinsel-Tastic Sled Zeppelin is the story of a little elf with a big imagination, who finds it hard to follow the rules of Santa’s Toy Factory and even harder to please her strict supervisor. When Elma’s inventive approach to rubber duck preparations goes awry, she makes a shocking discovery – children’s letters are going unread and all is not what it seems in the factory.
It’s up to the quirky but determined little elf to save Christmas and fortunately she has support, from wittily-named friends like Pixelf and Thistletoe and the real star of the show, Comet – a flatulent reindeer with toxic talents.
The idea of a book that is read a chapter a day until Christmas Eve really appealed to the young readers we shared it with – and with witty, cartoony illustrations and anticipation that builds day by day (can they save Christmas in time?) this has the makings of a really popular present.
There is one risk – a little like a chocolate advent calendar, the cliff-hangers at the end of the chapters are so good that they tempt you to just one more page… and you may find that, before you know it, you have gobbled up the whole book and it’s only December 15!
Elma the Elf and the Tinsel-tastic Sled Zeppelin, by Camilla Victoria Storm and Nick Simons, Cranachan