Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Great Christmas Crisis

The Great Christmas Crisis

Kim Norman
Illustrator:  Jannie Ho 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
Sterling Children's Books, 2012   ISBN: 978-1402786327

Christmas is only a month away and all is not well at the North Pole. The elves are grumpy and nothing seems to be working properly. The hot chocolate heater makes cold cocoa, there is no stuffing for the teddy bears, and the tape is not holding so the wrapping paper is coming undone. Santa decides that he needs to go “undercover” to find out why this year is so different from years past.

  Shrunk down and disguised as an elf, Santa becomes a trainee elf. It is soon apparent that he is not very good at wrapping presents, making toys, or handling the candy cane making machine. Santa is having problems, and everywhere he looks Santa sees that his elves are having problems too.

   Seeing that his elves are running themselves ragged, Santa demands that everyone take a break, but an elf tells him that they can’t stop working because Christmas is just around the corner and they have an “extra-long ‘nice’ list” this year. Somehow the elves need to be able to take a break and have some fun, and get all the Christmas work done before December twenty-fifth.

   With a jolly rhyming text and a clever story, this amusing picture book reminds readers that all work and no play makes elves very clumsy and grumpy indeed. It is good to work hard, but one also has to have fun and relax. Readers will enjoy seeing how Santa’s rather big problem is solved.