Merry Christmas, Little Elliot (Little Elliot #5)

by Mike Curato (Author) Mike Curato (Illustrator)

Merry Christmas, Little Elliot (Little Elliot #5)
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
Series: Little Elliot
Best friends Little Elliot and Mouse are back for another adventure--and this time, they're looking for Christmas spirit! Little Elliot the elephant isn't quite sure what Christmas spirit is, but he suspects he doesn't have it. Not even a visit to Santa Claus can put Elliot in the right mood. But when chance blows a letter for Santa into Elliot and Mouse's path, the two friends discover what Christmas is all about--and make a new friend, too.

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Starred Review

Little Elliot, the white, polka-dot elephant, visits Santa at a New York department store with his friend Mouse.

He is looking for the Christmas spirit, but Santa tells him he’ll have to find that himself. Elliot and Mouse search at the ballet, Rockefeller Center, and while sledding—having fun but not finding the Christmas spirit. The story of the two friends is prefaced by wordless illustrations on the front endpapers and title page in which a little girl, bundled against the cold, tries to post a letter only to have it ripped out of her hands by the wind. The two stories come together when the red envelope addressed to Santa lands on Elliot’s forehead. He and Mouse read the letter, grab a cab, and arrive at a house with a red door, where Noelle, the girl who wrote the letter, invites them in, thus fulfilling both her and Elliot’s Christmas wishes. Not-a-word-out-of-place storytelling is enhanced by soft-focus illustrations done in pencil and colored digitally, which perfectly capture the characters’ expressions. The city setting seems to be post–World War II, with an old-fashioned look that could easily appeal to grandparents looking for a heartwarming holiday book to share. Young children will have fun trying to spot little Mouse throughout. Curato populates the pages with an eye to diversity, including people of color and a child who uses a wheelchair; Noelle appears to be Asian.

A treat for fans of the Little Elliot series. (Picture book. 3-7)

Copyright 2018 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission

Mike Curato

Mike Curato has the fortune of possessing a designer's brain, an illustrator's heart, and an artist's vision. You can find him on any given day walking around the city eating a cupcake (or thinking about it).

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2019
Little Elliot

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