Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf!

Silly Books for Kids Series

Children - Adventure
47 Pages
Reviewed on 12/15/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

Sarina Siebenaler adds another creature to her list of things not to wish for in her children's book, Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf! A little girl, Kat, and her parents are resting after shopping when Santa calls. He tells Kat and her parents he has a hundred new elves to train, but one doesn't fit the traditional role. Santa asks if Kat would like to help train the non-conforming elf, Jangles, for her special elf test. Kat's parents seem apprehensive, but she agrees enthusiastically. Kat instructs Jangles in making holiday treats, snowman building, and tree decoration, but Jangles does not do anything Kat's way. Jangles has a radical style, and Kat worries the elf will not pass her elf test.

Sarina Siebenaler has written the perfect book for the Christmas season! As you read it, you almost expect a doll like Jangles to be available to complement the story. Four of my children believe in the magic of Christmas, and they absorbed every page, eager to learn more about Jangles's unique perspective. Jangles represents the freedom to express yourself in a harmless and unorthodox way, and children will love her distinctive way of spreading Christmas cheer. The illustrations are full of festive colors, and the rhyming verses make the book fun to read aloud. The author rounds out her book with a list of questions to discuss with children after they have read the story. Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf! is a great selection for children who enjoy Christmas tales, holiday magic, and individualistic characters.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Do you know what it takes to be one of Santa’s elves? Imagine him hiring new elves each year – what if one of the elves was a real challenge and just couldn’t do anything right? Well, there’s always Kat to the rescue and that’s what happens in Sarina Siebenaler’s Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf! as she tells the story of one particular elf, Jangles, who just couldn’t do anything right. Santa asked Kat to help and sent Jangles her way. But the attempts to teach Jangles how to be an elf, from baking to decorating the tree and even making a snowman, were all a mess, quite literally. Kat was frustrated, but Jangles was exuberant and thrilled with the experience. She was sent back to the North Pole and Santa wrote Kat a sincerely thankful letter. Perhaps Kat’s attempts weren’t in vain after all. What should Kat wish for next?

Sarina Siebenaler’s picture book, Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf!, is exactly what its subtitle suggests: a silly and heartwarming Christmas Holiday book, part of the Silly Books for Kids series. This fun read is told in the rhyming, lyrical charm of Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas a Night Before Christmas, matching meter for meter. The story follows young Kat’s attempt to help Santa by preparing one of his new elves, Jangles, for the task of elf-hood. As things go from bad to worse, Kat starts to harbor feelings of doubt – is she really up to the task Santa has given her? But she carries on and that’s a great lesson for young readers to learn: to never give up. The illustrations are bright, bold, colorful, and full of life and good humor. At the end of the book, the author provides a “Reading Reflection” page to help young readers remember some key points in the story. Loved it!

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf! by Sarina Siebenaler is a fun-filled Christmas children’s story. It is two weeks before Christmas, and Kat receives a surprise phone call from Santa Claus. Santa asks Kat to help him with one of his elves. Jangles the Elf needs guidance in her elf training service. Kat and her parents agree to help Santa with this important request. Jangles arrives at Kat’s house, eager to get started. However, whatever Jangles attempts to do turns into a mess. Yet, regardless of the chaos, Jangles has a good time and leaves with a smile. That night Kat falls asleep feeling discouraged and a little sad. But when she awakes there is a letter waiting for her from Santa, reminding her of the joy of the Christmas spirit.

Sarina Siebenaler pens a spirited Christmas tale in Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf! The story is imaginative and full of silliness that is sure to make the young reader smile and laugh. The rhyme scheme keeps the narrative flowing and bouncing across each page. Furthermore, the illustrations by Gabby Correia are expressive, bright, and delightfully animated. Siebenaler weaves an important message within all the hilarious mishaps – the importance of keeping joy in our hearts no matter how difficult our task or its outcome. After all, none of us is perfect, but we all can have fun. Included at the end of the story is a list of reflective questions to aid the young reader in the development of their social skills. Do Not Wish for a Christmas Elf! is a charming Christmas story, one to be read again and again each Christmas season.