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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Ham Hands the Christmas Elf is a holiday-themed picture book for children written by Whitney Beatty and illustrated by Becca Kaiser. Every so often, a child will find a Christmas gift with wrapping that’s not as perfect as they've come to expect. It does happen, you know. Maybe there’s too much tape covering the paper, or the bow is crooked, or there’s even a bit of box that isn’t covered with wrapping paper. As Daria Dawson discovered one Christmas Day, there’s a pretty good reason why that happens. She’ll also be the first to tell you that those messily wrapped gifts are the best of all and share the surprising reason why.
Ham Hands the Christmas Elf is an inventive and magical story about a young elf with hands so large he’s only allowed to bend candy canes in Santa’s workshop. One can’t help but sympathize as he sits lonely up on the balcony bending those canes while he watches all the excitement going on below him -- all the other elves rushing about with brightly colored wrapping paper, satiny ribbons and tape, turning each present into a meticulously wrapped and gorgeous work of art. Even Santa can’t help poor Ham Hands in his quest to be a wrapper of presents. Ham Hands the Christmas Elf conveys such a warm, feel-good message for the season as Daria shares her appreciation for the love with which her gifts were wrapped, and Ham finds that his dearest wishes have come true. Becca Kaiser’s bright and colorful illustrations bring this compelling fable to life and will have readers happily envisioning Santa’s workshop and a most peculiar elf with very large hands. Ham Hands the Christmas Elf is most highly recommended.