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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
Santa’s Bully Elf is a children’s book written by Victoria Ann Devine and illustrated by Laura Doll. Sparky is a K-9 Bully Elf who works for Santa. Each day, he peers through his magical telescope in order to seek out bullies who belong on the Naughty List. Isabella and Anthony are siblings who gain much enjoyment from tormenting their classmates at school for how they dress and how they look. Coming from a family with money, Isabella and Anthony have everything at home they could ever want, yet still find time to fight with each other over their toys. Sparky classifies the situation as an emergency, as so many children are suffering due to Isabella and Anthony’s actions. He flies them both to Santa’s Village and shows them the home lives of the siblings’ bullying victims, which startles them both when they see how depressed they all are on such a special day as Christmas Day. Isabella and Anthony quickly realize that making others feel bad is something that lasts a few minutes, but lasts a lifetime for their victims, which in turn forces them both to look hard at their actions.
Both the illustrations and the story of Santa’s Bully Elf are extraordinary. Victoria Ann Devine has written a clever tale which clearly shows the domino effect of bullying and how it not only makes a bully’s victim feel bad when they are being bullied, but also how they take their feelings of emptiness, inadequacy and self-loathing with them everywhere they go. Santa’s Bully Elf is wonderfully drawn and magically told, ensuring that children and tweens will be fascinated by this story which teaches a very valuable lesson. I enjoyed the fable aspect of the story and feel that this book would do well in school and home libraries worldwide. I recommend Santa’s Bully Elf to children, tweens and young teens, in the hopes that this very important message is absorbed during a child’s social learning years.