Zach's Journey from Selfish to Elfish

Zach's Journey from Selfish to Elfish


Children - Grade K-3rd
34 Pages
Reviewed on 08/10/2017
Buy on Amazon

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Zach's Journey from Selfish to Elfish is a story book for children, grades K-3, written by Collette Ryan. Zach wasn’t at all happy with his dog Alice’s behavior. She kept on trying to wake him up. Alice wanted to play ball, but Zach just wanted to lie there under the covers and think about all the cool toys that were at the mall. Luckily for Alice, Zach’s elf showed up, and he helped her get Zach out of bed and outdoors. Zach was always aware of what his elf wanted him to do, because elves have a lot to say about any toys kids may be getting. But something unexpected happened when he listened to his elf and Alice. Zach was amazed to see how happy Alice was from just going out and playing with him. She didn’t need anything else. Later that night, Zach’s elf discussed the difference between being selfish and elfish. Now Zach didn’t know what being elfish was all about, but he was about to find out

Collette Ryan’s story book for children, grades K-3, Zach's Journey from Selfish to Elfish, is a sweet and disarming fable that shows kids how being aware of, and caring for, others can actually enrich their lives -- much more so than the newest toy they’ve discovered at the mall. The reader follows Zach as he begins to realize the impact he can make on others’ lives, starting with a simple game of catch with his dog, Alice. Ryan’s ELFISH guidelines are fun and simple to follow, and her story illustrates how easy it is to work just a few changes into one’s life. The illustrations that accompany the text are eloquent and amusing, and the vocabulary used in the story makes it an excellent text for early readers to try on their own as well as enjoying during story time. Zach's Journey from Selfish to Elfish is most highly recommended.

Jane Finch

Zach’s Journey from Selfish to Elfish by Collette Ryan tells the story of a young boy named Zach, who is really rather selfish. Each morning when he wakes all he thinks about is what new toys he wants from the mall. Even when his dog, Alice, greets him one morning and asks him to play, he is not interested in her needs, thinking only of his own. That is when the Elf appears, stating that it is time Zach learned how to be Elfish, not Selfish. Being Elfish means being eager to help, being a good friend, and most importantly being nice to others and putting their needs before your own. So Zach begins to look at things differently, and with the help of the Elf learns to be a caring little person and even earns his Elfhood. The illustrations are simple yet appropriate and accompany the story well. The story is told in rhyme.

The author, Collette Ryan, has created a lovely rhyming story for young readers who, as they follow Zach’s journey, are shown how much more rewarding it is to be considerate of others first. Zach’s story is simple yet appealing and would be ideal for a parent to discuss with a child about the importance of thinking of others. It doesn’t happen all at once, it takes Zach time to understand the needs of others, and how to be a good friend not only to his classmates, but to his pets. The Elf takes him on the journey in a steady way which culminates in Zach receiving his Elfhood, which is a nice touch. A pleasing story to show children from a young age that those around them have needs too.

Michelle Stanley

Zach’s Journey from Selfish to Elfish by Collette Ryan is a children’s novella. Zach does not seem to care about helping others and isn’t interested in playing with his dog, Alice. He spends a lot of time playing with his toys and only thinks about getting new ones. Elf, his friend, visits and tells Zack that he has become too grumpy for a little boy and shouldn’t be selfish. He should play with Alice. Zach is reluctant to do as he is told, but knows the elves watch little girls and boys. He decides to take Elf’s advice to play with Alice. Later on, he notices how sad Angela looks and cheers her up. Other events occur that make Zack realize that being nice to others is important, but will his fondness for new toys make him remain selfish?

Collette Ryan’s novella is a fun, educational story for children in kindergarten to third grade. It has great rhyming flow accompanied by impressive illustrations of the characters. Zach’s Journey from Selfish to Elfish makes a perfect learning tool for teachers and parents to inspire and motivate young children to think of others and perform acts of kindness. There are more events taking place in the story that Zack participates in, which is very nice. I believe the author has written a wonderful novella catering to small children. Alice has a Ways I Can Be Elfish Checklist at the back of the book that children can imitate. This lovely novella is recommended.