Jane Thayer wrote "The Blueberry Pie Elf," now out in a facsimile edition just in time for holiday reading round the fireplace with the little ones.
In this endearing book, Elmer, an impish, wee elf, gets into the blueberry pie and simply swoons with delight till his tummy swells with excess. It is so sweet, so tasty and so tantalizing, the berries bursting in his mouth with joyous abandon.
Elmer is weak with desire to awaken the next day and have another sampling. But the universe is against him -- the family whose home he lives in has polished off the pie for breakfast. Drat!
In a house full of bakers, another pie is in the offing the following week. Elmer thinks perhaps the people are going to make another blueberry pie. Yum, the elf is in heaven with anticipation; that is, until he gets a whiff of apples. An apple pie, double drat! How can he get across to the family that they must make a blueberry pie, the savory sweet he lusts after?
Being an invisible creature, Elmer sets out on a course of action. He will do chores around the house to win the affection of the family. He will make the beds, tend the dishes and simply do whatever needs be done to get their attention.
Alas, his household doings are appreciated but the family still has no clue as to his existence, nor for that matter, his desire for a blueberry pie. Oh, if only he hadn't sneaked into the pie the other day and fallen in love with the scrumptious concoction. The antics that follow are sweet frolics that tempt the imagination and bring back memories of youthful schemes.
In this small book there are large ideas that touch on innovation, creativity, sensitivity and even manners. It is a delightful little tale that is fanciful and engaging in its innocence and simplicity, capturing readers of all ages -- which is perhaps the reason it has been resuscitated at this time. Seymour Fleishman -- who collaborated on other books by Woolley, including the "Gus the Friendly Ghost" series -- illustrates the book. With a sense of humor Fleishman has created a petite elf with choppy hair, a long nose and toothpick legs -- a creature that will win your heart with his earnest antics. The artwork coupled with the story makes a delightful marriage of spirit, hope and imagination. --Provincetown Banner, December 27, 2008
"The Blueberry Pie Elf" is a charming, manners morality fable about an elf named Elmer who loves blueberry pie. How he tries to persuade the family he lives with to make him another blueberry pie occupies a great deal of hard housework task performance, but the humans fail to notice Elmer's efforts until they see his red cherry pie stained footprints on their table. Finally Elmer has found a way to communicate his wish for blueberry pie to his people! Fortunately they take the hint and reward his hard housework duties with a large, luscious blueberry pie. Elmer remembers to leave his sincere thanks in blueberry pie juice letters. The red, white, blue and black ink of the illustrations add to the piquance of "The Blueberry Pie Elf," making this appealing book a winner for children age 4 and up. --Midwest Book Review, July, 20, 2010
About the Author
was the pen name of Catherine Woolley
. She was a prolific author, writing more than eighty books for children. Her first book, I Like Trains
, was published in 1944 and her last children's book was released in 1989. Woolley was born in Chicago in 1904; she died in Truro, MA in 2005.
Seymour Fleishman illustrated over fifty books for children between 1953 and 1989, collaborating with Catherine Woolley on several books, including The Blueberry Pie Elf and the Gus the Friendly Ghost series. He has two children, two grandchildren and lives in Chicago.