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The Elves and the Shoemaker Hardcover – October, 2003

4.9 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-A newly illustrated version of the ever-satisfying tale of a poor shoemaker and his wife who become rich when elves create splendid shoes for them to sell, and who return the favor by making outfits for the elves. The text only alludes to Christmas, while the underlying theme explores kindness and giving. LaMarche's generously proportioned illustrations in acrylic washes and colored pencil feature substantial child-sized elves, who are "poorly shod" and wearing "raggedy sacks." (In other versions of the story, the elves are often as small as the shoes themselves or smaller.) The luminous pictures will project easily to the back of the storytime room, and the unembellished text moves the narrative along briskly. A good choice for those wishing to de-emphasize the religious aspects of the holiday.-S. P.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. LaMarche, illustrator of Donna Jo Napoli's Albert (2001), provides appealing illustrations to accompany this retelling of Grimms' familiar tale in which two elves labor at night to save the day for a poor but kindly shoemaker and his wife. The text varies a little from the original. The elves (a boy and girl rather than two little men) aren't naked but dressed in "raggedy sacks." Still, the main elements of the story are intact, and readers will find plenty to like in LaMarche's interpretation. The illustrations, done in acrylic washes with colored pencils, depict a cozy Old World setting inhabited by rosy-cheeked, individualized characters. These scenes are suffused in a glow that seems warm, golden, and benevolent. Children and adults alike will enjoy the story, beautifully realized in the beguiling artwork. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Preschool - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 840L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; First Edition edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811834778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811834773
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.4 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have always loved the story of "The Elves and the Shoemaker" and have searched and searched for an adaptation that evoked the memories that I carried from my childhood. (As children, my sister and I fell in love with the Scholastic version which, sadly, is off the market.) But this version is as good, if not better! The pictures are simply beautiful ~ so full of color and expression and detail! And the story is told in a simple yet profound way so that children as young as three but as old as eight or nine will be able to find meaning and enjoyment. I can not recommend this book enough! In my mind, it deserves a space on every child's bookshelf!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a wonderful companion to any collection of classic fairy tales. The illustrations are lively and charming; the tale is retold simply and well. This book also does an excellent job of conveying what a cobbler does, if you are looking for some books to bring history alive. Not many children now think twice about where their shoes come from. Above all else, the illustrations really bring the tale alive. The quality of the expressions on each character's face is truly incredible and any small child can easily "read" along by seeing the delight on the faces of the customers, the patience and careful work done by the elves (you can practically hear them whistle as they work), the astonishment and gratitude felt by the shoemaker and his wife. This heartwarming story is a must for any preschool or first grade classroom.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Of course the story is the old tale about the poor shoemaker and his wife who have only one piece of leather left to make a pair of outstanding shoes (that would probably sell at Nordstroms today), The shoemaker and his wife go to bed so tired after cutting out the pattern and plan to sew the shoes the next day. But that night two little elves appear and sew the shoes and do a great job too! I am so glad they were not deported the next morning. Anyway, so starts the nightly pattern which results in success for all. Still a great story after so many years. The only thing that surpasses the story is Jerry Pinkney's art. Just look at the detail on the cover. This artist uses many mediums to illustrate. Pinkney is not conserving time here or in any of the books he illustrates for children. His art is like a lasso, capturing the attention of children, making them want to see the next page, and finally becoming curious about the story, i.e., reading!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I LOVE this book. The pictures are absolutely beautiful. The faces on all the people are so expressive, the shoes are very creative...and it is, of course, a very sweet story. I especially enjoyed that one of the elves was a girl and that even after the elves disappear, you can see them hiding in the pictures. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What can I say.... I LOVE this book. It is by far one of my favorite children's books and I have read quite a few-8 kids will do that to you. The illustrations are wonderful! Definitely worth buying.
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By DARYL on February 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
love the message and the art work. Grandson fascinated with it and asked lots of appropriate questions about the story line
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The pictures were great. It is one of my favorite stories that you can use to teach children to secretly do for others.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book! My grandson really enjoyed it as much as I did 45 years ago. It was one of his favorite books.
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