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.
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 PhelanCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved