Memoirs of an Elf

illus. by Tim Bowers. 32p. Sleeping Bear. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781585369102.
PreS-Gr 1—Armed with a smart phone for texting, navigating via GPS, and using the camera feature to take an "elfie" of himself and his crew before taking off with Santa on Christmas Eve, Spark is truly a millennial elf. At times, his Type A personality surfaces whenever it seems that Santa is falling behind schedule, but Sparks' heart, following truisms like "No Santa, no Christmas," is in the right place. After Tugboat, an adorable stowaway dog, accidentally hitches a ride to the North Pole, Spark witnesses the heartwarming, more-important-than-Santa side of the holiday when they reunite Tugboat with his family. Cartoon illustrations blend the modern and festive well (the microphone on Spark's headset is red-and-white striped and his phone is holly leaf green), making the book as a whole appeal to children regardless of their tech savvy.—Joanna K. Fabicon, Los Angeles Public Library
"Christmas Eve, 9:45 PM / Two hours until launch on Christmas Eve." This elf's account of the night before Christmas is rife with humor ("I feel so good I snap an elfie") and "little known facts" ("We don't even bring the Naughty list with us"). There's tastefully cartoonish art and a turn involving a stowaway dog--what's not to celebrate?

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