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The Children’s Book Review
Festival of the Elves: The Magic Around You
Written by Holly Figgyworth
Illustrated by Mai S. Kemble
Age Range: 4-8
Hardcover: 48 pages
Publisher: Ewonderment, LLC
What to expect: Holiday Adventure, Christmas, Giving
The holiday season is full of traditions, but have you heard of the Festival of the Elves? It’s a welcome new Christmas custom that is as charming as the picture book that explains it!
Grandpa Norris Figgyworth always wanted the holiday season to be full of surprises and delights. This joy has spread to his grandchildren, Holly and Noel. Every night in December, their Grandpa would leave little notes and trinkets for friends, family, and neighbors. On a “twinkly, swirly, snowy night,” the sweet pair of elf siblings set out on an adventure to share their Grandpa’s secret note tradition with humans. The elf city council is worried that they will use all of their magic on their journey and won’t be able to return to the North Pole. However, when the young elves begin sharing notes with the Puddington family, joy spreads and the magic follows.
Debut author Angeli Elliott, who wrote the book under the pen name of Holly Figgyworth, has delightfully and thoughtfully captured the magic of Christmas by highlighting the spirit of giving. “The magic around you is the magic you make. It happens when you give more than you take.” Lovingly constructed, young readers will not lose the message of this generational tale. There are playful elements found within the story that readers can interact with, such as Christmassy tongue twisters.
Illustrator Mai S. Kemble brings the story further to life by filling the pages with detailed paintings that show the kind of joy and delight that Grandpa Figgyworth would champion. Festive endpapers, an enchanting and detailed map of the North Pole, a diverse cast of elves, stippled spots of snow and magical dust spread across the pages to create a just-right magical quality.
Festival of the Elves: The Magic Around You is a wondrous holiday delight that is sure to become a family read-aloud favorite because it highlights the benefits of spreading happiness. It will be a magical addition to your Christmas reading list!
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About the Author
Holly Figgyworth decided to become an author to share with families some of the elf traditions from the North Pole. With her book The Festival of the Elves, she was inspired by her grandfather, Norris Figgyworth, who started the North Pole tradition of leaving notes and trinkets around Christmas time in hopes of bringing happiness and magic to friends, family, and neighbors. Holly also loves being silly with her friend Mai.
For more information, visit www.festivaloftheelves.com/.
About the Illustrator
Mai S. Kemble has been the illustrator for several picture books. She has a special affection for all-things-Christmas and loved making portraits of all the elf friends up in the North Pole. She expects to find some notes from them this year. She lives with her son, her illustrator husband, Josh, and their two dogs in Lancaster, CA. They all practice being silly together.
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