Here is the classic tale of elfin magic, loved by generations of children and made new by an artist of international acclaim. Jim LaMarche's stunning paintings, reminiscent of his earlier work in "The Rainbabies," are the perfect compliment to this favorite Grimm fairy tale.
LaMarche creates a set of honey-toned illustrations that make the familiar Grimm tale less an odd encounter with the supernatural than a warm-hearted exchange of gifts. Aside from clothing the elves, he makes no major change to the plot. Finely made shoes that are cobbled mysteriously each night from leather left on his worktable turn a shoemaker's fortunes around: one night, as Christmas approaches, he and his wife hide out, and spy two elves - depicted as merry-eyed, touseld children dressed in rough burlap - creeping through the window to do the deed. At his wife's suggestion, they make tiny new outfits for their benefactors, who delightedly skip about the room and out the door. Set in an old style, very well-kept town with cobbled streets, but bicycles and electricity too, this timeless tale will leave readers suffused with the pleasure of seeing gifts received and appreciated. -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
As in his award-winning book The Rainbabies, LaMarche sets every picture glowing, whether with lamplight, starlight, shafts of morning sunlight or just some inner light that all the characters in this kindliest of tales seem to possess. - The Washington Post