Friday 10 December 2021

Clarice Bean: Think Like an Elf

Clarice Bean: Think Like an Elf by Lauren Child (HarperCollins) HB with dust jacket RRP $24.99 ISBN

Reviewed by Kathleen Grace

Clarice Bean, subject of numerous books by the inimitable Lauren Child, usually looks forward to Christmas. But this year it’s going to be a quiet day in her house, which doesn’t feel right because Clarice thinks that Christmas is all about noisiness and being full up and family. Without these things, Clarice is going to have to try exceptionally hard to stop the Christmas spirit from floating completely away. As Clarice says: ‘Christmas cannot be Christmas without the Christmas spirit, so it is important to keep an eye on it and not let it float away.’

Now this enthusiastic, cheerful little girl is trying to save her family’s Christmas in this sparkling story of joy, goodwill, and some Clarice catastrophes. Who has eaten the turkey – the dog or the fox? How will the Moody family help? How will they fit the gigantic tree into Clarice’s house and leave seating for the family?

This is a beautifully presented books with good-sized print and lots of different sized and shaped fonts interspersed with double pages of coloured illustrations, and black and white lined drawings. It is easy-to-read, and well plotted with lots happening. The story is told in Clarice’s distinctively quirky, happy voice. Fast-paced and exciting, it is a book sure to be enjoyed by young readers aged seven years and older.

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