Merry Christmas, Little Elliot (Mike Curato)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Merry Christmas, Little Elliot by Mike Curato, the latest in the heartwarming Little Elliot series.

Waiting in line at a department store to see Santa, Little Elliot (a precious polka-dotted elephant) and his best friend/roommate Mouse discuss what they’ll ask for. Elliot has a surprising request – he wishes for Christmas spirit, as he is having trouble finding it on his own. Santa explains that it’s something everyone must find for themselves, so Elliot and Mouse set out into New York City to search. They attend the ballet, visit Rockefeller Center, go sledding – but due to some mishaps, Elliot is just not finding the feeling he’s hoped for. Just then, a red envelope (teased in the title page) flutters onto Elliot, addressed to Santa himself. Unable to deliver it to the jolly elf, Elliot reads the letter and is touched by the earnest request inside. He and Mouse hop in a cab and rush to make the sender’s Christmas wish come true… and maybe find some Christmas spirit for themselves as well.

You simply cannot go wrong with a Little Elliot book. I have yet to find a book series that has the same consistently fantastic quality in story, art, and message. As much of the series does, this one focuses on friendship and togetherness, here as the true spirit of the holidays. Elliot and Mouse are indescribably adorable, and the vintage-inspired city they inhabit inspires a warm and cozy nostalgia, perfect for a Christmas tale. The length is great, and JJ and I adored it. A touching and wonderful story to share with the one you love, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved.

(A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)

Little Elliot, Fall Friends (Mike Curato)

Hello, friends! Our book today is the latest in the positively charming Little Elliot series: Little Elliot, Fall Friends by Mike Curato. In this newest adventure, Elliot and Mouse enjoy the wonders of fall, and find some new friends along the way.

Little Elliot the elephant and his very best friend Mouse love living in the big city, but sometimes even they need a break from the noise and dirt and crowds. So one day, the pair decide to take a bus trip up to the country to enjoy the beautiful fall weather. The countryside is everything they hoped for and more: there’s beautiful scenery, delicious treats, and plenty of space and quiet to enjoy each other’s company. The pair decide to play a game of hide-and-seek, and after a few rounds, Elliot finds the perfect hiding spot. Perhaps a little TOO perfect, in fact. Hours pass without Mouse finding him, and Little Elliot begins to grow scared. Can he find his friend again in the great big countryside?

Once again, Curato has brought a lovely story and gorgeous art together to create a wonderful storybook for the eyes and ears. While the previous Little Elliot books deal with slightly more serious themes (loneliness, family, overcoming fears, etc), this one is almost entirely simple fun and a celebration of autumn. The main conflict is resolved quickly, which gives the rest of the book plenty of time to focus on pumpkins, fall leaves, delicious foods, and friends and family coming together. The art is as beautiful as always, placing the adorable characters of Elliot and Mouse in stunning environments, this time using a soft autumnal palette that’s a feast for the eyes. The length is great, and JJ and I both loved it. A wonderful addition to one of our favorite series, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Little Elliot, Big Fun (Mike Curato)

Hello, friends! Our review today is Little Elliot, Big Fun by Mike Curato, the third book in the wonderful Little Elliot series. 

This time around, Elliot and his very best friend, Mouse, are on their way to the boardwalk for a fun-filled day at the carnival. Once they arrive, however, Little Elliot’s day begins to take a bad turn: many of the rides are too scary for him, a seagull eats his ice cream, and he gets so scared by a clown that he runs off in a panic. Mouse finds him hiding under the boardwalk, and persuades him to try one more ride before giving up. Is Little Elliot brave enough to trust his friend?

This is our third Little Elliot book, and each one has been more gorgeous and delightful than the last. Once again, Curato mixes adorably sweet little characters with some genuinely gorgeous art to create a story and a world that is both grand and sweeping yet sweet and intimate. The message of the story is great as well, encouraging readers not to give up if things aren’t going their way, and to be courageous enough to face their fears. Most importantly, it’s a story about friendship and family, and how even a bad day can still be special if you’re with the right person. The length is great, and JJ and I both loved it. A beautiful tale in both visuals and story, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

Little Elliot, Big Family (Mike Curato)

Hello, friends! Today’s book is Little Elliot, Big Family by Mike Curato, a story about the family we have and the family we make.

The second book in the Little Elliot series, the story opens with Elliot (a small, spotted elephant who lives in NYC) and his best friend and roommate Mouse waking to a lovely winter day. Mouse is in a rush; his family reunion is today, and he’s looking forward to seeing his two hundred-odd family members. Elliot sees him off, but immediately feels a bit lonely once his pal is gone. Going for a walk around the city doesn’t help much: everywhere he goes, he sees families spending time together. He even goes to see a movie, but is left in tears at the sight of an elephant family on the screen. Venturing back out into the snow, he is stopped by Mouse, who has missed him as well. Mouse invites Elliot to his family reunion, where everyone has a lovely time. And when the time comes to take the family portrait, the many mice find that there is plenty of room for a little elephant to squeeze in. After all, Elliot is family.

We have loved the Elliot books so far, which are sweet yet touching, and have a lovely, gentle innocence to the story and art. Elliot’s loneliness is so palpable through the text and illustrations, and readers would be hard-pressed to not sympathize with the sensitive little elephant. I also love that this is a book about found family, which is great for children whose families are not strictly biological. This is a story that children of blended families, adoption, or foster families might relate to, and that’s wonderful. The length is perfect, and JJ loved the “effent,” so this one is definitely Baby Bookworm approved!

Little Elliot, Big City (Mike Curato)

Hello, friends! Today, we read Little Elliot, Big City by Mike Curato, a beautifully illustrated yet wonderfully simple tale of a little elephant in a big city.

Life in a busy city can be tough, especially if you are a little polka-dotted elephant like Elliot. Being so small, Elliot often gets overlooked, or even trampled on! Still, he enjoys his quiet life and the simple pleasures, like delicious cupcakes. Some days are frustrating, though. But it is on one such day that he will find that being kind can bring of the best simple pleasure of all: a good friend.

Oh, my, this one was very cute. Anyone who doesn’t have a heart made of stone will fall for Elliot within the first few pages – he is ridiculously adorable, and the spectacular illustrations of his city, and his small place within it, will definitely make you appreciate his point of view. The plot is wonderful, too: kindness and friendship are the moral of the story, but the themes of feeling unnoticed, isolation, and adapting to challenges are fully explored and create a great sympathy with Elliot for readers of all ages. Plus, the resolution of the little guys helping each other to achieve their goals is a great message, especially in times like these. The length was perfect, and JJ adored the little “effent” (“elephant”), so this one is definitely one to check out! Baby Bookworm approved!