The Elves and the Shoemaker

The Elves and the Shoemaker

5.0 3
by Jim LaMarche
     
 

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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 stunningly rendered paintings, reminiscent of his earlier work in The Rainbabies, are the perfect complement to this favorite Grimm fairy tale. Plus, this version includes audio and read-along setting.

Overview

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 stunningly rendered paintings, reminiscent of his earlier work in The Rainbabies, are the perfect complement to this favorite Grimm fairy tale. Plus, this version includes audio and read-along setting.

Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
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. — Elizabeth Ward
Publishers Weekly
This retelling in unvarnished prose stays true to the Grimm tale; the book's strength comes from LaMarche's (The Rainbabies) colored-pencil illustrations, which exude the sense of wonder that the elves inspire in the shoemaker and his wife. In traditional versions, the shoemaker's poverty is keenly drawn, but LaMarche soft-pedals the anguish of the German original and cuts right to the elves' good deeds. The shoemaker and his wife wear their years well, with crinkly crow's-feet around their eyes and attractive silver hair, and the elves provide them with a marvelous pair of shoes by the second page ("The next morning, when the couple went into the workshop, they were flabbergasted by what they found"). Soon the villagers line the cobblestone streets to place their orders. A wordless spread of the elves-a wild-haired girl and an apple-cheeked boy-at their work conveys the joy they take in their labor of love. The drawing seems so realistic that viewers will be tempted to reach out and touch the duo's little pointed ears. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The classic tale is retold here in lively fashion. The shoes that magically appear soon make the shoemaker and his wife poor no longer. When their curiosity about who is making them is satisfied, they decide to make the two elves fine clothes as a thank-you. The ending is happy for all. LaMarche remakes the story in his own vision. The elves come alive as impish youngsters, boy and girl, with frizzled hair and eyes that sparkle with mischief. With acrylic washes and colored pencil on single and double pages he creates a timeless, fairy-tale village with cobbled streets where the charming aging couple live good lives. Not only do the characters have distinct personalities, but the shoes do as well. Even the end-papers share the detail and warm colors and feelings of the story of the Christmas season. 2003, Chronicle Books, Ages 4 to 8.
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-A newly illustrated version of the ever-satisfying tale of a poor shoemaker and his wife who become rich when elves create splendid shoes for them to sell, and who return the favor by making outfits for the elves. The text only alludes to Christmas, while the underlying theme explores kindness and giving. LaMarche's generously proportioned illustrations in acrylic washes and colored pencil feature substantial child-sized elves, who are "poorly shod" and wearing "raggedy sacks." (In other versions of the story, the elves are often as small as the shoes themselves or smaller.) The luminous pictures will project easily to the back of the storytime room, and the unembellished text moves the narrative along briskly. A good choice for those wishing to de-emphasize the religious aspects of the holiday.-S. P. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
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, tousled 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. (Picture book/folktale. 5-8)
From the Publisher
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452125602
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
01/08/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
723,656
File size:
21 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Jim LaMarche is the award-winning illustrator of 12 picture books (including The Rainbabies by Laura Krauss Melmed) and the author-illustrator of two (The Raft and The Elves and the Shoemaker). He grew up in Kewaskum, Wisconsin, and now lives in California with his wife and three sons.

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Elves and the Shoemaker 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the illustrations in this book. They are charming and very child friendly. They details included by the illustrator greatly enhance the story and its value as a read-aloud book for my classroom. This is the best version I have ever seen or worked with. I definitely recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago