The Little Red Elf


Who will help the little red elf prepare for Christmas?

This clever retelling of "The Little Red Hen" features a little red elf and her lazy friends: the hare, the penguin, and the reindeer. When the cheerful elf can't get help planting the pinecones or decorating the Christmas tree, she knows just how to reward her friends.

Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (24) from $1.99   
  • New (14) from $6.89   
  • Used (10) from $1.99   

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK Kids for iPad

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (NOOK Kids)
$6.99 price
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.


Who will help the little red elf prepare for Christmas?

This clever retelling of "The Little Red Hen" features a little red elf and her lazy friends: the hare, the penguin, and the reindeer. When the cheerful elf can't get help planting the pinecones or decorating the Christmas tree, she knows just how to reward her friends.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
McGrath recasts the Little Red Hen folktale in a holiday setting. A hardworking elf lives at a North Pole workshop with three lazy but likable toys: a reindeer, rabbit and penguin. The elf asks for help growing and decorating a pine tree along with other Christmas activities, but all three toys decline. Finally, the elf has a meltdown. Readers will giggle at the ne'er-do-well toys in Bonnet's sweetly amusing acrylic and pen illustrations (the reindeer floats Christmas ornaments in the tub), but the punch line—the gifts under the tree are all red hens—may require explanation. Ages 2–7. (July)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
"Once upon a time…a reindeer, a penguin, a hare, and a little red elf…all lived together in a comfy, cozy workshop." While the others relax or snooze, the elf has to do all the work. In this cumulative echo of the Little Red Hen, the elf finds, plants, and waters a pine cone, watching it grow into a tree as the others refuse to help. All by herself, the elf digs the tree up, puts it into a bucket, brings it into the house, adds lights and decorations, and sets out the traditional milk and cookies. Of course, on Christmas morning, when she asks who will help open the presents, the others are suddenly eager to help. She does protest, but when they cry she lets them. Their presents from Santa are ironic but appropriate, to the elf's satisfaction. The simple tale is visualized with equally simple, humorous characters and settings. Black ballpoint drawings are colored with tints of acrylic paints to create the stuffed-animal-like animals and the elf with childishly large head and button eyes under her ever-present red stocking cap. The lesson of the story is clear. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1–The little red elf has a bunch of lazy housemates–a reindeer, a penguin, and a hare–who won’t help out in the toy workshop or assist her in planting and caring for a little pine tree. When the tree is grown, she digs it up, decorates it, and bakes cookies. The next morning, she asks, “Who will help me open the presents?” Only then do the housemates volunteer. In a sly wink from Santa, the presents turn out to be toy Little Red Hens. This sweet version is simply told but includes plenty of funny asides (“Well, I love being busy!” the little red elf exclaims after yet another failed attempt to get help). The acrylic and ballpoint-pen illustrations are full of childlike humor, depicting cute North Pole characters who look like toys themselves. This is that rare beast–an endearing holiday book without a hint of treacle.–Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A cute little elf in red overalls and stocking cap is an efficient worker who gets everything done herself, including making toys for Santa. She lives with her friends-a reindeer, a penguin and a hare-but they prefer to sleep or play rather than help with household tasks. When the little red elf finds a pine cone and plants it, the plot then follows the structure of "The Little Red Hen." The little elf does all the preparations for Christmas herself while her friends lie around, but then they want to open all the presents on Christmas morning. In a clever twist, the many presents for the lazy ones are all stuffed little-red-hen toys. Bonnet's illustrations are bright and cheerful, with a sweet elf and comical creatures as the nonhelpers. (Picture book. 3-7)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580892360
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Edition description: New
  • Pages: 1
  • Sales rank: 732,856
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Barbara Barbieri McGrath was a nursery school teacher before she dedicated herself to writing children's books full time. She is the author of THE LITTLE RED ELF, THE LITTLE GREEN WITCH, and many bestselling math concept books. Barbara lives in Natick, Massachussetts.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)