Clarice Bean: Think Like an Elf

Publisher: HarperCollins

Christmas is approaching, and Clarice Bean is very excited. However, this year, Mum and Dad have decided that it’s just going to be the seven of them and not a huge family gathering, which Clarice feels is a little disappointing. Nineteen people is her number for a perfect Christmas – even if that means peeling over 100 potatoes.

Still, there’s a lot to do even to prepare for a Christmas for seven, whether that’s remembering to send off Granny’s parcel to New York, taking singing lessons for the Christmas concert, making fudge or helping Clarice’s friend Karl walk his dogs – and source a perfect wooden spoon. Despite a few unfortunate accidents, the family make it to Christmas Day – but will there be a few extra surprises in store?

Even if you’ve never read a Clarice Bean book before, you will fall in love with this brilliantly narrated story of thinking about others, doing kind things and believing that your biggest Christmas wishes can come true. Clarice is a quirky and often hilarious narrator, but the loveliest thing about this book (as well as Lauren Child’s superlative collaged and sketched illustrations) is its warm-hearted celebration of sharing and families.

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