12.07.2012

PPBF: The Happy Elf

So many simple pleasures that fill me with joy . . .  and one of them is this blinkie from my friend Barbara over at Ruby Slippers. I'm grateful for her creativity that put me in the spirit! She's doing seven days of free blinkie giveaways, so click {here} to go there and grab one of her festive designs!

Another reason to feel joyful is that Tabitha over at Scrapbook of a School Counselor is posting Counselor Confessionals and I've been invited to be her first guest. If you want to read about my very first mentor in my journey as a counselor, click {here} to go there.


And now for today's PPBF, the first three seasonal picks this month that are sure to pique your curiosity, lift your spirits, and bring holiday joy and cheer.


Title: The Happy Elf
Author: Harry Connick, Jr.
Illustrator: Dan Andreasen
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date: September 27, 2011
Suitable for ages: 4 and up
Themes: feelings, attitude, kindness, helping, giving, caring
Brief synopsis: Eubie the elf has a problem. He's happy, too happy, annoyingly happy. His exuberance gets him assigned to a task that'll get him out of the other elves' way: Check the naughty and nice list. That's how he comes on the information that there's actually a town where every child is on the naughty list. Will Eubie risk his chance to ride on Santa's sleigh to help?
Opening sentence:  Eubie was the happiest elf at the North Pole. He loved working in Santa's magical workshop. He loved making toys for good girls and boys. He loved playing with his friends Gilda and Derek.

Most of all, Eubie LOVED Christmas.

A Christmastime he would wake up early each morning and yell, "YIPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!" as loud as his little elf vocal cords would let him.

Resources: The story behind The Happy Elf song {here}

Harry Connick, Jr. talks about his book and song on You Tube:



Why I like this book:  This book is about a selfless little elf who risks getting in trouble by taking it upon himself to leave the North Pole in search of a way to help the kids of Bluesville find their way off of the naughty list and back to being nice. What's not to like about that? Is it a little cheesy? Probably. And kind of predictable? Yeah, but it's a sweet, sentimental story that seems to fit here at holiday time. 


What I'd do to bring this story to life: Start with the front cover; what can my students infer about what's inside the gift he's holding from the title and the picture of Eubie? I'll ask them to make a prediction, then read through the story, stopping periodically to let them make inferences and predictions. Follow up with inquiries like this: What was Eubie's experience like? What risks did Eubie take? Who helped him and why? What kindnesses did he show? How did that gift come back to him? What does the book say is the secret to happiness? Is happiness always a choice? Is kindness?
 Give real-life examples.

You could also prompt some higher-level thinking by asking them to compare and contrast Herbie, the elf from Rudolf, the Red Nosed Reindeer with Eubie, the Happy Elf. How are they the same? How are they different? 
Or ask them to compare their own personal elves (if they have one) or an Elf from another holiday story with Eubie.




Finally, have students write a persuasive paragraph to Santa to try to convince him to send Eubie to your town ... or to Eubie ... asking him to come and help you solve a problem in your town that needs fixing ... who wouldn't LOVE a visit from The Happy Elf!



27 comments:

  1. Smiling today! Love Harry Connick Jr! Have a great day Barbara!

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    1. I'm glad. I think you would enjoy this book but I can't lend it to you because Jacob donated our copy to the toy drive.

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  2. I do think the season means we can get away with a little cheesiness! A message of such kindness and helpfulness is always welcome, however.

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    1. This has such a strong "spirit of the season" theme that I was able to ignore a LOT of cheesiness! Thanks for stopping by, Joanna!

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  3. Neat resources! And who doesn't enjoy a bite of cheese at Christmastime?

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    1. Make mine cream cheese! I think you'll like this one, Julie!!

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  4. I just bought this book last night at Barnes and Noble! Great suggestions! I am thrilled to be starting the Elf unit next week!
    Julie
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe

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    1. Yay! Sounds like perfect timing. I got mine 50% off last year on the day after Christmas!

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  5. What a fun Christmas book, Barbara! The illustrations remind me of books I read as a child, and I love the video/trailer...super!

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    1. Who doesn't love going back in time? Thanks, Jarm, for stopping by the Corner and leaving your reflections!

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  6. Haven't seen this book, but I like it. Clever resources for kids! Also enjoyed listening to Harry Connick Jr. sing the lyrics. Fun story. Yes, the illustrations remind me of those I read as a child.

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    1. Yes, Patricia, FUN is a word I'd also use to describe it. I think it'll make you happy!

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  7. Barbara - I'm dying to know what happens! Must pick this up. Thanks for the pick.

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    1. I'll give you a hint, Laura Anne, the children of Bluesville are no longer throwing stones at one another when Eubie's done with them!

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  8. This looks like a delightful book, Barbara -- and I love your ways to bring the story to life.

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  9. Thanks, Beth! It really is a cute story about a wayward little guy who finds that his gift is his happiness!

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  10. Oh such a sweet book! I've pinned it, Barbara.
    Thank you for the shout-out, too:))

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

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    1. Your blinkie buttons are AdOrAbLy festive!! Thanks for the pin and for stopping by the Corner.

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  11. I have been looking for some good elf books. Thanks for the introduction to an elf book about doing something for others.

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    1. Oh, Sandi, I think you will love this sappy and sweet little delight!

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  12. Hi Pal:

    I love the book idea and I really, REALLY love the JOY blinker!
    Thanks for being my first giveaway commenter. That made for some PERFECT joy today!

    Kim
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

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    1. You an grab an even BIGGER version at the link above . . . JOY, joy, JOY! Fingers crossed for that Starbucks card . . . .even MORE joy.

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  13. This looks like a really cute book! And I'm all up for Happy!! He sounds like my kind of Elf! And I like Harry Connick Jr as well! And your thoughtful reading and writing ideas make this a great package of a post! Thanks for sharing it all!

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    1. Thanks, Rhythm - it makes me HAPPY when you stop by the Corner! Eubie is definitely your kid of Elf!!

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  14. I love Harry Connick! I have his Christmas albums in my car and have heard this song a bazillion times. I had no idea it was a book. Thanks for cluing me in.

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    1. I was actually surprised that the song had been around for SO long and that the book was just published last year. I think it's pretty special!

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  15. This book looks like lots of fun, and I love the message that Eubie tries to help the naughty kids. A nice new twist on Christmas-time stories. I love your resources and activity suggestions as always! Thanks for adding this one, Barbara!

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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