"Merry Christmas, Little Elliot"

A little girl bundled in green from head to foot, reaches up to put a red envelope in a mailbox, but a swirl of wind jettisons the letter away. It ends up in the hands of a petite, polka dot elephant. Young readers will relish “Merry Christmas, Little Elliot,” a poignant book about a pachyderm with panache by Mike Curato.

Prior to Elliot accidentally getting the letter, he and his mouse buddy visited a department store Santa. When Santa asked Elliot what was on his wish list, Elliot asked if Santa could get him some Christmas spirit. That’s something you’ll have to find yourself, Santa replies.

So the two friends scour New York City on the hunt for that marvelous feeling everyone wishes for at holiday time. They go to “The Nutcracker,” they sled in Central Park, and gaze in wonder at the Rockefeller Christmas tree, but nothing gets Elliot excited about the holidays until that curious wind delivers the letter intended for Santa. Inside is the little girl’s Christmas list.

Fortunately, the letter has a return address making it easy for Elliot and mouse to track her down and make her Christmas the most special of all, granting her a priceless gift we’d all relish, elephants, mice and humans too.

With a winsome story and nostalgic illustrations “Merry Christmas Little Elliot” is certain to delight. Preschool to third-grade.