From spring to winter, elves pursue hidden seasonal activities.
After a winter of guarding their queen and her “precious jewels” in a “crystal cave,” elves emerge to welcome spring sunshine and blooming snowdrops. They tend flowers, collecting their petals. On summer nights, they count the stars, and during summer days they watch butterflies “drift and flutter from flower to flower.” When autumn arrives, the elves “wander in the undergrowth” and gather fruits, berries, and nuts, which they share with hungry birds at the first winter snow. With winter’s arrival, the elves stay warm in their underground homes until spring returns. The progression of seasons drives this otherwise plot-free description of elfin activities. Luminous illustrations in pencil and vibrant watercolors reveal the elves’ miniature world concealed beneath tree roots and emerging flowers of spring, scarlet poppies of summer, brambles and toadstools of autumn, and winter’s bare branches. Resembling country folk dressed in traditional peaked caps, pointy shoes, short jackets, aprons, and smocks, the wee, light-skinned elves carry on their activities of gathering and gazing in double-page seasonal vignettes surrounded by plants, insects, birds, and tiny rodents rendered with realistic accuracy, creating the illusion they are an integral part of the natural world.
A visually charming peek into the secret life of elves. (Picture book. 4-7)