Eubie is a relentlessly cheery elf whose story is based on a Christmas song by Connick, which was also previously made into an animated movie.
The storybook version finds the exultant elf checking Santa’s lists and discovering that every child in the town of Bluesville is on the naughty list. He uses his magic hat to transport himself to the dreary town, which is sited at the bottom of a deep valley. When Eubie finds the town is surrounded by mountains of “unburnable coal,” he helps the town’s children polish the extensive surrounding mountain range so the peaks shine with sparkling light like jewels. This cooperative effort transforms the townspeople into a happy crowd of Christmas celebrants, and Eubie is rewarded for his kindness by being chosen to join Santa’s sleigh team for Christmas deliveries. The story is a little long, a little illogical and much too full of words in all capitals, exclamation marks and Eubie’s signature cry of “YIPPPPPPPPEEEEEEEE!” The large-format watercolor illustrations have a retro appeal, though the elves and the children look like the same species aside from pointed ears.Kids who are familiar with the song or movie about Eubie may enjoy the story, but adult readers might be tempted to offer Eubie a lump of unburnable coal for his Christmas stocking. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-7)