McGrath’s Christmas take on the story of the Little Red Hen is charming. The Little Red Elf is trying hard to get into the holiday spirit, with no help at all from her lazy animal friends. But after all her hard work, they want to share in the rewards. But she has something to say about that.

This is just a fun little holiday story with whimsical illustrations from Rosalinde Bonnet, a French artist. It’s not groundbreaking holiday fare, but I know this is a story my mother would have loved to read to us when we were kids. My brother and I often whined about hauling out the Christmas decorations, putting everything up, doing the dishes after the holiday baking. But we loved our apartment when it was all decked out, and we certainly ate our fair share of Mom’s cookies. Now as an adult working with kids all day I understand that whole Little Red Hen business so much better.