Elf Readalikes

Movie: Elf    

Amazon’s Description:  One Christmas Eve a long time ago, a baby crawled into Santa’s bag of toys.  Raised as an elf, Buddy goes looking for his true place in the world–in New York City.

Readalikes for Families

Appeals: This modern Christmas classic has it all: a mix of humor and heart with the magic of Santa Claus and the North Pole . . . all tossed with a hefty dose of family drama.


The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn 

Amazon’s Description:  This Christmas classic combines solid historical fact with glorious legend to deliver the definitive story of Santa Claus. For anyone who has ever wondered, you’re right to believe in him! 

Crossover Appeal: This historical fiction novel is a great family read-a-loud for the weeks leading up to Christmas, and perfect for Elf fans who are most interested in the man in the red suit himself.

It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon 

Amazon’s Description: Always in the background, we know Santa Claus is watching, soon to decide if David deserves a shiny new fire truck or a lump of coal under the tree. From playing with delicate ornaments to standing in an endlessly long line for Santa, here are common Christmas activities– but with David’s naughty trimmings.

Crossover Appeal: This installment in the infamous ‘No, David!’ series features the (often unintentional) misbehaving mishaps of David — which mirror Buddy’s attempts to capture Christmas magic for his long-lost father.

Memoirs of an Elf by Devin Scillian; illus. by Tim Bowers

Amazon’s Description:  It’s Christmas Eve and Spark Elf has the very important job of keeping Santa Claus on schedule as he travels the globe in 24 hours delivering presents. Small in stature with pointy ears and stopwatch in hand, Spark lets Santa know it’s time to go. He programs the GPS while the other elves secure the toy bag and check the Nice list. Little known fact: We don’t even bring the Naughty list with us. Six hours into the trip Santa, sleigh and crew begin to fall behind–so many cuddly doggies to pet and extra cookies to eat. The jolly group makes up time in Brazil and soon find themselves back at the North Pole. Their work is done. But wait, there’s something left in the bag–but it isn’t a present at all–it’s a family dog! Well known fact: Santa gives things away. He does not take things! Momma Claus comes to the rescue with a plan to get the dog back to his family. Can Santa return the family’s beloved pooch in time to keep their Christmas merry?

Crossover Appeal: For viewers fascinated by an elf’s perspective of the inner workings of Santa’s North Pole, this picture book is a great match.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by  Barbara Robinson 

Amazon’s Description:  Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that’s just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.

Crossover Appeal:  In this realistic fiction novel, the many ways in which the Herdman children can wreak their personal brand of laugh-out-loud havoc will be of endless amusement to viewers who clutch their stomachs laughing at Elf year after year.

Santa Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

Amazon’s Description:  Bruce is a lot of things. He is a bear. He is a grump. He is a pretty decent cook. And he is a mother. One thing Bruce is not? Santa Claus. But that doesn’t stop the whole forest from lining up to give him their Christmas wishes when he becomes the victim of mistaken identity-again.

Crossover Appeal: Bruce’s ‘humbug’ way of approaching Christmas should remind Elf fans of James Caan’s brilliantly-grumpy character, Walter Hobbs . . . as will Bruce’s eventually-warmed heart.

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