4 CDs. 4:47 hrs. Brilliance Audio. 2014. $24.99. ISBN 9781491502280.
Gr 3–7—It's Christmas Eve on a farm in Denmark and the Larsens are suddenly called away to attend to their grandmother, who has broken her hip, leaving 12-year-old Bettina to care for her baby sister Pia alone. Or at least she thinks she is alone. When they forget to put out the traditional rice pudding for the gnome-like nisse, Klakke the barn nisse takes revenge. This sets in motion a series of events that put Bettina in a very difficult situation. Based on real Danish customs, Houts's contemporary folktale has all the right ingredients—heroine, villain, magic, conflict, and resolution through kindness and courage. Narrator Amy McFadden brings to life Bettina and the imaginary world of the tiny nisse with a wide range of distinguishing voices. The listener is swept along by the suspenseful plot, witty dialogue, and vivid descriptions of woodland scenery. This audiobook is well suited for children, but adults who enjoy stories about wee folk, such as The Borrowers or The Spiderwick Chronicles, will also find much to enjoy here.
VERDICT This gem of a book is ideal for a classroom study in Christmas traditions.

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