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'The Elf on the Shelf' in Carle Place

The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition

The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition is a children’s picture book, written by American author Carol Aebersold and daughter Chanda Bell and illustrated by Coë Steinwart, Credit: Handout

A costumed character, Elf on the Shelf, will join co-author Chanda Bell as she reads from her new book, "The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition" at the Barnes & Noble in Carle Place and signs copies of the book. Kids can have their picture taken with the elf.

The Christmas version of the book and plush elf have sold millions of copies; families set their elf out every year at Christmastime, and the elf reports back to Santa on whether the child is behaving nicely. The birthday book, launched yesterday, includes a birthday story, a cupcake outfit and a matching birthday hat that is put on over the Christmas elf to transform it.

"We had so many letters from children begging for the elf to come back for their birthdays," Bell says in a telephone interview from Atlanta. "The idea of the book is that Santa Claus gives the elf special permission to come back for your birthday. But he can only come for 24 hours because there's lots of work to do at the North Pole."

When the elf returns, the story goes, he'll decorate a chair in your house with trinkets and goodies that will await you when you wake up on your birthday.

WHAT "The Elf on the Shelf" Author Visit

WHEN|WHERE Thursday, Oct. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 91 Old Country Rd., Carle Place

INFO Admission is free; "The Elf on the Shelf: A Birthday Tradition" is $19.95; "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition" is $29.95; 516-741-9850;

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