The holidays are coming up fast, which means Elf on the Shelf photos will take over Facebook. While those are always cute, wouldn't it be nice to play a fun game that's not based on the premise of scaring your children into being good because an intruder elf is always watching them? That’s what Santa Claus is for, people. (Just kidding.) Luckily, in 2017, Disney came out with a fun interactive book/hide-and-seek game for kids that features everyone’s favorite snowman: Olaf from Frozen! Moms are obsessed with Frozen Hide-and-Hug Olaf, a version of Elf on the Shelf just for Frozen fans. (Because yes, that movie is still popular even though it came out five years ago. And I guess nobody can just “Let it Go.” Sorry, I had to.) Also, if you know have that song stuck in your head yet again, you're welcome.
Toy-reviewing website Toys, Tots, Pets & More (TTPM) says this hardcover book is chock full of interaction between the parent, the kid, and of course, Olaf himself. It comes with a snuggly and adorable plush snowman for your child to cuddle as you read the story of how Olaf really wants a hug, or if you’re feeling really into it, you can even use the stuffed Olaf to “play out the dialogue” while you read, the website noted. It’s written in short repetitive sentences that little kids love, and at the end, there is a quick hide-and-seek game that is very Elf-on-the-Shelf-esque. Disney Press recommends reading this book to kids ages 3 and up. Plus, it comes in a fancy box for storing Olaf and his story, so cleaning up can be fun (and you can keep at least one toy picked up in your house).
Parents are pretty excited about how much their children love this new book and toy combo. One excited Amazon reviewer gave the book five stars, saying, “My children love reading, hugging the Olaf doll [and] responding back to Olaf's questions in the book. I'm even thinking about letting my mother-in-law use it for her kindergarten class for a week.” Another reviewer, who also gave the book five stars, simply said, “Great gift. What kid doesn’t like Frozen?” They aren’t wrong. And of course, there was a comparison to the Elf on the Shelf, in which one reviewer said, “We love Olaf! It sure beats finding the Elf. Our girls love to find him and give him a hug.” This book and stuffed Olaf is even showing up in schools, where he only shows up if he "sees kindness, students listening, and following school rules," as was explained on Twitter.
There is even a Pinterest board featuring “Hide and Hug Olaf Ideas.” So you know it’s popular. If this looks like something you’d love to get your kids just in time for the holidays, you can purchase it on Amazon for (depending on seller, prices range from $20 to $26 right now), or you can look for it at other retailers that sell books. Frozen’s Hide-and-Hug Olaf is written by Kevin Lewis and illustrated by Olga Mosqueda, with a TTPM editor’s rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars for fun, repeat play, and assembly and instructions. Maybe let your Elf have some much needed holiday time off and give Olaf a try.