Sunday, October 26, 2014

"Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf" by Dorothea Jensen

Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf
(Santa's Izzy Elves Book 4)
by Dorothea Jensen

Frizzy, the S.A.D. Elf, the fourth book in Santa's Izzy Elves series, is recommended for children ages 4 to 10. Also available: Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf, Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf, and Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf.


Santa’s Izzy Elves stories are not your usual picture books – older kids who enjoy playing with words and rhythmical verse will love them, too. One reason for this is that although their stories are told in verse echoing the famous 19th century poem: "A Visit From Saint Nicholas", Santa’s Izzy Elves are definitely 21st century, with electronics galore!
Frizzy the S.A.D. Elf is the fourth of these poetic tales. In this story, Frizzy, one of Santa’s Izzy Elves, styles the hair of Christmas dollies, but misses them dreadfully when Santa takes them away on Christmas Eve. (She suffers from S.A.D.: Seasonal Affection Distress.) Frizzy decides she needs to change her job so she doesn’t get so attached to the toys she works on. She starts making something completely different but soon finds that her plan isn’t going to work out exactly as she intended!

Book Video

‘Twas the morning of Christmas, and Frizzy felt low.
(She always felt so when she saw her dolls go.)
For cutting and curling their hair were her duties,
She’d worked the whole year just to make them all beauties,
Fashioning finger waves, pigtails, and curls,
Making sure that her dolls would delight little girls.
But she found herself missing them after they left,
And each Christmas Day, she felt downright bereft.
This is one time too many, she said to herself.
I’ll not go through this again—no, not this elf!
I’m going to ask Santa to change what I do
So I can make things that won’t make me boo hoo.
I’ll go to the Elfgym to blow off some steam
And figure out how to achieve my new dream:
To stop grooming dollies and do something new.
But what can I ask for, and what can I do?

She needed to talk with a friend, without doubt
To come up with ideas and to figure it out.

Praise for Santa's Izzy Elves
Book 1 (Tizzy): "Tizzy, The Christmas Shelf Elf is a clever holiday read-aloud story featuring two excited siblings who sneak down early Christmas morning and discover a very special surprise. Only through their discovery of the magic of books do they find a way to send Tizzy back home. Kudos to the author for highlighting the importance of books! I recommend this book to be read aloud to children ages 5 and older." ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews
Book 1 (Tizzy): "This is a delightful and cleverly written rhymed poem, sprinkled with echoes of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' with a similar rhythm and rhyme scheme but not a slave to it." ~ 5 Star Review, Carolyn P., Amazon
Book 2 (Blizzy): "Such a wonderful mystery and perfect for pre-readers and those getting ready to read. Jensen has a very creative personality put to good use while developing this series about Santa’s elves.” ~ 5 Star Review, Gene G., Amazon
Book 2 (Blizzy): "Any kid would love this poetic bedtime story." ~ 5 Star Review, robinsm, Amazon
Book 3 (Dizzy): "I love the story and especially the artwork in this book. A great read for my children for the upcoming Holiday." ~ 5 Star Review, Ben L., Amazon
Book 3 (Dizzy): "If you haven’t read this series, you are missing out! The Izzy Elves are awesome, and the Dizzy story is really our family favorite so far." ~ 5 Star Review, BookLover, Amazon

My Review
Frizzy designs dolls for the children. The only problem is that she has to give them away at Christmas, which she can't bear doing. So she decides to ask Santa for a new job. Dizzy the Elf diagnoses her with S.A.D, (Seasonal Affection Distress) and gets her to design monster trucks, which she also sadly has to give away. Frizzy then decides to take her prettifying talent to a whole new level and gives each of the elves a makeover. But no one but Frizzy is happy with the results. Frizzy then tries it on the monster trucks, but the boys don't like them. Of course Santa comes up with the perfect solution.
This is a story told in rhyme, in a style reminiscent of "Twas The Night Before Christmas". The author comes up with some very clever rhymes, but younger children might find it a bit difficult to read, even with an adult's help. The paragraphs should have empty space between them so that the text doesn't look so daunting. I also found the illustrations by Shayne Hood to be a bit flat and lifeless. However, I loved the friendly interactions between the elves, the approachability of Santa, and the fact that Santa now uses computerized wish lists.
A good modern Christmas story for today's kids.

About the Author
Dorothea Jensen, called "Deedy" by her elves, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Carleton College, and a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Education from the University of New Mexico. She is the author of The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, an award-winning novel for young readers about the American Revolution. Named an International Reading Association’s Teachers’ Choice Selection soon after publication, it is read in schools throughout the United States. More recently, Riddle earned a first prize in the historical fiction category of the 2014 Purple Dragonfly Award, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published an ebook edition in 2014, twenty-five years after its original release.
Deedy recently completed A Buss From Lafayette, another historical novel for middle graders. She is now working on a new story, set in seventeenth century Massachusetts, called A Scalp on the Moon. The fifth Izzy Elf story, featuring Bizzy, is also in the works.