Author: Dorothea Jensen
Illustrator: Michelle Alfonso
Publication Date: November 28, 2013
Publisher: Independent – Elf Enterprises, LLC
Recommended Age: 5+
Reviewed by: Renee (Mother)
A MOM’S CHOICE AWARD recipient, this book is now fully illustrated!
Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf is the first of the Santa’s Izzy Elves stories in verse. In it, naughty Owen and Alex sneak downstairs early on Christmas morning before their parents are up and open one of their big presents from Santa. To their astonishment, they find Tizzy, one of Santa’s elves, has been packed inside by mistake. Tizzy, desperate to get back to the North Pole, points out that Santa’s sleigh is powered by the imaginations of children, and asks the two boys to use the power of their own imaginations to send him home. But how?
Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf is available as a fully illustrated print book and as an audio book from Amazon.com.
My Thoughts: Tizzy, The Christmas Shelf Elf is a lovely rhyming book begging to be read aloud in the tradition of the classic poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas”, more commonly known as “Twas The Night Before Christmas” penned by Clement Clarke Moore. In this version, “Twas the morning of Christmas and way before dawn…” and two brothers, Alex and Owen, tiptoe down the stairs to get a sneak peek at their presents. While they desperately are hoping for video games, they are disheartened to discover that they instead were gifted … books! *gasp*
They are even more surprised to discover a tiny elf, Tizzy – one of S.C.’s (i.e., Santa Claus) elves – who was accidentally packed into a present. Alex and Owen try a number of ways to return Tizzy to his home, but they soon discover that there is magic deep within the pages of books. The boys must hurry though, as they hear their parents coming down the stairs, and they are about to unknowingly place Tizzy in grave danger.
What I love the most about Tizzy, The Christmas Shelf Elf is that it is a true “read-aloud” story. While the book is indeed illustrated beautifully by Michelle Alfonso. I think children will be totally captivated by the story. There are some funny passages such as when the boys mistake Tizzy for a mouse and Tizzy gets chased by characters in the video game. The author also provides some tension to the story such as when the parents throw the packing fluff into the fire and the boys are afraid that this spells the end for Tizzy. All in all, this rhyming book is perfect for reading aloud to children of varying ages.
I do feel I have to provide a bit of a warning. The word density on each page is very high (i.e., approximately 30 lines of rhyming text on each page) such that it does take a few minutes to read each page. All in all, the story is much longer than the original poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas”. That being said, the story is very engaging and I do believe it will easily capture children’s imaginations as it is read to them. I do, however, wonder if a child sitting down to read it by themselves will keep their interest throughout. Read it aloud!!
My Bottom Line: 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.
About The Author: Dorothea Jensen
Dorothea Jensen was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Chillicothe, Illinois. She majored in English Literature at Carleton College. After graduation, she taught high school English, then served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South America. Later she earned a masters degree in Secondary Education (with a concentration in TESOL) at the University of New Mexico. She has lived in many places, including: Brazil, Tennessee, New Mexico, Virginia, the Netherlands, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, and New Hampshire. Married to her Carleton classmate, David, she has three grown children and six grandsons.
Tizzy, the Christmas Shelf Elf is Dorothea’s first story in verse, which she hugely enjoyed writing and reading. She has now completed two sequels, Blizzy, the Worrywart Elf, and Dizzy, the Stowaway Elf. The first two are recipients of the Mom’s Choice Award. All three stories are available in fully illustrated Kindle and trade paperback editions, as well as audiobooks narrated by the author herself. Dorothea plans to write a story for each of the remaining Izzy Elves — Frizzy, Bizzy, Whizzy, Fizzy, and Quizzy.
She is currently working on another historical novel for young readers. It is set in 1825 in the small town in New Hampshire where she has lived since 1991.
In addition to writing, Dorothea is an experienced actress and singer. She performed with the Ex Machina Baroque Opera Company in Minneapolis, and also played most of the Gilbert and Sullivan battle-ax contralto and ingenue mezzo roles with companies in Philadelphia and Minneapolis. The last time she played a ditzy G & S teenager was when she was 44, which required a wig, contact lenses, false eyelashes, and plenty of make up!
For more information about Dorothea and her books, please visit http://www.dorotheajensen.com/
* I was given this book free-of-charge by the author in exchange for our honest opinion. All opinions expressed are our own. The author contacted us to participate in our Book Promotion Program where we will tweet and share information about this book and the author.*