Elves Up North

Fiction - Holiday
46 Pages
Reviewed on 09/09/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

My name is L. L. Walters and I refuse to wrap a Christmas present if I am not totally in the holiday spirit. Each night, I sit in the floor with the sounds of the holidays playing. Smiling, I think happy thoughts as I wrap each gift of the season, with the hope that my joy will be passed on to the one who opens it for the entire year to come.

I am the mother of 3 as well as the grandmother of 3 beautiful children. I believe it is the job of every caregiver to figure out what makes someone "shine". My goal is to give another opportunity to take advantage of this magical season, to better understand those around us and to help create special memories to last a lifetime.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Elves Up North is an interactive, holiday-themed fantasy story book for children written by L.L. Walters. The author has designed this book so that parents and caregivers can read it as a whole or by chapter. Interspersed throughout the story are opportunities for children to become part of the story through the decisions they make, starting with a decision on learning more about the mission that the Maestro, a mysterious elderly man with twinkling eyes, needs help with. The Maestro is really a magical being with wizardly robes that reflect the golden lights of the fire that blazes merrily from his hearth. He’s been looking for assistance on a most important mission; one that involves traveling up to the North Pole and helping an elf up there named Castor. As children listen to the story, they are offered opportunities to take part in guided imagery exercises where they close their eyes and visualize the places they’re visiting, as well as performing modified calisthenics and simple body movements as their part in making the magic happen.

Elves Up North is an original and inventive work that gets kids directly involved in the action that takes place. I enjoyed seeing how Walters sets up the plot, starting with that visit to the Maestro’s little cabin in the woods. While I ordinarily prefer the visualization and guided imagery exercises, I found the inclusion of physical movements and exercises to be an intriguing addition to this offering as it will, no doubt, help some overactive kids get more involved in the action without feeling tied down and restless. The holiday aspects of this story bring a real feeling of Christmas cheer including, at one point, an opportunity for readers to sing Jingle Bells while visiting the Elves’ Great Hall. Walters gives the elves clever and funny names which add to the interactive nature of the tale as kids figure out the derivation of names such as Ginger Breadman and Ren Deer. And the quest the readers take, which is to help Castor, a very sad little elf, is a grand one indeed. Elves Up North Is guaranteed to get everyone in the mood for the Christmas season and it’s highly recommended.

Gisela Dixon

Elves Up North by L.L. Walters is a children’s story book meant to be read aloud to young kids. Elves Up North is designed in an interactive way so that children can participate throughout the reading of this book via words, and actions, even to the point of changing the story itself. The book starts with a brief summary of how to read this interactive book with its yes/no questions and the various “options” presented throughout the book for plot selection. The story then begins with an introduction to Maestro, an old wizard who needs help with one of the elves, named Castor, living in Santa’s Secret Village in the North. The story begins when the helpers go to Santa’s village and along with such characters as Misty the Mouse, Ren Deer, Ginger Breadman, and of course the Elves and Santa himself, they manage to find and recover the lost spirits of Castor the Elf.

Elves Up North by L.L. Walters is not a typical children’s book in the sense that it actively encourages and prompts readers and children to act out the story, interact with it, and help shape it. I found this format to be intriguing and it may be helpful to do this with a group of kids who can then act or play out the characters and plot together. The story and writing are quite fun and engaging. My only suggestion would be that perhaps the book would benefit from some cute and colorful illustrations to go along with the story. Overall, this is a fun, entertaining Christmas read that encourages children to use their imaginations.

Vernita Naylor

Does your child like fantasy stories? Have they ever wanted to become one of the characters in the stories that they read? Have they ever wanted to interact closely with the characters in their favorite books? Well, in Elves Up North by L.L. Walters, your child will not only be able to participate in this interactive book about elves, mice, The Maestro and others at Santa’s Secret Village, but they will get a chance to craft their own adventure. In this book, children are allowed three options in how they navigate through the story. This book is more than just a children’s story; it's an educational resource that will stimulate their lives while enhancing their cognitive skills.

I saw this book as an excellent learning tool and, despite the fact that it centers around Christmas, it will allow your child the ability to learn about choices, how to make decisions and to become a part of their life’s outcome. As they read the story, The Maestro proposes various actions, introduces games and ask questions of your child. In the book he may point to them and ask if they want to help, wave a magic wand, or open a door. Each step and option that a child takes helps them to create their own story while enhancing their creativity and imagination. This book not only focuses on the elements of Christmas with a twist, but with it your child can also improve their developmental skills.