#797 – A Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas by Chrysa Smith & Pat Achilles

A Very, Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas
Series: The Adventure of the Poodle Posse, #5
Written by Chrysa Smith
Illustrated by Pat Achilles
The Well Bred Book     9/01/2015
44 pages     Ages 7—9

“In a Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas, you’ll experience the excitement that the holidays hold, the angst that Santa feels when Elfluenza strikes, the combined efforts of all the creatures of the North Pole to keep Christmas on track and a very unexpected and delightful present. An activity section in the back of the book provides amusement for ‘good little girls and boys.’” [author website]

Mrs. Flout and her five poodles, Woody, Archer, Daisy, and Bobby, are preparing for Christmas. While they write their lists and try to behave—Santa is watching—a problem is underfoot at the North Pole. Santa’s elves are becoming ill and there are not enough elves left to make toys, fill the sleigh, and other Christmas necessities. The local doctor—a normal looking guy for the North Pole—enlists the help of the forest animals. Every manner of animal shows up to help Santa. Soon the big guy is on his sleigh ready to spend another December 24th flying around the world, leaving gifts under Christmas trees.

pp5mixedup_animalshelpingChristmas morning the Posse wakes up to find Santa answered their wishes. Mrs. Flout received five new leashes. Five?! And what is that other present? It moves. Inside the gift are dozens of balls, just as Mrs. Flout said they needed. But there is also something else. Mrs. Flout calls customer service at the North Pole. Turns out . . . wait, I can’t tell you about the conversation. To eavesdrop, you need to read A Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas.

pp5vmmp26_27A Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas is a cute story for chapter book readers. Instead of chapters, the author uses dates, as if this were a journal. Each entry is short, perfect for new and reluctant readers to gain confidence as they complete entry after entry.  The cover reminds me of my reading books from elementary school. The tops of those books were color-coded, just like this series, with each age-level a different color.

The characters are adorable poodles, each with distinctive characteristics. Being a series, those who have followed the Poodle Posse know these dogs well. Those new to the posse will have no trouble finding their favorite poodle, each one is a character. (Stop laughing.) I’m trying to say each poodle has their own personality and quirks. Oddly, most of the action takes place at the North Pole, not with the poodles themselves. In this edition of the series, the poodle are secondary characters, with lots of character.

2Illustrations grace nearly every page. The black and white sketches enhance the story with the playful dogs and all the resourceful forest animals. I was disappointed to see the North Pole doctor looking like an everyday doctor. Being at the North Pole, treating elves and forest creatures, I expected someone more North Pole-ish; someone unique to the North Pole. Despite this, the illustrations will be liked by the young readers who have the opportunity to read this series.

Young readers will enjoy the sassy poodles and the North Pole chaos. Reading this one holiday story will entice young readers to read more of the series. The Adventures of the Posse Poodles makes a wonderful early reader series. The books are well-designed, well- written, and well-edited, The Adventures of the Poodle Posse will give its traditionally published competition a run for its money. Homeschooling parents should check out this series. Activities are included in the back of the book.

A VERY MERRY, MIXED-UP CHRISTMAS (ADVENTURES OF THE POODLE POSSE, #5). Text copyright © 2015 by Chrysa Smith. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Pat Achilles. Reproduce by permission of the publisher, The Well Bred Book.

Purchase A Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas at AmazonWell Bred Book.

Find A Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas on Goodreads HERE.

Meet the author, Chrysa Smith, at her website:  http://www.wellbredbook.net/about/
Meet the illustrator, Pat Achilles, at her website:  https://achillesportfolio.wordpress.com
Twitter           @Patachilles
Find more books at The Well Bred Book website:  http://www.wellbredbook.net/

The Adventure of the Poodle Posse Series
#1: The Case of the Missing Steak Bone & Who Let the Dogs Out?
#2: The Princess and The Frenchmen & No Dogs Allowed
#3: Creepy Tails
#4: Trouble Down Under

Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

A VERY MERRY, MIXED-UP CHRISTMAS by Chrysa Smith. Illustrations copyright © 2015 by Pat Achilles. Used by permission of The Well Bred Book.

Full Disclosure: A Very Merry, Mixed-Up Christmas (The Adventure of the Poodle Posse, #5) by Chrysa Smith & Pat Achilles, and received from The Well Bred Book, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


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