Santa's Disasterous Christmas is the latest book by Doris Voss Dasenbrock. Santa’s Christmas has gone amok when completed toys that were ready for delivery were found damaged. It was a disaster. 6 Jovial elves in Santa’s workshop find the culprit to be the work of one bad elf. The bad elf needs to be punished. But workshop elves think Santa’s punishment seems like a reward for bad behavior. How do they “fix” this injustice? Then one night the bad elf decides to “test” Santa’s sleigh causing global havoc. The sleigh appears as a box-like blip with no reindeer found on the surveillance screens of NORAD and other observatories. He is tracked in both hemispheres causing rumors of aliens. On Christmas Eve a Super TYPHOON catches Santa and the bad elf by surprise. When the remaining toys have been delivered, more trouble is discovered with news of a huge toy mix-up. What can be done to make everything come out right? Find out how NORAD helps Santa work through the disaster to save the meaning of Christmas.

Butterfly, Butterfly

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This Madam Zucchini poem story is a descriptive, factual, and somewhat scientific look at the life of butterflies. It describes their whimsical nature, their manner of comings and goings, and the danger they sometimes find themselves in. It incorporates and illustrates the four stages in the life cycle of these beautiful, fanciful, fragile and capricious living creatures. A variety of butterflies are beautifully illustrated by the author. Reading Level Grade 6-8.

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Written and illustrated by Doris Voss Dasenbrock (aka Madam Zucchini), this is the first book of a series about the ancient and mysterious creatures called Gnomes. It introduces WHOO, a wise owl of many years. WHOO is able to disguise himself as other creatures and can only be discerned when one of his eyes appears green. WHOO's friend, Sheer Luck, is a loveable but bumbling serendipitous squirrel. Their mission is to discover if Gnomes really exist, what they might look like, and where they might be found. Lower level book suitable for grades 2-3.

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The Night Marauder

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This is a poem story about Madam Zucchini and The Gardener. They get multiple surprises when they discover what is happening in Madam Zucchini’s Garden of Surprises during the evening hours. The story develops into an investigation of what is happening at night. This poem story is a nature and animal lover’s delight. It captures the essence of wilderness inside a well-populated suburban community. Reading Level Grade 6-8.

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The modest sized, abundantly planted backyard garden is in a typical small town suburb setting, not near any forested or park area. Yet, numerous animals visited Madam Zucchini’s backyard unknown to her and The Gardener until he set up the BirdCam™ which photographed the various animals all night. A mystery developed over the disappearance of a corncob. This story describes how they worked to discover which of the animals was responsible for the theft of the corncob. Suspects were: a squirrel, a raccoon, a fox and a skunk. Reading Level Grade 7-8.

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“The Spider and the Fly” is a rhyming nature poem story that centers on a spider that worries about where to best build her web. She chooses a site and is rewarded with a guest-victim fly that becomes trapped in her web. She later catches a mosquito which she quickly eats for a snack. She is a curious, inquiring spider, and to satisfy her curiosity, she generously takes pity on the stricken fly. She bargains to release him if he will tell her the three things flies most like to do. The fly makes a silent vow if released and the spider must honor her word to release him if he complies with her request. When he does as she asks she becomes furious at his revelations. Having to make choices and their consequences are reviewed. Story includes spider and fly facts at the end of the tale. Grade levels 5-8

Doris Voss Dasenbrock (aka Madam Zucchini) is also an accomplished artist.
You can see her artwork by clicking on this link.

Madam Zucchini’s Garden Rhymes and Poem Stories are nature themed; most nature tales describe the comings and goings of the creatures that visit her garden. They are an observational commentary, written in a flowing free verse rhyming style that describes the creatures’ daytime and/or nocturnal activities. Her Garden Rhymes and her Poem Gnome Series are intended for the enrichment of children, often with a moral lesson embedded in the story. They often contain scientific facts presented in an informative and imaginative way which will stimulate inquiring minds to be aware of and learn more about the natural world around them. Adults may also find the free verse rhymes amusing when read to their children and grandchildren or for their own entertainment. The stories blend the school subjects of Natural Science and English poetry and vocabulary development in a unique manner.

The Gnome Series books are purely fictional tales with animals of nature as story characters that are often given unusual superhuman attributes. The creatures are fanciful and found in an imaginative mixed world of both historical realism and inventiveness. The first book in the series starts at an early grade level but advances rapidly to middle school grades.

All illustrations used in her Garden Rhymes (Butterfly…) and Poem Stories (What’s in a Gnome?) were rendered by Madam Zucchini in watercolor and ink in rich colors to bring the stories to life. All photographs used (The Night marauder and The Mysterious Corncob Caper) were taken by her or her husband, referred to as The Gardener, in some of her poem stories.

Santa’s Disastrous Christmas is a work of fiction, not a Poem Story and is unrelated to Madam Zucchini’s other Garden Rhymes. It describes what happens when a bad elf causes damage to toys, takes joy rides in Santa’s sleigh and causes NORAD’s involvement to quell reports of aliens invading the earth. Vividly illustrated by Doris, it is 85 pages long and a joy to read for children as well as adults.

About Her Name

Doris Voss Dasenbrock (aka Madam Zucchini) spent many hours in the kitchen baking with her son when he was young. One of her favorite recipes and also his favorite because he could help "mix" was zucchini bread. He started calling her 'Madam Zucchini' whenever they would bake, no matter what they were making, and the name has stuck with her.

Madam Zucchini's zucchini bread recipe

To learn more about Doris click here.

To email Doris click here.