Skat and the Princess Brat
by Christyna Jensen
Trafford Publishing

"My name is Darling Rosebud. Everyone loves me. You will love me, too, when you get to know me."

Skatrosenknup, otherwise known as Darling Rosebud to his mother and Skat to his friends, is a light elf. Son of Nikke the Nodder and Sko the Shoemaker, Skat is born with rosy pink cheeks and golden curls that look like "a handful of gold coins scattered across his head." All of the light elves of Elfin Meadow gather to celebrate his birth on his name fastening feast, including the gold-obsessed king of the elves, who was not invited to the celebration. Although he has more gold than he can use, King Guld finds that he is not nearly as happy as Sko. Even after King Guld has confiscated all of his gold, Sko continues to sing his happy song. The king decides that in order to be as happy as Sko, he must have all of Sko's belongings. King Guld's greedy and callous ways break Sko's heart, killing the new father instantly. Knowing that King Guld's greed is boundless, Nikke fears King Guld will take her son, too. Once he sees Skat's golden curls and happy face, he will want Skat all for himself. Desperate and afraid, she and her sister resign to keep Skat locked inside their home forever, or as long as they can keep him from sneaking outside on his own.

A short year later, Skat embodies exuberance, curiosity, and love. Although he learns more about life in his first day outdoors than many light elves learn in a lifetime, he remains courageous and forgiving even in the face of a vengeful princess, a ravenous house cat, and an indignant god. Jensen's large cast of characters and eventful tale is certain to capture the imaginations of young readers while folding in a lesson or two about kindness and respect for others. A new generation of readers will also meet Norse mythology figures, such as Thor, Odin, and Freya, as Skat fights to reestablish Elf Home's rightful place in Asgard. Throughout the tale's many twists and turns, young readers will come to know "the bravest are not always the biggest and strongest creatures."

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