Phyllis Wheaton

The Story Of The Izzy Doll

Phyllis Wheaton: In The Mood For Peace: The Story oOf The Izzy DollIn The Mood For Peace: The Story of the Izzy Doll is a book about how families of our fallen soldiers handled their loss and how their creativity was the seed for legacy projects that are changing the world for the better. It is also a story about relationships and healing and how self-described ‘ordinary’ people did extraordinary things.

This book also delves into post-traumatic stress and the efforts of many to ban landmines worldwide. From the back cover of the book: In the Mood for Peace — the Story of the Izzy Doll tells how a grieving family coped with the death of their soldier son and how their actions inspired friends and strangers alike across Canada. Through their determination and willingness to change the world, the Isfelds uncovered a blueprint for Peace and have left behind answers capable of healing the world.

You will read about how Canadians gave back – one volunteer, one knitter, one crocheter at a time — inspired by a soldier’s ultimate sacrifice and his desire to bring joy and goodwill to the needy and the forgotten. With this book, the story of the Izzy Doll will now become firmly embedded in our folklore and history.

Genre: Historical, Non-fiction
Soft cover, 192 pages, B&W interior photos, Colour title page photos
ISBN 978-0-9681294-1-8

At the same time, you may also like to purchase Phyllis’s CD: “In Harms Way”, an eleven track CD featuring songs that complement the book, including “The Izzy Doll Song”, “Our Blue Berets” and Carol Isfeld’s, “My Son, Our Sons” (see YouTube clip below). The purchase and digital downloads of the songs are also available through iTunes

Book Cost: Can$26.50 + Can$10 Postage and Handling
CD Cost: Can$20 + Can$5 Postage and Handling
Purchases and digital downloads of the songs are also available through iTunes

Purchases by credit card or Pay Pal through Phyllis’s Website

Mail orders can be placed to the following address

Phyllis Wheaton
2621 46 St SE
Calgary, AB T2B 1L1

Phyllis Wheaton

Phyllis is a singer/songwriter/poet who lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. More information about Phyllis, is available on her blog, or visit Phyllis's website and find out more about her and her songs, particularly the Album, “In Harm’s Way” which is a tribute to Canadian Soldier’s, Past and Present.

Comments About The Book

Great work Phyllis-a story long overdue and beautifully done!

All the best,

General Lewis MacKenzie (Retired)

“Phyllis Wheaton’s thoughtful and touching words not only tell the incredible story of the Izzy Doll, but like the dolls themselves, cannot help but inspire a sense of compassion and hope; a fitting tribute to the Isfeld family and all those who have dedicated their lives to the eradication of landmines.”

The Honourable Elizabeth Hubley, Senator

Need an excellent gift for someone you care about? Here is a great book about peacekeeping veterans supported by a band of Canadians knitters who are the unknown and humble unsung humanitarians of Canada! They send packages of Izzy dolls and boomer caps through ICROSS CANADA to the children of war, the aids orphans and the child survivors of natural disasters.

Here is a gift for grandma, aunt Martha your Mom or for a CF person who has served this Great Nation in the hot spots of the globe. An excellent addition to your bookshelf and a story about a lot of folks you know. Our dolls were sent from Afghanistan, to Darfor to Haiti to Bosnia and to the Kibera Slums see attached photo taken in Kibera and at our feed the hungry programme.

“Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to help the Mine Removers and to ICROSS CANADA for our work in the field. This book will enhance your coffee table or bookshelf and will tell the story of one peacekeeper, his buddies and the peacekeeping veterans who still gather and ship the Izzy doll to the far corners of the globe.

Mark Isfeld gave his life for Canada and his Izzy dolls continues to make a difference in the hovels of the global village bringing smiles to the faces of the children of war, the HIV and AIDS orphans and the children of the poorest of the poor in the war torn countries on our battered and bleeding wee planet.”

Billy Willbond

Calgary Book Reviewer

You’ll never look at either a soldier or a doll in quite the same way after reading this book. It’s a memoir… and much more. It’s a plea for everyone not only to remember sacrifices, but to work toward a world where such sacrifices are unnecessary.

It’s a profoundly disturbing book. Through the eyes of soldiers, their families, their extended families and people they may only have touched briefly, it shines a light onto things we, the world, mostly don’t want to see. Once seen, we can never un-see again.

It’s also a tremendously uplifting book. We see through the eyes of those who have looked into the dark places, yet still can care deeply. It shows how the smallest gesture – knitting a doll – can ultimately help change the world.
We meet soldiers and those left to grieve when those soldiers pay the ultimate price for their moral stand. We see those grieving families turn that grief into actions that make the world a better place, one small step at a time. We see those steps getting longer, reaching farther, momentum still building today.

Well-written, well-researched, with a plethora of evocative photographs and poetry that will scorch your soul, Ms. Wheaton will change how the reader sees the world. And that’s a good thing.

Val (Robin) Ladouceur
Robin Banco Limited Editions

“I hated the book and loved it at the same time because it did take me right out of my comfort zone. You did a good job there – not many can keep someone reading even though they don’t want to, yet they absolutely must!”

Val (Robin) Ladouceur
Robin Banco Limited Editions

My eyes are bleary but I couldn’t stop reading. I have just finished skimming through your book. WONDERFUL! Beautifully written.

I had heard the story of the Izzy doll from Shirley and computer articles and have told the story many times to friends looking for knitters to help but now I know the real story. It brought tears to my eyes many times.

The many stories and impressions from the different folks connected to the dolls are both enlightening and fascinating. The many photos add visual dimensions that add reality to the story.

I can’t wait to reread it fully a.s.a.p. I also want, even more, to receive the print copy so that I may pass it on to my family and friends. I have a grandson in Petawawa, a Sargent in the infantry who is suffering from PT stress after 3 tours in Afghanistan and a son-in-law in Nanaimo who has seen service in Bosnia and Afghanistan. A must read for them as well as the few knitters that I have left to help me knit.

I have just given 200 dolls to the church for the Samaritan’s Purse shoebox gifts for foreign missions. I feel that I must pick up my needles and get busy tonight.

Dorene Benny (a knitter of the Izzy Dolls, Parksville, Vancouver Island)

Being a child of the 60’s and a devout peace-monger I approached this book with a sceptical, but open mind. I am glad that I did so because the pre-conceived notion I had held of soldiers being officially sanctioned murderers and pillagers was held up to the light of truth and found to be flawed. This well-written and researched work has created a shift in my perception that allows me to understand the human side of the combat engineers who risk their lives daily to defuse the mines and unexploded ordinance that are the deadly aftermath of armed conflicts. Kudos to Ms. Wheaton for presenting this touching and true-to-life saga of the Izzy Doll, and the courageous personal stories behind it.

Don Penner

I just want you to know how much I’ve enjoyed reading this and how perfect I think it is. I lost myself in the words and was amazed over and over again with your ability to write the love and emotion of this journey… With all due respect, Phyllis, you are a mighty fine author – all those profiled in the book would be enormously proud of you!

Ellen Kelly, Airdrie, Alberta

I had planned on reading half of it tonight and then the rest when I got back on the computer, but I just kept reading. It’s a remarkable story filled with insights from so many who have become involved in their own quest for peace. It’s sad, uplifting and so informative all at the same time…

Monika Goodwin, Markham Ontario

It is touching, moving and full of interesting information that the average person not associated with the military, wouldn’t know. It definitely shows what this family and others had to endure from their view with the military and how they brought people, despite their adversity, experiencing similar situations, together to help and get involved. How their actions made change: the delivering of the medal for instance, and so many other issues, by the gift of a simple doll and the impact that it made.

Linda Boston, Sudbury Ontario

I finished your book this morning and on behalf of all military families I would like to thank you! You have shown that military people are trying to promote peace, love and charity. I cried several times as it is so touching, moving and inspiring!

Bernice Toon (self described ‘army brat’)

Wow what a beautiful story and a remarkable family. Am so impressed with your ability to capture the Isfeld’s family’s honour, love, courage, dedication and strength, and how these attributes were so inspirational throughout the country and world. Your book was a phenomenal read with great details and history filled with wisdom and terrific anecdotes. There were parts when it seemed like I was in their home and accompanying the family on their journey. You have written about some horrendous events with sensitivity and tactfulness capturing highly emotional experiences for so many families impacted by the devastation of landmines and war. And, you have poignantly captured Mark’s compassion and his personal journey toward a world of peace. His vision and action as aptly described by Mandela.

Carol Bryson, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario