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04 December 2012

{25 Days of Holiday Book Reviews}: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Our guest blogger today is my friend Julie!  Julie and I have known each other since probably kindergarten (maybe younger....we went to different schools, but the same church!).  We went to high school and James Madison together.  After that, I kind of lost touch with Julie, and felt bad about it.  And then one day, I went to visit a friend of mine living in Northern Virginia.  And she says, "I think you know my roommate."  AND IT WAS JULIE!  Because of our mutual friend and Facebook, I'm so happy to have been able to reconnect with Julie!  She's such a great person and I'm lucky to have her as a friend.  

Product Details
 written by Susan Wojciechowski:
& illustrated by P.J. Lynch:

Published by Candlewick Press in 1995 & (in my opinion) Appropriate for ALL ages!

Poetic language tells the tale of a gruff and unsmiling woodcarver whose encounter with a Widow
McDowell and her son Thomas one winter transform his life. The woodcarver agrees to carve figures to replace a lost nativity scene for the widow and her son and the story begins...

The vivid illustrations and language that flow throughout the book cause the reader to feel as if he or
she has entered into the story alongside its main characters.

I was first introduced to this story when my parents gave it to me as a Christmas gift, along with a hand carved nativity scene. I read the story once through and I knew that reading it would become an annual tradition. This children’s story is what Christmas means to me…

Patient (and not so patient) waiting,

a gentle kindness,
a spirit of selfless giving,
reflection on the true meaning of Christmas,
and spirits rejuvenated.

I read this book every year after I set out my nativity set.

It reminds me of the unbreakable true spirit that inspires and carries us through Christmas each year.

I hope that this year you will consider taking a look at this book along with me.

Perhaps this Christmas I will also watch the movie!

Summary and image from Amazon:
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.

Thank you, Julie! 


  1. Our pastor read this to the kids over the course of the Sundays in Advent. It is a great story. I don't have the book. But I should! Thanks for reminding me!


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