The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Overview

The classic Christmas tale in an elegant new vertical trim size, with completely new notes from the author and the illustrator and a CD narrated by James Earl Jones.

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 ...

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Overview

The classic Christmas tale in an elegant new vertical trim size, with completely new notes from the author and the illustrator and a CD narrated by James Earl Jones.

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.

The widow McDowell and her seven-year-old son Thomas ask the gruff Jonathan Toomey, the best wood-carver in the valley, to carve the figures for a Christmas creche.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Now with a new cover and new size (8 11/16" x 7 7/8"), The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (1995) by Susan Wojciechowski, illus. by P.J. Lynch, pairs what PW's starred review called an "elegant, poignant" story, about the spiritual reawakening of a bitter man, with richly detailed watercolors of an early-American setting.
Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The story of Jonathan Toomey, a widower who has withdrawn from the world, only to be brought back to rejoin life by a widow and her son, is a true Christmas treat. The touching story is made more poignant by Lynch's illustrations. His opening pictures of Toomey reveal a man in the shadows-grumpy and sad. As he and the young boy spend time together, the colors lighten and life brightens. A tour de force by author and illustrator.
Hazel Rochman
"Christmas is pish-posh," grumbles Jonathan Toomey, the best wood carver in the valley. He's a Scroogelike recluse; but he's a gentle grouch, it turns out, and he hides a sad secret. He's transformed, not by Dickensian ghosts, but by an eager seven-year-old boy and his widowed mother who ask him to make them a Christmas creche. The story verges on the sentimental, but it's told with feeling and lyricism (he "traveled till his tears stopped" ). Lynch's sweeping illustrations, in shades of wood grain, are both realistic and gloriously romantic, focusing on faces and hands at work before the fire and in the lamplight. In a beautiful, elemental scene, the angry wood carver stands on the threshold of his home, disturbed by the gentle widow and her son who want his help and will transform his life.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763636296
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 9/11/2007
  • Series: Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Series
  • Edition description: Gift
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.81 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Wojciechowski, a former children’s librarian, is the author of numerous books for children, including a series of books about Beany, a lovable worrywart. She lives in York, Pennsylvania.

P.J. Lynch, one of today’s most revered illustrators, has won many awards, including the Kate Greenaway Medal twice — for THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEYand WHEN JESSIE CAME ACROSS THE SEA. He is also the illustrator of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good way to describe the goodwill of Christmas

    I chose this book to read-aloud to my 2cd grade class not only for the spirit of Christmas, but because of the complex relationships of the characters. There are many lessons to be learned here and many concepts to be explored: bitterness, lingering sorrow, hope, friendship, remembrance, perseverance,and doing your best. There is not enough religious inferences (if any) in the book to cause a problem in secular schools but for those who are able, there are parallels which can be made.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2009

    The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey

    This beautifully illustrated book has a touching message that you will want to read aloud to children and share with others. I bought several copies to share with friends and family this season. Great story and remarkable artwork.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Christmas Story Twist

    This book will become a definite classic in your home. It will be read over and over. The nativity scene from the boy's perspective is absolutely fabulous - get this book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2009

    A Tender, Touching Story

    This is a book that touches your heart about a crusty woodworker opening his heart again, and the sweet child and widowed mother's simple ways of helping him become whole again. Definitely a classic for your collection, and one I look forward to reading every year.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2008

    I very much recommend this book to any one with small children to whom they want to teach a lesson in gentleness and kindness

    This is a story about kindness and gentleness. It touched my heart enough that I want my own copy to share with the children in my life. I am a great-grandmother and I want to read it to my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and the children in our church family. The art work is wonderful. I also love how the author develops the relationships between the characters in the story. Heart warming and meaningful.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is a perfect melding of text and illustrations. The gentle tale unfolds slowly, which is appropriate to the era in which it takes place. There's a message, but it's not hard-hitting or maudlin. Suitable for young and old. The illustrations truly bring it to life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2010

    the best Christmas book ever

    I am thrilled to see this book back on the b and n online shelf. I had bought this book years ago and enjoy it each Christmas. It is the epitome of what the season is about-family and the healing miracle of love. It is a MUST buy. A great gift.

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  • Posted October 11, 2010

    Beautiful, Touching story about the spirit of Christmas

    This is a holiday classic that will be an enriching experience for your entire family. The story is a touching tale about how the carving a nativity set for a widow and her son heals the heart of a gloomy woodcarver. It truly reflects the spirit of Christmas and will put a tear in your eye. Set aside a special time each holiday to read it aloud with your family. It is the most inspiring children's book I have ever found!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 26, 2010

    Beautifully Written Story

    After reading other reviews, I purchased this book for my nephew for Christmas. I read it when it arrived and immediately purchased more for my other neices and nephews.
    The story is heartwarming without being corny. The idea that giving gifts of one's time and talents is one that is so often lost in our culture. This story shows them beatifully. It is also a story of redemption and self-forgiveness. What more could one ask of a Christmas story?
    I think kids of all ages will love this book.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Hopefully a new Holiday classic!

    This is a lovely Christmas story for the entire family. Read it a few times before the Holiday and on Christmas Day while driving to see relatives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    A reviewer

    If parents want. to buy a special book for their children this is one of the most special books they wiil enjoy for years to come and to pass on to their grand children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2002

    Quite simply, the best Christmas book.

    I have given more copies of this book to friends than I can count. If you can read this book out loud and keep your voice from cracking, you're a better man than I am! The illustrations are exquisite, but it's the incredibly simple, touching story which captures the growing relationship between a little boy and a withdrawn adult that has my kids asking for this book to be read to them on average once a week.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2000

    Loneliness and Grief defeated by the Spirit of Christ(mas)

    A truly great story of the innocent healing gift of children. A must read for the true believer that all in life will have a happy ending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2000

    Sweetest Christmas Story

    The Christmas Miracle has to be one of the sweetest, most heartwarming Christmas children's books that I have ever read. It's the story of a hard-nosed, grumpy old woodcarver whose sad life is turned into a happy one when a little piece of joy (and its widowed mother) move to town and make his acquaintance. Read it. I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 1999

    A Long Lasting Gift

    I first became acquainted with this book when a fellow educator read the book to a group of education leaders from across our state. After reading the book of hope and the true meaning of Christmas, she presented each listener with a small glass bottle filled with a few wood shavings. She had tied brightly colored ribbons to each bottle. The shavings in the bottle represented the impact that we can have on the lives of others by showing that we care and that the best gifts we can give are not ones that cost a lot of dollars. This book has greatly impacted the way I celebrate the holiday season.

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    Posted February 10, 2009

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    Posted February 9, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

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    Posted November 9, 2009

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