The Lump of Coal
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The Lump of Coal

4.1 28
by Lemony Snicket, Brett Helquist
     
 

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This is a story about a lump of coal who can think, talk, and move itself around.

Is there a more charming holiday tale to behold? Probably, but Lemony Snicket has not written one.

Overview

This is a story about a lump of coal who can think, talk, and move itself around.

Is there a more charming holiday tale to behold? Probably, but Lemony Snicket has not written one.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Laura J. Brown
Lemony Snicket, the author of the series, "A Series of Unfortunate Events," has written a surprisingly witty and delightful Christmas story about a lump of coal. A lump of coal, traditionally the dreaded stocking stuffer from Santa Claus to children on the Naughty List, is not such a dreaded gift at all if you are an abstract artist. Lemony Snicket reminds readers that Christmastime is a time of stories and miracles and the greatest miracles of all are pursuing your dreams. This is the cause of the lump of coal, who could walk, talk, dresses in black, and dreams of becoming a great artist. His only problem is he needs a hand to guide him. It is during the holiday season that he began his search for an artist that will draw with him so they can make beautiful art together. He goes to an art gallery, a logical place to go, but is turned down with disdain. Everywhere he goes, he is rejected. This hurts him very much. He knows he does not want to wind up in a barbeque pit and considers burying himself deep in the ground so after many years he will turn into a diamond. He may have been rejected and discouraged, but he decides not to give up on his dream. It is at this time that a miracle happens. If you love Christmas stories, then this one will be a welcomed addition to your collection. It is truly a gift. Reviewer: Laura J. Brown
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

In this tale of Christmas miracles, Snicket chronicles the adventures of an anthropomorphic lump of coal with a dream. The "small, flammable hero" meets his share of naysayers and phonies on his quest to be an artist. He eventually becomes despondent and settles for something that is "better than nothing." It is when he least expects his miracle that it occurs, enabling him to fulfill his destiny. Snicket's trademark arch humor delivers plenty of laugh-out-loud moments en route to the happy ending. Longtime collaborator Helquist brings the characters to life with simplicity and charm. The lump of coal is sufficiently lumpy and elegantly dressed. Those who would stand in his way are ridiculed with appropriately subtle visual barbs. The entire saga is presented in a seven-inch-square volume that is thought-provoking and captivating, and sure to be in demand.-Linda Israelson, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
One might say that Snicket, author of the wildly successful A Series of Unfortunate Events, and Helquist, the illustrator of same, have diminished their talents with this short, illustrated Christmas story about a talking lump of coal. Suspend judgment here, dear reader, and remember that in the hands of a clever writer almost anything can become a character. This particular lump of coal has artistic aspirations, dresses in a suit and bow tie and not only reads but speaks in complete sentences as well, unlike most lumps of coal. Minor miracles occur when the lump of coal and a teenage boy combine their creative abilities, resulting in artistic works that sell for enormous amounts, leading to travel and business success. A final page speaks gently of the value of all minor miracles, especially at Christmas. The volume's size, as well as the book in general, may strike many as diminutive, which here means small in stature, but make no mistake as to its usefulness, as many a Christmas stocking will accept such an endeavor in lieu of a real lump of coal. (Picture book. 8 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061574283
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/30/2008
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
819,896
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
NC1350L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lemony Snicket had an unusual education which may or may not explain his ability to evade capture. He is the author of the 13 volumes in A Series of Unfortunate Events, several picture books including The Dark, and the books collectively titled All The Wrong Questions.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Bedtime for Bear, which he also wrote, to the New York Times–bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket to the glorious picture book adaptation of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Snicket is something of a nomad. Handler lives in San Francisco, California.
Date of Birth:
February 28, 1970
Place of Birth:
Handler was born in San Francisco in 1970, and says Snicket's family has roots in a land that's now underwater.
Education:
Handler is a 1992 graduate of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.
Website:
http://www.lemonysnicket.com

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The Lump of Coal 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
mme_bosquet More than 1 year ago
I liked and bought the screaming latke book a few years back and thought that would be the only holiday offering from the always-amusing Mr. Snicket. So I was delighted to find The Lump of Coal, which is even better. And I had a great excuse to buy it-a stocking stuffer for my husband. (Which means, of course, that I get to read and enjoy it, yet I look generous by giving it away.) It's a win/win. I eagerly await something soon for either Ramadan or New Year's. Maybe then he will branch out to holidays outside of December. The Blue Valentine, perhaps? Or The Freakishly Five-leaf Clover for St. Patty's? The possiblities abound!
mommy_luvs_books More than 1 year ago
Lemony Snicket is such an interesting author. He has written this original story about a lump of coal, and what an interesting story to add to your Christmas collection! Most kids are afraid of getting a lump of coal for Christmas, but this "Lump of Coal" story adds a twist to the typical naughty kid gift. My kids also have another fun book about a little boy who is afraid to get a lump of coal "Jake the Snake and the Stupid Time-Out Chair." These two books would make a wonderful duo for the Christmas season!
vampire123 More than 1 year ago
This book is so awesome and your children and you will enjoy this book!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lemony Snicket and Brett Helquist have done it again. This is a very unusual holiday tale. For so many years of being the threatened gift for bad children, we have a tale about a erudite lump of coal wearing a very nice black suit and tie. A lump of coal who exceeds beyond his wildest dreams. This story turns dear Charles Dickens on his brillant head.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my little sister who loves Lemony Snicket, and my whole family ended up reading it. Its a great book!
MerryThoughts More than 1 year ago
As only Lemony Snicket can do, he has written another quirky tale that you will want for your bookshelf. I picked up the book when I saw the name Lemony Snicket, but I read it cover to cover because the story is great.
serviceKP More than 1 year ago
My child and I enjoyed reading this. Lemony Snicket definately has an odd sense of humor. His old fashioned style drawings set a special nostalgic mood. The irony may prompt good discussions of what is proper in prayer and speaking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm afraid I can't review a book which was unavailable on my simple version of Nook. Very unhappy about that.
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barbiegirl123 More than 1 year ago
I think this book will be great for kids that like to think whats going to happen next!!! This book is a unforgettable story; you will cry at the ending cause then he knows where he belongs and he's very happy!!!so you should remember that this book is not something you would want to read by yourself!! So have a great time with your family reading this book!!!ENJOY!!!!
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IS IT A PICTURE BOOK OR A NOVEL? I REALLY NEERLD TO KNOW