The Lump of Coal
  • The Lump of Coal
  • The Lump of Coal
  • The Lump of Coal
  • 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.

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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)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061574283
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
09/30/2008
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
894,571
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 6.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
NC1350L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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