The Mitford Snowmen: A Mitford Christmas Story

Overview

It's Christmastime in Mitford, and everyone's favorite characters are filled with holiday spirit. In The Mitford Snowmen, a swirling snowfall brings them to Main Street for a snowman-building contest complete with doughnuts, hot chocolate, and contagious good cheer. A charming small trim size and enchanting four-color illustrations make this the perfect way to visit Mitford—and gather a heart full of Christmas joy.

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Overview

It's Christmastime in Mitford, and everyone's favorite characters are filled with holiday spirit. In The Mitford Snowmen, a swirling snowfall brings them to Main Street for a snowman-building contest complete with doughnuts, hot chocolate, and contagious good cheer. A charming small trim size and enchanting four-color illustrations make this the perfect way to visit Mitford—and gather a heart full of Christmas joy.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

It’s Yuletide in Mitford, and the big news in town is the First Annual Snowman Jubilee. Father Tim and Uncle Billy have teamed up on an entry they think is a shoe-in, but they face some tough competition from Percy and J.C. With everyone so busy trying to win, will they ever remember the true meaning of the holiday?

The charming, small-format, illustrated gift edition will be a special treat for every Mitford fan, both at Christmas and throughout the year.

Wall Street Journal
...although [Ms. Karon's] books are full of wry humor, she is serious about providing...[an] alternative to the "murder and mayhem" that dominate mass culture.
Publishers Weekly
Karon draws readers into a cozy Mitford short story centered around the town's familiar and beloved eccentrics. The plot is as fluffy as the snow falling outside the Main Street Grill, but this hardly matters; readers will find what they are looking for in the warmth of Mitford's imaginary setting. (Where else but Mitford could an entire town spontaneously stop its workday activities for an impromptu snowman-building contest?) Karon's trademark humor is much in evidence here, though the usual themes of personal faith are surprisingly absent; since this is a Christmas story, that lacuna is a bit disappointing. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670030194
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Series: Mitford Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 148,952
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Jan Karon
Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."

Karon is currently working on a fifth Mitford novel to be published by Viking. A Mitford cookbook and two novellas are scheduled to follow.

Biography

Jan Karon, born Janice Meredith Wilson in the foothills of North Carolina, was named after the title of a popular novel, Janice Meredith.

Jan wrote her first novel at the age of ten. "The manuscript was written on Blue Horse notebook paper, and was, for good reason, kept hidden from my sister. When she found it, she discovered the one curse word I had, with pounding heart, included in someone's speech. For Pete's sake, hadn't Rhett Butler used that very same word and gotten away with it? After my grandmother's exceedingly focused reproof, I've written books without cussin' ever since."

Several years ago, Karon left a successful career in advertising to move to the mountain village of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, and write books. "I stepped out on faith to follow my lifelong dream of being an author," she says. "I made real sacrifices and took big risks. But living, it seems to me, is largely about risk."

Enthusiastic booksellers across the country have introduced readers of all ages to Karon's heartwarming books. At Home in Mitford, Karon's first book in the Mitford series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996 and again in 1997. Bookstore owner, Shirley Sprinkle, says, "The Mitford Books have been our all-time fiction bestsellers since we went in business twenty-five years ago. We've sold 10,000 of Jan's books and don't see any end to the Mitford phenomenon."

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

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    1. Also Known As:
      Janice Meredith Wilson
    2. Hometown:
      Blowing Rock, North Carolina
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 30, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lenoir, North Carolina

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One


At two-thirty, Mitford's Main Street Grill had fed the breakfast and lunch crowds and was officially closed. However, due to pressing business, three regulars and owner Percy Mosely were still hanging around.

    who was waiting for a sausage delivery from down the mountain. He squinted through the steamy front window at the swirling snowfall. The flakes were large and powdery, reminding him of when he was a kid living in Piney Cove.

    his green jacket. "If th' phone rings, call me."

    Skinner would have been glad to get back to work, or even knock off early and go home, but the mayor had recruited them as an advisory committee on the expansion of downtown parking, and their report was due tomorrow.

    with a paper napkin. He was sweating this one; he'd never been on an advisory committee before and he wanted to think smart and look good. It wasn't every day that a newspaper editor had a chance to be splashed across his own front page.

    "Given its central location on Main Street, it'd bring traffic in from th' whole county. Besides, it's crazy to Now off retail dollars to maintain a hokey little ball-park."

   

    blood pressure shooting through the roof. "I don't want to hear ballpark again in this dadgum conversation!"

    "We can always get land for another ballpark, but we'll never get another chance like this for downtown parking. It's time to expand our infrastructure."

    Where's Percy? Percy's th' oldest business on th' street and do you think he'd go for tearin' down th' ballpark to get a few more warm bodies in here? Nossir, and nobody else will, either."

    to a blast of cold air.

   

    down at the edge of the sidewalk, building a snow, man. "Come out here and help me knock this thing out, there's a contest on th' street!"

    was working on a snowman in front of the Collar Button, and down at Winnie Ivey's Sweet Stuff Bakery there was a whole hive of activity. He peered at Happy Endings Bookstore next door and saw Hope Winchester rolling out the midsection of a snowman as if her life depended on it.

    prize in this contest?"

    hardware an' a dozen doughnuts from Winnie's."

   

    J.C. out here."



    pant legs stuffed into his galoshes and his wife's felt hat jammed onto his head. He also wore gloves with both thumbs missing; under an ancient coat of his own, Rose's deceased brother's military jacket displayed a variety of tarnished war medals.

    loaf of bread a feller could take home," the old man told Percy. Uncle Billy's arthritic fingers clutched three dimes, a nickel, and two pennies, which he thought was a fair price. "I'll pay cash money, don't you know."

    tell the truth, he was tired of Bill Watson gouging a loaf of bread out of him every week for the last hundred years, but he wouldn't fret over it now, being the time of year it was.

   

    "There's a snowman contest on Main Street, and Percy wants to nab the prize for the Grill." He was huffing like a steam engine and had lost feeling in most of his fingers and toes.

    him. "Only thing is, hit's naked as a jaybird."

    nose—you know, the basics."



    "What's th' prize?"

    doughnuts."

    plain or glazed?"



    front of the post office, pulled on a crocheted hat that was gathering dust in the glove compartment, and marched across the street to Happy Endings. Having noticed that small groups of people were gathered up and down the sidewalk, she intended to investigate the commotion.

    Winchester, flushed and frozen.

    snowman with a book on its head. "What's its name?"

   

    looked again, thoughtful, then foraged in her pocketbook. "If that snowman's goin' to read, he needs a decent pair of glasses. I was goin' to run Ray's old specs up to Hope House, but see what you can do with these."

   

    look here! A whole caboodle of snowmen!" Three snow figures stood proudly in the space between the bench and the newspaper box.

    who was now minus part of his clothes and lacking a hat.

    over!"

   

    modest at the same time.

   

    see, now ..."

    himself. He wished he could quit grinning like an idiot.

    J.C. "Now lookit! Who's this?"

    Bill Sprouse over at First Baptist."

    Sprouse, hit's J. C., don't you know."

    lights were kind of different, a little somethin' to catch the judge's eye."

    of the loop. Wasn't this her town? How did these things happen without anybody saying doodley-squat to her? Next thing you knew, they'd be running the place themselves and doing a bum job of it.

    yelled.

    on her entry. "I saw everybody else doing it, so I thought I would, too."

    the mayor. Mule hated how the mayor got her way on nearly everything.

    workout.

    doin' it and that's how it happened. Winnie down at Sweet Stuff, she started it. Somebody asked her to be th' judge, but she didn't want th' responsibility."

   

    Uncle Billy. "They ain't no use to judge anybody's but our'n." He brushed snow off the bench so the mayor could have a seat. "You got your top winners right here."

    Jubilee," proclaimed the mayor, "I declare every entrant a winner, with free doughnuts and hot chocolate for everybody on the street!"

    launched two fists into the air with thumbs up, a campaign tactic she'd always favored.

    council, she thought, storming along in her fleece-lined boots to the Sweet Stuff Bakery. As the happy crowd fell in behind her, she calculated how she'd gouge the money out of the Parks and Recreation Committee. If that failed, she'd find the measly few bucks somewhere; after all, wasn't this her town, and wouldn't such a gesture be good for business in general? She drew herself up proudly as she advanced toward the bakery. Bottom line, didn't Mitford take care of its own?

    gallop as the twenty-six people in her wake formed an excited but orderly queue at Sweet Stuff Bakery.

    said to the mayor. "You go first!"

    the door and holding it open herself.

    on at their appointed hour. And suddenly, the whole of Main Street was softly illumined against


Excerpted from The MITFORD SNOWMEN by JAN KARON. Copyright © 2001 by Jan Karon. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


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Table of Contents

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2002

    A snapshot, taken at a very special moment...

    Jan Karon's novels are literary journeys into the heart and soul of Mitford. The Mitford Snowmen however was not. It is instead, a snapshot, taken at a very special moment, and meant to be treasured for the memories it evokes.The Mitford Snowmen captures the best of Mitford and I was not disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2002

    JAN KARON, SHAME ON YOU

    I have read all of the Mitford Series, and loved them. I am a big Jan Karon fan. However, I feel she milked her popularity on this one, and gave it very little effort. Not just because of the size, but also the content. It was boring & uninspiring. Shame on you, Jan Karon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2001

    A Quick Peek at Mitford

    My first thought after the first read of this tiny book was that it cost too much for such a short story. The pictures are well done and yes, it is cute, and yes, it has all the favorite Mitford characters 'in character.' But it was over so quickly. Then I gave it another shot, this time savoring it slowly. It was a little glimpse of a scene like those in a ball that, when shaken, stirs up the snow from the bottom. Magical. If you are expecting one of Jan Karon's novels, you may be disappointed. If you want a just a moment in Mitford at Christmastime I would recommend reading it slowly. Again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2001

    An Expensive Short Story with Little Plot

    This short story occurs before Christmas in Mitford, and people admire the Christmas lights and wish each other Merry Christmas. That¿s the essence of the Christmas story here. The 1200 word short story covers an impromptu snowman-building contest, with colorful water color illustrations. Mayor Esther Cunningham buys everyone doughnuts and hot chocolate. Apparently, this is a children¿s type book for adults. You will get a warm glow from the good cheer that the Mitford people bear towards one another. You can probably get more good cheer, however, from rereading another of Ms. Karon¿s books that you liked . . . and buy yourself some hot chocolate and doughnuts with the money you save. Most short story writers will feel that they could have done better with the same subject. I graded the book at one star for being misleading in its subtitle, ¿A Christmas Story,¿ and being a poor value for the money. If the book were free without the misleading subtitle, I would have graded it as a two star effort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2001

    Snow Midget

    Please don't bother. You pay over a dollar per minute of reading. I read the entire short, short, story whild waiting in line to pay for real books. Best just to wait until next year when a real Mitford book comes out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2001

    A Bedtime Story For A Child

    I had no idea what to expect from this book. When I ordered and picked it up from my local bookstore I was suprised and disappointed in its appearance. Although it is a cute little story, I read it within minutes and felt like my pocketbook had been taken advantage of. A nice bedtime story for the kids.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2001

    Delicious dessert????

    This book bills itself by saying 'if you find the Mitford novels a feast, you'll find the Mitford Snowmen a delicious dessert.' That may be true but this dessert barely filled my back tooth. The type in the book covers 4' x 3.5' of the page and there are only 23 pages to the book! Of those 23 pages, 14 have type with the remaining being graphics designed to sell greeting cards. Of the 14 with type, 5 also have graphics and two are half pages. Skip the book and, with the money you save, buy yourself a real dessert.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2009

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