From School Library Journal
Grade 3-5-On Christmas Eve, widower Gunther, a generically 19th-century German cobbler, misses his wife and son. A stranger, Carrie, appears with her two children to give him a candle for the window, to invite the Christ Child to enter into his home and heart. Something Carrie tells him galvanizes Gunther into preparing for Christmas. More visitors appear-a sick woman, a poor man, and a homeless child-and he gives them food and clothing. Now he worries that he will have nothing to give the Christ Child when He comes to visit. When Carrie and her children reappear to tell him what readers have already figured out, that the Christ Child had indeed visited him (in the guise of his other visitors), the cobbler realizes that the beaming Carrie and her children are angels. Elliott's hyperrealistic, romanticized illustrations resemble posed photographs of contemporary people in a reenactment, minus telling details such as a beggar in his "threadbare" and "tattered" coat. A girl described as wearing "rags" and a "tattered shawl" looks more like a valley girl in fine woolens. The sanctimonious, overlong story includes German phrases and Bible quotations.-S. P.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
ìThereís a beautiful old legend that the Christ Child walks about on Christmas Eve seeking to enter the hearts of men. And itís a candle in the window that invites Him across the threshold.î Grace Johnson is the author of two novels, The Rebel and Tempest at Stonehaven, as well as numerous short stories. She also writes and produces dramas for The Spring Creek Players, a touring troupe that performs for thousands of people each year. Johnson lives in Rockford, Illinois.
Mark Elliott has illustrated numerous books, including those in The Princess Tales series, which have all been Newberry Honor Award winners. His work has been exhibited in several shows at the Society of Illustrators and The Art Directors Guild. Elliott lives in Stanfordville, New York.