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The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey Hardcover – October 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 7
  • Series: Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763619302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763619305
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 8.4 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (126 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,727,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From 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. Ages 6-12.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4^-9. "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. Hazel Rochman --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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An endearing story that is beautifully illustrated.
Priscilla
Because few stories touched her Christmas heart, Susan Wojciechowski, wrote this story to bring out the real meaning of Christmas.
first words...God's breath
We read this book every year as a family tradition and our kids look forward to it as well.
Blakely Spillar

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 21, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I started reading this book to my now-seven year-old daughter two years ago. Clueless about the plot, I read on and on; by the end we were both sniffling away the tears. Jonathan Toomey has since become de rigeur holiday reading in our family. I think we like it so much not least because it seamlessly combines the religious message of Christmas with a very down-to-earth story about love, loss, and love - again. Also, the illustrations are pretty extraordinary. My only suggestion: The author and illustrator should immediately publish a dozen books like it!
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38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "y1read" on September 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book while browsing in the children's section of my favorite book store. After reading several pages, I had to shut the book and march up to the checkout, wiping my eyes a bit. I waited until I was at home to finish the book, so if I howled out loud, I wouldn't embarress myself. The true meaning of Christmas shines through this book, with a love story on the side, and some gentle humor. My children relate to the young hero in the book, and the illustrations are lovely. I now give this book as a great Christmas gift! You'll enjoy it.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on September 21, 2003
Format: Hardcover
THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TWOMEY is a simple and heartwarming story. The plot is simple enough. Jonathan is lonely and still mourning the loss of his wife and child. The pain of this loss makes it difficult for Jonathan to open up to others. Though many respect his talent as a wood carver, he is mistakenly judged as a miserable and mean spirited person. His life begins to change when a local widow orders a new manger scene and requests that her son watch Jonathan at work since the child hopes to be a woodcarver one day. The boy�s simple goodness as well as the magic of the Christmas story begin to have an effect on Jonathan and he is eventually able to accept the love that the mother and her son wish to offer him. The transformation is gradual and therefore rings as authentic.
Ms. Wojciechowski tells a beautiful story. She weaves her words in a masterful way that will certainly engage a child�s imagination. An as is the case in many stories labeled for children, the book holds universal truths that will touch an adult heart as well.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By tvtv3 TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover
THE CHRISTMAS MIRACLE OF JONATHAN TOOMEY is a charming book about the nature of patience and grace. Jonathan Toomey is a very sad and gloomy man. His wife and child died very young and he has never gotten over his grief. Children call him Mr. Gloomy, for they fail to see the beauty beneath. One day a young widow and her son show up, asking Toomey to make a nativity scence for them, replacing one they lost when they recently moved to town. Mr. Toomey agrees. His life is forever changed by the act.
The book is beautifully illustrated and has become a modern Christmas classic.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Katje L. Sabin on November 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a writer/editor that is always on the lookout for great books for my three kids (7, 11, 14). I don't even remember where I found this one, but it's my ALL TIME favorite Christmas story. It's got enough religion to keep the Christians happy, but the real message here is the miracle of the wonderful connections we can make with each other. I haven't met anyone who doesn't love this book. Do your family a favor and BUY IT NOW! It will become a tradition in your house, but be warned: you won't get through it without puddling up, and that, my friends, is a good thing. It really is. Merry Christmas to you all...
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By ardnam VINE VOICE on January 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tender story, exquisitely illustrated. I recommend this book in hardcover because it is classic and definitely a "keeper". Jonathan is a somber man who is touched by deep tragedy. He lost his interest in life until a young widow and her son ease their way into his heart. Very touching story. Children are enthralled with both the story and the illustrations.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Britt Arnhild Lindland on December 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Toomey is a sad and lonely man, living alone in the little village after his wife and little baby child died. Nobody talks to him, and he wants nobody. But then, one day a widow and her seven years old son come to see him, asking if he can make them a manger with all the traditional Christmas figures. The little boy, Thomas, loves to watch Jonathan when he works, and Thomas' mother brings small gifts in her very silent way, while Jonathan is working. In a beautiful told story Jonathan Toomey is helped by Thomas and his mother to look at his grief and by that he is helped through it.
Perfect for anybody who has lost somebody, and also perfect for anybody else as a Christmas story.
I am very happy to have this book, with the beautiful illustrations of P.J.Lynch in my growing collection of Christmas books.
Britt Arnhild Lindland
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I am an artist/author. I also teach art at the high school level and I usually pick up books that are strong in art to show my students and to study from myself. I am deeply impressed with the quality of this book. The compostions of the art layouts and word arrangements are outstanding. My sincere compliments to both the author and artist. I would love to hear back from them. Thank you
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