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Thomas & the Christmas Orange: Storybook Advent Calendar Singles [Kindle Edition]

Lewis Brech , Laura D Lewis
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $2.99

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Book Description

From Storybook Advent Calendar

A charming story about giving and the simple things in life was inspired by a folktale about that orange that seems to appear in Christmas stockings each year. Thomas and his parents leave England in 1824. Tragedy strikes and despair and destitution follow, but warmth and love are returned from a simple orange. This is an instant classic and beloved by all who read it!

Product Details

  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 17 pages
  • Publisher: LEEP Publishing (October 30, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004AE3MOS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #824,789 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Two tissues up August 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was on the lookout for something to read to my little one when I ran across this story. I love reading about Christmas anytime of the year, and this short story was a perfect escape from the heat. This is a wonderful inspirational story for people of all ages. Thomas loses his parents on his voyage to America, but he gains a whole new one at the orphanage. His Christmas at the orphanage brought both tears of sadness and joy to my eyes.

It really is a heartwarming, inspirational story. I loved how the orange symbolized freedom to Thomas's father and this was passed on to him through the taste of the orange. I was completely enthralled by the children's response to Thomas's harsh punishment on Christmas. It's so easy to get stuck believing the worst of people. This story is a great reminder of, among many other things, of the sweetness of children and the good in all of us.

I will be reading more of these stories. I know my little one will love it when he is just a little older (I'd say this story would appeal to children 7 years and up, mine's a little younger). Highly recommend as a quick, heartwarming read for children and adults alike!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Uplifting August 17, 2011
By Donna
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved the way this story shows that if each of us gives even just a little bit, it adds up to quite a lot and even little things, to someone who is hurting, can mean so much. This is a perfect story for illustrating what I profess.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars quick read February 2, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
nostalgia made this short story delightful to read. Books like this are available for free online. I'm kicking myself now for spending money on this. It is poorly laid out and the "illustrations" seem more like fillers to me. Don't waste money on this. There are better versions of the story online
for free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By 4Nbahu
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First I would like to say that the story is very well written, the problem was that it was so buried in advertising the full book of "Storybook Advent Calendar" as well as some music. I have no issue that I get a free story as an incentive to purchase an entire book, as they authors have given a complete story.

My issues lie with the layout and illustrations of the story. As for the layout I had to hunt for the beginning of the story. Once I discovered the beginning of the story the formatting using multiple hard returns between each paragraph unnecessarily increased the number of page turns. It made the book seem amateurish or perhaps like a high school student trying to complete a 10 page story when she only has 7 pages of writing.

The other issue is that this is a children's story, I would think 8 years and above. That age group may not require a photo per page it still requires several full page illustrations. What the reader gets is 4 probably well done illustrations but they are so small as to make the point moot.

So if you want a well written poignant story with major flaws, get this. However, as this story is a retelling so you might be able to find it retold better elsewhere.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not What I Consider an Uplifting Chrismas Story January 15, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found the story to be more tragic and sad than uplifting. It was well-written and interesting and a good story, but the ending didn't bring enough good for me to outweigh the tragedies in the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not what i hoped for December 14, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this story for myself, but my 3 year had no interest in it. The other reviews I read mentioned reading it to kids but maybe they meant older kids because it's not really great for preschoolers.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars used for advertising November 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of the orange was meaningful but such a short couple of pages of what was downloaded with this "book" which then went on to advertise music they were trying to sell. i did not appreciate it and felt it was almost false advertising. Since it was free, I guess one shouldn't complain...but I still felt cheated.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars quick simple tale with good moral August 14, 2011
By Ann
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a sample of the book of stories that could be used to count down to Christmas. The tale would be good for a bed time story.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Sickly sweet
This is a sickly sweet Christmas-themed story with terrible clip art illustrations. A large part of the download is actually advertisements for other books and music sold by the... Read more
Published 14 months ago by morehumanthanhuman
5.0 out of 5 stars ty
good book ty for the reading and will order again
I love reading it gives me a break from reality
Published 18 months ago by Monroe's Mommy
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful and Inspiring...
I really enjoyed this story and was able to use it as
part of the message in a children's sermon, a sermon
at our local care center and our meditation thought
for... Read more
Published 23 months ago by therev
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Quick Read
Heartwarming; the story has its sad part but shows the good that others do when they reach out to someone in need
Published 23 months ago by Rebecca102
1.0 out of 5 stars Just an advertising
This is just an advertisement for music that is for sale. The story is just a lead in for the ads.I would not have downloaded if I'd known.
Published 23 months ago by sylvia
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice
This age-old story is still a favorite. I was pleased to find it on Kindle and read it to my husband who has dementia. He liked it.
Published 23 months ago by megs260
3.0 out of 5 stars The original is much better
I bought the kindle edition...editing issues. Story was a bit long and over detailed not only for young children but for adults too.
Published 24 months ago by Katherine Pilling
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful story!
I enjoyed Thomas and the Christmas Orange. It was a lovely story of hope in hard times. Makes me look at oranges in a different light! Read more
Published 24 months ago by S. Nyburg
5.0 out of 5 stars Tissues and a lesson
I was on the hunt for a short book for my daughter to read for Christmas. I found this one and decided to read it first to make sure it was acceptable. Oh my goodness!! Read more
Published on November 10, 2012 by Leigh Pritchard
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More About the Author

Lewis Brech is the writing team of Laura D Lewis and Michael Brech

Writer, artist, photographer, journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist

Born in Rochester, New York, Laura D Lewis is the eldest of two and grew up on the West Coast of the United States. She attended high school in Oregon and Brazil before graduating from Central Washington University with a BS in Marketing. The first years of her career included modeling, working in a paint store, fast food and retail in high school and a variety of restaurant positions.

In 1989 she began working for the Washington Post's Herald in Everett, Washington, first in circulation and later in advertising where she discovered her talents in art, photography and writing before leaving in 1995.

After spending a year in radio at KZOK in Seattle, in 1996 she moved to Los Angeles and began working for the Los Angeles Business Journal in advertising. Concurrently she began reporting as a freelance writer on issues dealing with the emerging technology of the Internet for other publications, while working on her first two short story collections.

Leaving the business journal in 1999, Laura founded Couples Company, Inc based upon the Eight Stages of Intimacy she identified after realizing that the majority of relationships break up due to a lack of attention in the areas of spiritual, emotional and intellectual intimacy. Covering the expected, advice on love, romance, dating and marriage, she discovered she enjoyed tackling the controversial subjects of faith, politics and finance. It was during this time she completed her first non-fiction book: Laid Off, Now What?!?: Surviving Unemployment.

By 2003 she found herself increasingly covering political and faith-based issues with an emphasis on the Middle East. In late 2004 she started working with Mohammed Omer on covering Gaza Strip for a number of international publications and The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs. Over the past six years they've won a number of journalism awards under his name.

Her focus on interfaith issues, history and the realities on the ground were noted and in 2008 she received an invitation to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to assist on the research for an upcoming book on oil, politics and the history of the Middle East. Upon her return, she skipped over the pond to England and joined forces with Michael Brech to pursue an idea she'd been thinking about since 2002. This idea is the Storybook Advent Calendar and Carols Collection. Concurrently she began rewriting her successful book Laid Off Now What, dividing it into four books covering the psychological, financial and job seeking strategies with an emphasis on the changes in tactics and tools for the Great Recession. Laid Off NowWhat?!? Thriving Financially through Unemployment was released in paperback in May of 2010.

Baptized and confirmed Lutheran, the majority of her spare time is devoted to working with various non-profits and faith-based groups seeking to end apartheid and bridge understanding between the three faiths of The Book. Laura currently resides in Los Angeles, California with her cat, Sinatra.

Musician, composer, lyricist, playwright, performer, poet and author

Born in Rochford, Essex, England Michael (Oliver) Brech began piano lessons at the age of 6 and by 9 years old was already composing. At the age of 13, took jazz lessons and began writing songs. When 16, without being asked, instigated composing the music for the school play - The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht - writing two thirds of it and which he alone performed at every performance. At 17, he was taken on by various managers and at 18 joined The Diamond Jack Band, a hard working group gigging their own songs, half of which were written by Michael, at least three times a week around Essex and London for about 3 years, with Michael using up to 3 keyboards on stage and singing. Though there was a lot of publishing and recording interest, there came a split and Michael started his own name band, The Michael Oliver Band, which performed in the same area for about a year till he found a new direction for writing.

Teaming up with lyricist Angie Gadd, they wrote a musical together called Sequester, which was performed at the Focus theatre in Southend, meriting a 3 week exhibition. In demand for his skill, Michael played keyboards with a few bands and then a period of playing quieter places, solo on piano, followed while he got his home studio together. At about this time, he also self-published, with co-writer Glen Sweeney, a book of poetry called Silent Voices, fully illustrated by two local artists, that merited a three week exhibition in Southend. Then there was a long period of learning the studio, getting into using computers for composing and this led to composing for films.

Michael teamed up with Terry Mendoza to write music for very successful amateur films such as The Shoot, a silent film, which won awards worldwide. Another film, Side By Side, the story of Christian and Muslim Arabs and Israeli Jews living together, is shown throughout churches and synagogues in the UK.

-In the meantime, Michael linked up with lyricist Jeremy Allard and a new tour-de-force of writing began. It was here that he changed his name to Brech because another writer with Jeremy was also an Oliver, and he chose the name as a nod to the playwright he had composed music to many years earlier.

Moving to Devon and with much work under his belt, Michael has had singers come to work with him from Europe and America. In 2004, Michael was invited by artist and sculptor Ben Shards to help put together Intericon, an exhibition of Light and Glass at Exeter Cathedral Chapter House. For this he composed about 110 minutes of electronica and, apart from the public buying the CDs, was rewarded with a visitor's note in the guest book describing his music as 'balm to the soul'.

Meeting up with Laura Lewis, she presented her idea for stories for Advent and, when he saw that she had listed carols in her idea, Michael suggested that he record them to go with the book, thus the whole circle of Storybook Advent came about.

Recently, he was called out of the blue by Chris Stuckey to join a band and he is currently playing keyboards with the Chris Stuckey Band, covering original material, and also with Shinkicker - a tribute band to Rory Gallagher. Although he hasn't been with the band very long, they have played many gigs - more gigs than rehearsals! - and there is a small tour arranged for North England at the end of August and, at the beginning of October, a 2-3 week tour of Holland. When playing, people see his energetic performance and ask what he is on. "High on life, man," is the reply, "high on life!"

Attending choral concerts at about this time inspired Michael to compose some adventurous pieces for choir based on Biblical verse as well as an evocative setting of the classic Parce Mihi, Domine for solo countertenor and choir, combining both Latin and English texts.

Raised in the Anglican Church, Michael currently resides in the Devon countryside of Southern England.

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