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Winter's Gift Hardcover – September 22, 2004

49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An unlikely pair find themselves spending Christmas Eve together -- and sharing a miracle the next day.....Donovan's painted pictures of what must be an idyllic New England farm blanketed by the calm of a fresh snow are a compelling part of the story."
-- Daily Times Chronicle (December 2004) (Daily Times Chronicle (Woburn Ed.) 20041223)<br /><br />"The hushed storytelling is graceful, the wintry scenes exactly right."
-- Gainesville Sun (December 2004) (Gainesville Sun )<br /><br />"A good lap time read aloud. The author's paintings of north woods snow scenes are realistic enough to make you shiver."
--Las Vegas Optic (December 2004) (Las Vegas Optic )

About the Author

Jane Monroe Donovan’s parents encouraged her to follow her heart and it led to her love of sketching and painting. Her affection for animals is reflected in much of her subject matter. Jane makes her home in Pinckney, Michigan, with her husband Bruce and their two sons, Ryan and Joey. Other members of their family include their two dogs, Belle and Grizzly, a Siamese cat named Maylee, and their two horses, Ameera and Cherokee Rose. In addition to Winter’s Gift, Jane has also illustrated three other titles for Sleeping Bear Press: My Teacher Likes to Say; My Momma Likes to Say; and Sunny Numbers: A Florida Counting Book.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 770L (What's this?)
  • Series: Holdiay
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press; 1 edition (September 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158536231X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585362318
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on November 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Christmastime may be designated as the happiest time of the year. Filled with singing, eating, visiting, giving and receiving presents, and so much more. But on a small farm, the holiday season is best forgotten, as it brings along nothing more than painful memories of lost loved ones. However, Mother Nature has very different plans, for a terrible snowstorm brings together two broken hearts, one of a man who lost his wife, and one of a horse, separated from her herd, and gives them what they both want most for the holiday, companionship.

When I first saw WINTER'S GIFT, I was quite sure whether it was a holiday story or not. But the illustration of the horse in the snowstorm on the cover, quickly made me realize that I wanted the book, even if it wasn't a holiday story. However, upon opening WINTER'S GIFT, I found that it was a holiday story, and a lovely one at that. The lovely prose, and gorgeous illustrations, both done by Jane Monroe Donovan, are exquisite, and will bring hope into the lives of everyone who reads this story during the holiday season. A must have!

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By J T Cooper on June 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is a heartwarming story of an elderly man and also of a mare lost in a winter snowstorm. For every previous Christmas the man and his wife had gone to the woods nearby and picked out the perfect Christmas tree. They would then take the tree back to their home and decorate it, but the crowning glory of each tree would be when she placed the star on it. He had lost his wife the previous spring and this was his first Christmas alone. He had not gone to pick out a tree because he had lost heart after his loss.

At the same time a mare had become separated from her herd of wild horses and was wandering in the storm trying to find shelter. She could hear wolves howling in the distance and she was frightened and alone. She came to the old man's home and he heard her outside and took her into his barn, fed her and dried her off. He drifted off to sleep in his barn that Christmas Eve, but when he awoke he found he had been given an unexpected gift. I won't spoil things by giving you the ending, but it made my wife Sharon and me a little teary eyed. This is an ideal Christmas present for anyone you know that cherishes the Christmas spirit as we do. Keep a copy for yourself, but be sure and buy enough to give to those you love.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Angela Tocco on December 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I read this story in a book store and cried a little. What a beautiful story for times such as these A simple reminder that even in the worst of times there is hope. Mother nature bringing two lonely souls together. The drawing are simply flawless. Of course I had to buy it. I plan to read it to my own children someday. Thank you Ms. Donovan for reminding us how important it is to always have hope no matter how hard things can get.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Brooks on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The story is excellent, I would recommend it to others, in fact..., I have. I so appreciate the fast service and delivery of my book. The book was received new and received in excellent condition.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sally A. Miess on December 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is so well done, I could not finish it without tears. The illustrations are so well done and the story timeless. I sent it to my grand-daughter to be opened Christmas Eve. She and her mother loved it. An excellent choice for a horse lover of any age.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne-Marie Gallagher on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I saw this book and had to pick it up. There was just something about the illustrations that called to me.

This is a beautiful book with a moving story. Although it has a happy ending--and I don't think I'm giving away too much by saying so--I do wonder if the dual story of the sad, lonely old man and of the horse lost in a storm might not be too depressing for young children. The illustrations of the storm are rendered in dark, greyed neutrals, and I found the images of the bedraggled, despairing horse to be harrowing. I was very interested in the reviews here by those who have children who said their kids loved the tale; perhaps the trials the horse goes through makes the ending all the sweeter.

I do think that one of the strengths of the book is the idea of "hope" as being a gift; there are many Christmas stories that center on the need to give selflessly, the gift of the heart, the gift of oneself and one's talents (i.e. the Little Drummer Boy), the gift of family and of love, but I don't think I've actually seen a Christmas book so explicitly about hope. Implicit parallels with another Christmas birth in a manger, along with the cycle-of-life theme of death and birth, make this a complex and original story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S. Zebolsky on December 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What a heartwarming story! Beautiful illustrations, a wonderful tale of loss and hope during the season of hope. My grandsons, aged 3 and 5, loved the story, LOVED the pictures and made me read it twice again after the first reading. You don't need any more endorsement than that.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Florence on January 12, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a wonderful Christmas book for children. My kids have been enjoying it for 2 seasons and always look forward to it. I gave it to an adult friend of mine too who needed a little holiday spirit. It sends a great message.
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