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The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree Hardcover – September 27, 2011
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Sample Photos fromThe Carpenter's Gift
"Rubel’s story of compassion hits all the right holiday notes; LaMarche’s lush, warm illustrations of glowing Christmas trees and smiling, caring characters drive home the central message of charity."
Review, School Library Journal, October 1, 2011
"Detailed characterizations and a straightforward tone keep the tender tale from becoming saccharine. LaMarche’s almost impressionistic colored-pencil illustrations put readers in the midst of the action."
Review, Publishers Weekly, September 26, 2011
"Author/historian Rubel’s story of a Depression-era family’s connection to that first tree—and the ripple effect of its bounties—puts the now magnificent symbol in perspective. LaMarche conveys emotional resonance with gauzy, soft-hued paintings of the inspirational proceedings."
“The Carpenter’s Gift captures two of New York City’s greatest traditions ― the Rockefeller Center tree lighting and giving back to people in need― in a way that families can share together all year long.” ― Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York
“The heartwarming tale told in The Carpenter’s Gift brings together—through beautiful illustrations and a moving, multi-generational story—two great traditions: the Rockefeller Center tree and the neighbor-helping-neighbor program of Habitat for Humanity.” —Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States and dedicated Habitat volunteer
“Through my support of Habitat for Humanity, I have seen all of the good that can happen when people work alongside each other to build something better. I see the same thread in The Carpenter’s Gift, a sweet story” about a young boy whose life is changed when new friends help his family build a house — Susan Sarandon, actress
“My dad was a carpenter who built the house we grew up in, and this book brings to mind his gentle nature and generosity.” — Garrison Keillor, storyteller
Top Customer Reviews
The 11 3/4 inch by 8 3/4 inch books has a most wonderful eye catching dust jacket depicting the main character, Henry, holding a handmade Christmas ornament. The book's title on the dust jacket is embossed in red shiny foil and will capture the attention of most children. The illustrator, Jim La Marche, has rendered the historical period and emotions of the characters in what appears to be beautiful pastel drawings. Every other page is a full color full page drawing that accurately conveys the emotions of the characters and meanings of the text.
The story begins at the height of the Great Depression in 1931. Henry lives in an unheated shack with his parents. One day his father borrows a truck and invites Henry to go with him. They drive to an area where many spruce trees are growing. Henry and his father cut down many trees and transport them to New York City where they sell them as Christmas trees. When they had finished selling the trees for the day, there were several large trees left over. Henry's father donates them to the construction workers who were kind enough to let Henry and his father sell trees on their building site.Read more ›
I told the children earlier in the school year that there would be some picture books that I read to them that actually make me cry-that they may see me well up with tears because books can be that powerful. I did not realize THIS book would now become one of "those" books that make me tear up with emotion. When I began to read the page where, as an older man, he has the flashback to 1931, I had to stop in my tracks. The emotion is THAT powerful in the text. A few of the children even welled up with tears. They just "got it".
After the story, we went to the habitat for humanity website and watched the videos related to this book with the illustrator and the family who was helped in 2007. They loved it. What a wonderful discussion we had.
THANK YOU for this beautiful story. I cannot recommend it highly enough and will be using it for YEARS to come!
The Carpenter's Gift is just the book we all need to read around the holidays. Remembering the spirit of Christmas as being a time for helping others and treasuring family and friends is the cornerstone of this lovely book. During the Depression, a family was down on their luck and found some solace and sustenance through friends and neighbors through the holiday season. The story and illustrations are perfectly paired.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Jim La Marche is a gifted illustrator! Love, love, love the art work as well as the story.Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Lovely book, I'm always looking for new christmas stories, this one is a keeper! Add it to your collection you won't be disappointedPublished 7 months ago by Schweller78
This story is touching and special. It brought me to tears to read it with my 5 year old daughter. I loved being able to share this Christmas story and teach her some history of... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Jennifer DeFrates
Wonderful gentle book about the power of kindness, hard work, and giving to others.Published 9 months ago by Blanka V.
really cute story to put you in the Christmas spirit. I gave it to my 14 year old daughter and she even liked it.Published 10 months ago by Marianna Patsfall