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Grandpa and the Christmas Crib Paperback – September 19, 2010
About the Author
J. W. Keleher lives in a quiet town in north central Pennsylvania. He has no children and isn’t married. He doesn’t have any pets and only a few plants. His desk window catches sun and moon rises; it also looks out on the labyrinth below. He tries to keep his desk top clean but often fails. He is happiest when combining travel, mystery, adventure and writing. He chased after mermaids in Scotland and followed in the tracks of Sherlock Holmes last summer. The summer before he researched the connection between Morgellons Disease and mercury exposure in London and the Languedoc Province of France. His summers are never dull. He is known as a writer, teacher, archaeologist, and artist. He enjoys physical activities in nature. He likes clean air and water. He thinks coffee is his only vice.
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"Grandpa and the Christmas Crib" is the type of story that can be enjoyed by a child and savored into adulthood. We meet a Polish boy named Mateusz who loves to spend time with his grandfather. His grandpa shows him how to appreciate things, whether it be pretzels, or pigeons, or fine architecture. Most important, Grandpa teaches him to always finish what he starts. Even if life sidetracks you, keep pressing forward. To the side, then forward. To the side, then forward.
This lesson takes on new meaning when Mateusz and his grandpa set out to win the annual crib-making contest, based on tradition dating back as far as 13th-century Krakow, Poland, with St. Francis of Assisi having some involvement. The story moves quickly, graced by simple yet beautiful drawings, and the back of the book includes a section of questions for family or student discussion. Along the way, the story delivers a few surprises.
"Grandpa and the Christmas Crib" is honest and wise, from its first pages to its final heartwarming sentence.
Welcome to winter in Krakow, Poland! Meet Mateusz and his Grandpa. Imagine, if you will, this young boy trying to walk in his Grandpa's footsteps, even after the stroke he had. Step by step, to the side, then forward, to the side, then forward. Take some pleasure in the enjoyment of a simple pretzel, and dividing it into three pieces, for you, Grandpa and the Knights, better known as the pigeons. Better yet, after the walk and the snack, take in the moment of finishing what you start.
Finishing what you start comes in the form of a Christmas crib, which in Poland is a manger scene, looking also like Poland's finest buildings with magnificent towers! But finishing what you start becomes a challenge at Grandpa's unexpected death, and Matuesz simply wants to walk away. Can he find it in him to complete the dream Grandpa had for a winning Christmas crib?
My daughter and I enjoyed this, and I thought it was well worth the story, and the message it had to offer. Keleher shows he's got the talent to capture the imagination of minds worldwide! I hope he continues to impress audiences with his future works. My daughter and I, we started this, and we finished this in record time. It felt really good!