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Paul Gallico's The Small Miracle: A Story of Faith and Love Hardcover – 1973

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1973
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3-Retold in simple sentences, this is the story of a young Italian orphan whose faith is rewarded. When Pepino's beloved donkey falls ill, the boy must travel from his home in Assisi to Rome in order to ask the Pope for special permission to bring the animal into the crypt of Saint Francis, with the hope that she will be cured. The original tale, Gallico's The Small Miracle (Doubleday, 1952; o.p.), has more detailed, descriptive language and a more deeply layered plot. Still, this abridged version succeeds in a quiet way since the journey of faith remains. Done in watercolors and colored pencils, Croll's illustrations nicely convey the emotions of the characters and the events they experience. The colors are soft and details well chosen. Some pictures are full page, while others are sectioned into four panels, making for effective visual variety. While not a first purchase, this is a lovely addition for Christian or spiritual collections.
Cris Riedel, Ellis B. Hyde Elementary School, Dansville, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“The watercolour and colour pencil illustrations are done in a very tender manner…. Croll’s illustrations perfectly match the soft and gentle spirit of the story, and her clear design and use of narrative tableaus…enhance this telling in an authentic but thoroughly modern way…. This retelling has a wonderful cadence and use of language which makes this a special story to share with young listeners. Highly Recommended.”
CM Magazine --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Hallmark Crown; 1st edition (1973)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006C9N3C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,210,467 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Victoria Midkiff on October 10, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son and I enjoyed this book. I love the lesson it teaches: that you should never take "no" for an answer, and that you can pray for an intention, but you also need to be prepared to accept the answer. Many people have been put off religion because their parents told them to "pray that Grandma gets better," rather than "pray that you can accept whatever happens."
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As with all of Paul Gallico's stries, there is either mystery or "magic". A beautiful story, even in its full version. This book would suit ages 7-9.
I loved it, and am sure that my grandchildren will love it too
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Format: Hardcover
Paul Gallico (mostly known now for The Snow Goose) was known in his own time greatly because of this little wonder of a book. If you ask me, this book is more about love than faith and determination, although all three of those qualities work side by side throughout this story about a little orphaned boy named Pepino who decides to go to any and all means necessary to save the only friend he has in the world, a donkey named Violetta. He tends to her the way any parent would tend for a child, the way any loving sibling would care for an ailing brother or sister, the way any pure-hearted and uncorrupted child would care for another in difficult times. It is also a story about the realities of the world and how even those who make a profession by acknowledging miracles sometimes have to be lovingly shocked into seeing them. It's really a story about the knowledge that if we say we love someone, then we are compelled by that love to make unselfish and ultimate sacrifices for them no matter what obstacles are in our way. It's also about how undeniably powerful seeing someone truly love someone else can be. Although this book has an undeniable Christian context, the lessons learned from this story transcend mere religion. It's about the human heart. And although Bob Barton's retelling is well done and Carolyn Croll's illustrations are beautiful, I much prefer Paul Gallico's own original text and David Knight's illustrations (Michael Joseph publishers, London, 1951, sometimes listed as 1953). But this story is so wonderful, I think any exposure to the story is worth experiencing. I'm glad this edition is available to toddlers and younger readers, especially.
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Format: Hardcover
I was reminded the other day of the story of "The Snow Goose" written by Paul Gallico. I found a book that he wrote that contained three legends, the Snow Goose being included. But to my surprise! There was another 'legend' entitled "The Small Miracle". It is about Pepino (a boy in Italy) and his Donkey, Violetta. I had never heard this story and found it to be so charming and beautiful I had to write a review. Pepino (an orphan) and Violetta are very close. When she becomes ill, his efforts to heal her at the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi is astounding and heartwarming. I could only think of a poem to write in place of a review. I hope you enjoy it, I hope I caught the feeling, and I highly recommend reading this story, especially now, in the midst of Winter.

The Cord, the Primrose, the Feather and the Donkey

The movement of sound
Measures this earth
You can hear it betimes
This motion of devotion.
Trust of one and his Donkey
To learn, discern a prayer.
They pray and kneel
A poem to heal
With a cord, a primrose, a feather
They build a monument
To the church of the heart
Turning sand and clay to holy glass.
Internal repetition of their story
All related rhymes, reflect with their
Eternal echoes.
No process of dissolution here
A Donkey's faith to slow
The movement of neutral words.
Straggling to this Renaissance of light
The touch of St. Francis
Told them there would be
No expiration here.
A ghost of a Donkey's smile
Came back with descent
To her breast, her body mended
Light cadence returned
The bells did chime.

Jenny Bates, author: "Opening Doors: An equilog of poetry about Donkeys"
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My little ones loved this book so much I ordered 2...one to give away. The pictures were done so well and the story is a good one for faith and trust.Beautiful Beautiful!!
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