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A Small Miracle Paperback – September 13, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 72 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Also back in print, Peter Collington's 1997 A Small Miracle wordlessly tells of an impoverished old woman who restores the church's vandalized creche; when she falls in the snow, the figures come to life and rescue her. PW's starred review praised the "skillful blend of fantasy and realism." All ages.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3. With gentle touches of humor, Collington weaves his wordless magic once more in this delicately painted story of kindness rewarded. An old woman, living alone in a trailer, spends her days playing an accordion on the street for money. But times are especially difficult, even in this middle-class town. Desperate, she sells her accordion for cash, only to have it stolen by a masked bandit who then pilfers the poor box from the local church and vandalizes its manger scene. Intercepting the thief, the woman is able to return the money and does her best to set the scene to rights. Then, exhausted and hungry, she collapses in the snow. The manger figures come to life and take her home, where they all pitch in to see that she has her accordion back and that she has food. It's all part of the miracle that none of the merchants or townspeople are at all surprised at the sight of the small figures making deals at the pawn shop or prowling the aisles at the supermarket. Collington's finely detailed paintings vividly portray the old woman's surprise and delight at what awaits her that Christmas morning. Panels and boxes of various sizes add variety to the pages. Outdoor scenes are done in muted tones with lots of ice blue that contrast against the vivid colors of the Nativity figures' clothing. In spite of the serious subject, this is an upbeat story to treasure for this and many Christmases to come.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Dragonfly Books (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375871500
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375871504
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #671,842 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I usually have no need to look at children's books (I'm single and child-free), but when I saw this in a bookstore last year, the more-artistic-than-usual illustration on the cover caught my eye. And I'm glad it did. Upon opening this book and "reading" it, I was blown away by the emotions conveyed in the illustrations. There is not a word in this book, but it says so much. The old woman's selfless act and the kindness she receives in return are uplifting and beautiful. It's a powerful story that left me a bit choked up, right there in the middle of the bookstore! I don't know much about children's books, but this HAS to be a classic. The story is fantastic and the illustrations are beautiful. This book is on a much higher level than those I remember from my childhood. I bought myself a copy and I know I will treasure it every holiday season from now on.
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Format: Hardcover
I have owned this book for two years and I look forward to bringing it out for each holiday season. I place it out on a table in the living room for everyone to read and cry at. It really expresses the true meaning of the "Giving Spirit." Five of my friends and family members will be lucky enough to recieve a copy this year! What more can I give during this season?
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Format: Hardcover
I was so happy to find a Christmas book that is really about
Christmas instead of toys, Christmas trees, and Santa Claus.
This book not only addresses Christmas but the real meaning
of Christmas as the old woman undoes the wrongs that have been
done by vandals. The fact that it is a wordless book makes it
possible for children of most ages to help make up the story
line too, which is a plus. Then they also can interpret the
Christmas story.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is nothing short of wonderful. It took a long time for me to find a copy after first hearing of the book. Finally I found a copy in my library. Each time I read it I find some new detail. It is very disarming. I wanted to buy a copy and was very glad to discover the British paperback version is available through Amazon.uk. The paperback version is the same size. Reading it will be an annual treat for me. I also learned plans are underway for making a 20 minute animated feature of this story for BBC this Christmas. What a treat that will be! Just hope Knopf prints again and the VHS is available through Amazon.
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By A Customer on November 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my 2 1/2 year old son. As I was reading it, I had to stop several times because it kept bringing me to tears. The book is so very moving. I'm buying another copy for my 43 year old YOUNGER sister! I know she'll just love it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't remember where I first saw the recommendation for this book, but I am so glad I found out about this wonderful story! I've had my hard copy for years. Now I ordered this paper copy to give to my granddaughter for Christmas. I show this book to everyone who may be visiting to "read" (no words, just wonderful pictures). This is one of my favorite Christmas books ever and I read it myself every Christmas. And always read it to any kids visiting, who seem to love it too. I cannot recommend this book highly enough!!! I'd love to tell everyone to read it! I love the very sweet Christmas story. I won't describe the plot, that would spoil it, you really need to read it for yourself.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anyone who has looked thru my precious book always gives it back to me with tears in their eyes.

What a heartwarming story -- a fairy tale that could almost come true; and you kind of wish it would!!

The illustrations in this book come alive with a powerful simplicity.

The artwork is the kind that leads your eye into all its multi-faceted (yet simply rendered) details, and each time I look at it, I am rewarded with more details that I had missed before.

I can almost hear the anticipatory almost-sacred hush on that village's cold, snowy, almost deserted streets on this very special, last day before Christmas.

A VERY special book!!
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A Kid's Review on November 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is a kind, simple book about a lady who is poor and plays her accordian on the streets for money. She sells her accordian and gets some cash, only to be robbed by a thief. She goes to the church and sees that the Nativity scene is scattered, and that the thief has taken the "Help The Needy" money. She gets it back, and falls in the snow. The Christmas scene help her by getting food, money, anda Christmas tree. She wakes up in surprise and has the best night ever.
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