By Susan Wojciechowski
The story of a widowed mother and son intersecting the life of a still bitter widower, Mr. Toomey, has been a favourite of mine since I first read it to my children many years ago. I love to take it out and re-read the touching tale of restoration, of coming to life again. Perhaps it touches the vein of my own fatherlessness; or maybe it just touches me with its gentle, persistent force of life and love.
“The spirit of Christmas heals a sorrowing woodcarver’s heart in this stunning 20th anniversary edition of a Kate-Greenaway-Winning festive classic. This is the poignant tale of Jonathan Toomey. Although Jonathan is the best woodcarver in the valley, he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request – a request which leads to a joyful miracle. This moving, lyrical tale which unfolds with mastery, humour and emotional force, has been widely hailed by critics and readers as a true Christmas classic, and is gloriously illustrated by the inimitable P.J. Lynch.” (bookdepository.com)