He frowns, he doesn't really care about his appearance, he seems much older than he really is, and he is gruff with people. He is also the best woodcarver in the area, and a widow and her son come and ask if he can carve a nativity set for them as their own set was lost in the move to the village.
He says he will. The widow and little boy begin stopping by so the little boy can watch Jonathan carve. Soon, Jonathan helps the little boy learn to carve. In the course of carving the nativity for the little boy, we learn why Jonathan is so somber. Jonathan also learns about himself. This book always makes me cry. The illustrations alone are worth the price of the book.
Here is a link to P J Lynch's gallery. His art is amazing and the following images are from his website and are in The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
This book won the following awards:
- ALA Notable Book of the Year
- Parents' Choice Honor Book
- IRA Teachers' Choice Award
- Kate Greenaway Medal
- Christopher Medal for excellence in children's books
- New York Times Book Review editor's choice
- American Booksellers' Pick of the Lists
- PaLA Carolyn W. Field Medal
- Grammy Award nomination for gift pack CD
This book was made into a movie in 2007. I haven't seen it, but now that I know of its existence, I'd like to see it.
Here is the movie trailer.
If you are looking for a good book to add to your Christmas collection, this is a great pick.