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The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey [Special Edition] [Hardcover]

Susan Wojciechowski , P. J. Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, Special Edition, 7 Oct 2002 --  
Paperback, Illustrated 5.99  
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Book Description

7 Oct 2002
A moving and memorable Christmas tale, Winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal. Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley. But he is a gruff, cold man - no one knows of his grief for the wife and child he lost years ago. Then one day in early winter, the widow McDowell comes to call. Would Mr Toomey carve a set of nativity figures for her and her son Thomas in time for Christmas? When, reluctantly, he agrees, Jonathan Toomey's Christmas miracle begins...First published in 1995, this beautifully illustrated, award-winning story has become an established seasonal favourite with children and adults around the world.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 33 pages
  • Publisher: Walker Books Ltd; Gift edition edition (7 Oct 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0744596319
  • ISBN-13: 978-0744596311
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 20.8 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 722,201 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A breathtakingly beautiful book, sure to become a classic. -- Junior Education

A deeply moving story... The masterly paintings have an extraordinary intensity and depth. -- Daily Telegraph

Fast becoming a classic... This successful marriage of words and pictures will reveal something new on every reading. -- Times Educational Supplement, Primary

About the Author

Susan Wojciechowski worked as a school librarian until recently. The Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is her first picture book. She lives near New York with her husband and children. P.J. Lynch won the 1987 Mother Goose Award for his first illustrated book, Alan Garner's A Bag of Moonshine. He has twice been awarded the Kate Greenaway Medal - for The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey and When Jessie Came Across the Sea by Amy Hest. He has also been shortlisted twice for the same award - for the Norwegian fairy-tale East O' the Sun and West O' the Moon, retold by Naomi Lewis, and Catkin by Antonia Barber. His latest picture book for Walker is Ignis by Gina Wilson.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book is one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read. A widowed wood carver, lost in self pity and the pain of a broken heart, is taught to live again by an irrepressable small boy - also suffering the loss of a loved one. Full of sentiment, yet without any sentimentality this book communicates the true spirit of Christmas in a story that can be read at any time. Susan Wojciechowski is a truly gifted writer, able to communicate so much so economically and P J Lynch's illustrations will take your breath way. Buy it for your children, your friends' children or yourself. It will stay with you forever.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving, beautifully illustrated story 17 Oct 2002
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This has been a family favourite in our house for nearly two years - and not just at Christmas time either. It's rare to find a children's book that deals with the serious matter of bereavement and this one gets it just right. No matter how often you are asked to read it, you will always be touched as Jonathan Toomey's lonely existence is gradually and convincingly transformed through his friendship with a little boy and his widowed mother.
The illustrations are quite beautiful and harmonise perfectly with the text.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I have nine children. I bought this book for the oldest two - probably over ten years ago. It is a beautiful book, wonderfully illustrated, with a great Christmas story.
I dislike sugary sentimentalism and one of the problems I have buying childrens books (particularly Xmas ones) is that the market is so over-loaded with 'sugar' that it's verging on a serious case of diabetes!
This book is not sugary, nor even particularly sentimental. It tells a fine story, quietly and with dignity.
Our copy is now so well thumbed I think I may have to buy another. It has been a favourite book of all our children (those able to give an opinion), and between them they cover a large range of tastes, opinions and ideas. I think it would be safe to say that pretty much any child that likes books will like this.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
As a mother, childminder and Sunday school teacher I borrowed a pile of Christmas books to share with all the children in my life over the Christmas period. The first time I opened this book I was impressed with the fantastic illustrations, which were a great discussion tool for the younger of the children. Once we started reading the book I was totally engulfed as the story unfolded with a tale of a man who was misunderstood and mocked by the village children. "His name was Johnathan Toomey but the children called him Mr Gloomy". It tells the tale of a young widow and her son who arrive in an a town before Christmas to discover that their precious nativity figures have been lost in the move. They enlist the services of the village carpenter Mr Toomey, who is very unapproachable. Gradually the young boys discription of the figures and what it meant to each of the nativity figures to be at the birth of Jesus, begins to melt the heart of the readers as they feel the effect it has on the hardened Mr Toomy. This is a real heart warming tale that will bring tears to your eyes as it has to mine EVERY time I have read this book. This book is suitable for any age and younger children can grow into it. An ideal present for families.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a million stars! 6 July 2008
Format:Paperback
This is such a fabulous story!

It is about a man whose wife and baby died many years ago, but he has been unable to come to terms with his loss. He still works as a woodcarver, so, one December, a widow and her young son ask him to carve some Christmas figures for them.

I first heard this story as a little girl at school and, thinking about it, I can see similarities between this and another of my favourite stories; Goodnight Mister Tom, by Michelle Magorian.

As I have already said, this is a fabulous story about coming to terms with the loss of a loved one (which, believe me, is difficult), especially the part of the story when Mr Toomey is trying to carve the last two figures; Mary and baby Jesus. It is just so.................. magical, as, each time I read it (I try not to read it that often, so that when I do read it, it will still be as magical as it was last time), I am able to feel just how emotional the character is at that point in the story. I won't say anymore.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book made me cry 8 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
I read this to my children as a bedtime story and cried my way all the way through it.This story is so special that it speaks directly to the heart.It is tender and beautiful and the illustrations are exceptional.This is the best book i have read in years. Oh and my children loved it too!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Beautifully drawn and written, this moving tale tells the story of a widowed Mr Toomey. He lives for his work so when a single Mother asks him to make a wooden nativity scene, how can he resist? He doesn't realise that with this job brings a young child who shows him not only how to make his nativity scene more special but how to enjoy the Holiday season. A must read for all ages
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a wonderful story!!! 3 Jan 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It draws the readers into the story line as if we are living next store. We are able to experience the emotions of all three characters. It establishes a feeling of lonliness, frustration, accomplishment, through to joy. I have enjoyed the listening too, and the reading through of this story many times through-out the holiday season. I will continue to hold onto this book as one of my very favorite. I thank the author and the illustrator for their heart in proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that they would continue to write and distribute books of this excellence.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply lovely
Gentle story with happy ending and beautiful pictures -- delightful for all ages.This book will become a family favourite handed down through the generations.
Published 3 months ago by Barbara Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars A Christmas standard
I discovered this book when it was first published, and even though it was written for children it's a classic 'feel-good' standard. Read more
Published 5 months ago by mrsT
5.0 out of 5 stars Christmas book
This is one of the loveliest books I have seen and I loved it and I like having it ready to read to grandchildren.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. J. M. Dunning
5.0 out of 5 stars Jonathan Toomey
This is an excellt Christmas story which all children should read or have read to them. There is a film, which I haven't seen, but you should really read this book first!
Published 11 months ago by Charlie Woodbridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning illustrations
Fabulous book with detailed illustrations. Life-like and no doubt worked from photographs (?), the images are stunning. I was entranced reading it and so were the kids. Read more
Published 14 months ago by P Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars a marvellous book
a very good book, love it. Having seen the film had to have the book. lovely illustrations, good read for children.
Published 15 months ago by teresa mitchell
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!!
I bought this book because it was highly recommended.

I loved it. It is a "real christmas story" from the biblical references, to the traditonal threefold repetition of... Read more
Published 16 months ago by W. J. Oosterom
5.0 out of 5 stars The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
A most delightful book delivered promptly and at the most reasonable cost.I woul dhappily use this seller company again and recommend it without reservation.
Published on 1 May 2011 by Mr. William Slavin
5.0 out of 5 stars The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Fantastic! A really moving and inspiring story. I used to read this book at Christmas time twelve years ago when I ran Story Time at my local library. Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2011 by TG
5.0 out of 5 stars Beg, borrow or steal, but get a copy!
Can't add much more to what other reviewers have already said, but to say this is the best xmas book I have read, and if you have the chance to get a copy, whether it be new or... Read more
Published on 30 Dec 2010 by Anne M
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