In searching for something new to read in celebration of the season, I came across this beautiful picture book by Susan Wojciechowski. The author had worked as a school librarian and admitted that “every December, I read the same two or three classic Christmas stories aloud to the students. I wanted another special one to read aloud, so I tried to write my own.” She has succeeded with The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
This is a lovely book, handsomely illustrated by P.J. Lynch, who actually traveled from his home in Ireland to do research at a Vermont museum to further authenticate his artwork. He too, succeeded.
In a nutshell, Mr. Toomey is a gloomy woodcarver whose wife and baby died. He is approached by the widow McDowell and her son who ask him to carve a nativity scene to replace one lost in a recent move. During the time that it takes to carve the set, Mr. Toomey not only comes to terms with his grief, but he also begins to appreciate his life anew. A touching story and recommended for children and adults alike.