Cathy from Olympia, Washington, December 12, 2009 (view all comments by Cathy from Olympia, Washington)
Short and sweet (er, unique). A walking, talking, tuxedo-clad lump of coal dreams of becoming an artist. Or at least in "participating" in a barbecue. (Apparently this particular lump of coal wants to feel useful). Despite a certain amount of chutzpa and persistence in pursuing his dreams, he keeps getting turned down, yet never loses sight of his dream. A strangely charming Christmas miracle book (who ever said a miracle has to be big?), suitable for stockings (in lieu of an actual, messy lump of coal).
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jnishjen, December 16, 2008 (view all comments by jnishjen)
In this second little square Christmas book after "The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming," Lemony Snicket tells the story of a lump of coal finding his way in the world. He has two ambitions, both peculiarly appropriate: to be an artist or to create barbeque. His adventures, and eventual success, are told in a sweet-tart manner that is enjoyable for both kids and parents, and Brett Helquist's illustrations perfectly capture the lump of coal's craggy, lumpy scowl, fitted into a neat little suit.
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by Children's Literature,
"A lump of coal, traditionally the dreaded stocking stuffer from Santa Claus to children on the Naughty List, is not such a dreaded gift at all if you are an abstract artist....If you love Christmas stories, then this one will be a welcomed addition to your collection. It is truly a gift."
by School Library Journal,
"[T]hought-provoking and captivating, and sure to be in demand."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"The volume's size, as well as the book in general, may strike many as diminutive, which here means small in stature, but make no mistake as to its usefulness, as many a Christmas stocking will accept such an endeavor in lieu of a real lump of coal."
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