Sometimes you need patience to truly enjoy the silences of a story and this is certainly true for this Christmas gem. A young boy and his mother visit the local wood carver and ask him to make a nativity set to replace one they have lost. During each subsequent visit we are given small insights into the hardships of Jonathan and as each piece of his story is revealed the reader sees an easing of his pain.
The repetition and predictable conversations only add to the lovely pace of this book. I am lucky enough to have a version on CD narrated by James Earl Jones. His voice is perfect for this laconic and emotional story.
The illustrations by PJ Lynch compliment this story especially in the scenes where we are given a close view of Jonathan Toomey’s hands working on his carving. The ending brings promise for a new family and of joy not sorrow.