Aylea Stephens


Outstanding, Primary, Susan Wojciechowski, P.J. Lynch, Christmas, Classics, Nativity, Picture Book

Document Type

Book Review


Johnathan Toomey is called Mr. Gloomy by the village children because he never smiles and sits alone carving wood most of the time. His life changes when the widow McDowell and her son, Thomas, come to him asking that he would carve a set of Christmas figures for her. As Thomas and the widow describe the pieces and watch him work, they are initially put off by Mr. Toomey’s gruffness. However, as Thomas provides Mr. Toomey with suggestions on how the figures should look, the widow and her son start to become friends with the woodcarver. Slowly Mr. Toomey begins to heal from the thing that made him so gloomy for so long through their friendship and thinking about the miracle of Christmas.