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Great Illustrated Books

The Lump of Coal

Lemony Snicket

HarperCollins
Pages : 40
Suggested Ages: 4-8
ISBN: 9780061574283

Lemony Snicket, best known for hist thirteen-volume collection A Series of Unfortunate Events, has blessed readers with the delightful tale of a lump of coal that can walk, talk, dream and feel.  The Lump of Coal is a delightful tale of a lump of a piece of coal that dreams of being an artist or to participate in a barbecue. He walks into town and is turned down by both the snooty art collector and the imposter Korean barbecue chef. Feeling pretty down on his luck, he stumbles into Santa Claus, only it is not the "real" Santa, it is just an employee of a drugstore handing out coupons — the "real" Santa is over at the mall. But the drugstore Santa says he does have a use for the lump of coal! And so, the lump of coal is placed in the stocking of a disobedient boy who has an "artistic temperament." The boy is so thrilled that he and the lump of coal collaborate on some artwork, which the snooty art collector sells for a large sum. With their earnings, the boy and the lump of coal open their very own authentic Korean barbecue. 

Filled with lovely little life lessons and beautiful illustrations, this is certainly a unique holiday story — different from most, but still full of the same essential sentiment that miracles can happen, and not just during the holiday season.

Snicket also includes a lot of snarky commentary that is sure to spread holiday cheer to adults, while the silly lump of coal will warm the hearts of children for years to come. 

Reviewed by : Elora W.

Themes : Christmas, identity, acceptance

If you love this book, then try:

The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming: A Christmas Story, by Lemony Snicket