One dark November night a stranger rides into a small prairie town. Who is he? Why has he come? The townspeople wish he were a doctor, a dressmaker, or a trader. But the children have the greatest wish of all, a deep, quiet, secret wish. Then a young girl named Lucy befriends the newcomer. When he reveals his identity and shares with her the legend of the candy cane, she discovers fulfillment of her wishes and the answer to her town's dreams. Now will she share what she has learned? Warm, lavish illustrations by James Bernardin bring to life a timeless tale by Lori Walburg, a story that will help families celebrate the mystery and miracle of Christmas?for many Christmases to come.
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For those who cringe at the creeping materialism surrounding Christmas, a pious story about the origins of the candy cane is definitely a change of pace. A stranger arrives in town one dreary November and begins hammering and sawing away at his newly rented storefront. When a small girl offers her help, she's in for a childhood fantasy-come-true, as it turns out all the shelves and counters are being built for a candy shop. After offering young Lucy gumdrops and lollipops, Mr. Sonneman launches into the history of the candy cane. With his guidance, she discovers that the upturned candy is in the shape of a j--for Jesus. Right side up it looks like a shepherd's staff. And the red stripes? The blood of Christ from his terrible whipping. Lucy and Mr. Sonneman set out on a quest to share this story with everyone in town. Their message (and their gift of the pepperminty red-and-white sticks) brings the whole town together in a joyful celebration of Christmas (and candy).
James Bernardin's old-timey acrylic and colored pencil illustrations are reminiscent of Norman Rockwell, but depict both modern and biblical times. Candy canes will never taste quite the same again. (Ages 6 to 9) --Emilie CoulterFrom the Author:
Lori Walburg chose a prairie town as the setting for this book in honor of her childhood heroine, Laura Ingalls Wilder. An editor at Zondervan and a writer for the NIrV Kidsí Devotional Bible, she attended Dordt College, then received her B.A. from Calvin College and her M.A. from the University of Iowa. In 1995, she was awarded a Jerusalem International Book Fair editorial fellowship. She now divides her time between her hometown of Grand Rapids and her favorite place in the world, Grand Haven, Michigan.
James Bernardin graduated from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, and was awarded a Certificate of Merit from the Society of Illustrators. Among the books he has illustrated are Little Folk: Stories from Around the World and Dancing with the Wind. He lives with his wife in Seattle, Washingto
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