Book Review: The Lump of Coal by Lemony Snicket

2850394The holiday season is a time for storytelling, and whether you are hearing the story of a candelabra staying lit for more than a week, or a baby born in a barn without proper medical supervision these stories often feature miracles. Miracles are like pimples, because once you start looking for them you find more than you ever dreamed you’d see, and this holiday story features any number of miracles, depending on your point of view.

Continuing on with my love for the holidays, I bring you The Lump of Coal. I’ve always been a fan of Lemony Snicket because I get his wit and humor, so when I saw he had written a holiday story, I knew I was in for a treat. In this story, Snicket uses a grumpy, well-dressed piece of coal to remind us that Christmastime is a time of miracles. And the greatest miracle of all is pursuing your dreams.

Becoming a great artist is the dream of our little flammable friend.  Unfortunately, everywhere he goes, he gets rejected. He even goes into an art gallery, but is quickly turned down because they only represent “human” artists. After being rejected and feeling discouraged, he considers burying himself deep in the ground so eventually he will turn into a diamond. The biggest obstacle for the lump of coal is that he needs someone to draw with him so they can make beautiful art together. The problem is that it is the holiday season when he rolls into the world and everyone is busy. His search for a fellow artist  proves to be difficult. The lump of coal meets plenty of naysayers and phonies on his quest to be an artist, but he never gives up on his dream. When he finally meets a teenager, and they combine their talents, a miracle happens.

Miracles can happen, even to those who are small, flammable, and dressed in all black.

 A great book for kids and adults alike, Snicket provides plenty of chuckles on the coals journey to its happy ending. On of my favorite parts of the book is Brett Helquist’s illustrations. The lump of coal is brilliantly drawn and elegantly dressed throughout the story. All the characters and scenes are drawn with such charm that perfectly captures the holiday feel. If you love Christmas stories and have my sense of humor, then this is . This will probably be the first time you ask Santa to bring you a lump of coal even though you’ve been a good boy/girl all year!

Also, the real Santa Claus is at the mall.

4/5 stars

~Eddie

Buy Amazon

Buy B&N

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