Reviews of The Carpenter’s Gift -- Habitat for Humanity Int'l 1
Reviews of The Carpenter’s Gift
Ever since construction workers building New York’s Rockefeller Center put up a humble Christmas tree on site in 1931, the annual tradition has become a gift that keeps on giving. Author/historian Rubel’s story of a Depression-era family’s connection to that first tree — and the ripple effect of its bounties — puts the now magnificent symbol in perspective.
— Publishers Weekly
Luminous illustrations in a large format have a muted, shimmering quality, especially in the concluding view of the magical tree at Rockefeller Center.
— Kirkus Reviews
Reading these three excellent new picture books about New York City, “Balloons Over Broadway,” “The Carpenter’s Gift” and “Subway Story,” I’ve tried to become a boy again, for just a little while; to read them with the innocent eyes of a child just learning to name the world. I hope many kids will spend some solitary time with each of these books.
— Pete Hamill, The New York Times
When my father was a child growing up in the New York City Public School system there was a quote on a banner in one of his schools that said “We live in deeds, not years.” My father shared this quote with me, constantly encouraging me to live in a way that would help other people. The Carpenter’s Gift reflects this motto. Once you read the story from start to finish, you will understand how the book will inspire children to give and do more to other people in their community and in the world.
— Stacey Shubitz, Two Writing Teachers
Detailed characterizations and a straightforward tone keep the tender tale from becoming saccharine. LaMarche’s almost impressionistic colored-pencil illustrations put readers in the midst of the action.
— School Library Journal
Rubel’s story of compassion hits all the right holiday notes; LaMarche’s lush, warm illustrations of glowing Christmas trees and smiling, caring characters drive home the central message of charity.
— The Horn Book Magazine
In this picture book, the wonderful text and Jim LaMarche’s beautiful illustrations come together to give readers a tale that will remind them that wishes can come true and that the real spirit of Christmas is found in the joy of giving.
— Through the Looking Glass Children’s Book Reviews
“The Carpenter’s Gift’’ may be my favorite holiday book this year. Children’s historian David Rubel, working in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, puts this tender and moving story in a context modern readers can appreciate — the importance of kindness in hard times and the idea that neighbor can always help neighbor. Jim LaMarche, one of my favorite illustrators, contributes lush soft illustrations that cast a dreamy timeless glow over the scenes, each one growing in brightness till the last image of the famous Rockefeller Center tree blazes with golden lights.
— Liz Rosenberg, The Boston Globe