A Second Collection
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More inspirational chestnuts from Wheeler, whose previous compilations include the Christmas in My Heart series and the first Christmas in My Soul. Again, Wheeler mines old magazines and collects reader favorites, most of them (fortunately) long out of print. He starts off with a true-life account of a little girl whose feet are deformed and the kindly old shoemaker who fashions a pair of pretty, princess-style red shoes for her on Christmas Eve, “just like other girls wear.” A dreadful, dated Margaret E. Sangster story follows: A grumpy doctor complains about the inconvenient arrival of “a nasty, fat, little wop baby” right before Christmas, which upsets his tenderhearted fiancée—but the doctor redeems himself by sewing up the maimed paw of a stray kitten. There are tales of a mysterious and intricate staircase created for a Santa Fe Mission by an unknown carpenter over a hundred years ago; of a Christmas party given by new parents for every down-and-out character in the neighborhood; of a businessman locked in a safe on Christmas Eve who realizes to his horror that no one will miss him; and, finally, of a little boy temporarily blinded in a kitchen accident who offers his ragged teddy bear to the brusque young doctor as payment. The beloved teddy, known as Grr-Face, is missing an eye and arm—but, lo, it is mended and returned on Christmas Eve. Kenny points out that the bear can see again—just like him!

Sentimental stuff, with an oddly morbid undertone and a distinct whiff of mothballs.

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2001
ISBN: 0-385-49860-8
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Doubleday
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2001