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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Carving Angels by Diane Stringam Tolley

This is a true delight that could become a family Christmas treasure!
Carving Angels
by Diane Stringam Tolley
  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc. (September 8, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1599559447
  • ISBN-13: 978-1599559445
Genre: Inspirational Fiction, Children's Story, Christmas
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0

Papa Adam, the North Pole's oldest elf and Santa's former chief carver, has given up. Blind, frail, and useless, he counts the minutes in every day as he waits to die. But a challenge to carve, given by his youngest granddaughter, reawakens Papa Adam. Together they prove that the most paralyzing thing you can do is underestimate or undervalue anyone, especially yourself. With the right love and encouragement, anything is possible.

This is a delightful Christmas story to read!
Papa Adams, also known as “Grandpa” to five year old Amy, feels like he is of no use and has no reason left to be alive. He was called the best toy wood carver in Santa’s workshop. Slowly he lost his sight and for ten years he has had nothing to look forward to except the same routine of the day: to eat, hear the work bells whistle and count the hours until sleep time.

One day Amy comes to visit with a small piece of wood. She reminds him that the elves think he is the best carver and her papa says Grandpa doesn’t need his eyes as he can feel the shape in the wood. At first Grandpa says that he cannot carve the piece, but Amy insists that she has seen the figure waiting to come out of the wood.

Grandpa discovers that in fact he can still carve with his skilled hands and with Amy helping by bringing pieces of wood for him to work on. Realizing that Amy has a natural ability to visualize the wood shapes, Grandpa begins to teach her to carve very carefully. They secretly begin making wooden toys.

Grandpa hears noise outside and Amy explains that the elves are having trouble with Santa’s old sleigh as pieces keep falling off. It has become so bad that the normal team of reindeer won’t drive it and there is concern building for Santa’s safety. Grandpa and Amy start a secret project to help solve the problem of the worn out sleigh. Can they finish their project on time and will it be accepted?

This story is an absolute delight to read. I loved the childlike faith and wonder that fills the pages. Amy is able to help her Grandpa realize that age, whether young or old, and other handicaps do not have to be a barrier to being useful. When a person keeps a proper attitude and allows God to use the talents He has provided then God will guide to fulfill the purposes we are given. It was lovely to read of Christian faith and value lessons woven into a very sweet Christmas story.

The story is heartwarming and the reading flows easily. The author's website is titled "The Storyteller" and that is very apt. This would be fine for middle graders to read themselves or it is perfect to read with children...of all ages! I highly recommend this book for one’s own enjoyment or as a special gift to another who might enjoy the wisdom and encouraging message provided.

I received this as a win late 2012 and am glad to have the chance to share it.
I enjoyed this so much I am offering two copies for giveaway - one print for US or an eBook for International. I am keeping my personally autographed copy to share with friends and family. :-)
ENTER THIS GIVEAWAY for a copy - Print for US or Kindle or Nook version for International.

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* This contest is open WORLDWIDE - Print to U.S. address; Kindle or Nook to International.
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WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED after January 3, 2014.
Winners will have 72 hours to respond by email or the winners form linked in the announcement.


  1. She grew up on a huge ranch in Canada. The closest neighbor was 9 miles away. It sounds like she had fun.

  2. Great review, sounds like a good read.

  3. The lego pic on the author's site is interesting

  4. She finally got her name in lights at the Beaumont Library!

  5. It's always wonderful to have another book to add to your list for Christmas buying. A very helpful review thank you.

  6. she and her husband are the parents of six children. And grandparents to nine.

    tiramisu392 (at)

  7. I learned that she started to write at the age of 8!


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