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A Small Miracle

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  187 Ratings  ·  57 Reviews
This is a Christmas miracle like no other, with such richness in image and
story that children will return to it again and again" "(Booklist,"
starred review).
The wooden figures in a Christmas crè che come to life to save a poor old
woman in this truly original, deeply moving contemporary parable. Told with 96
pictures by Peter Collington, the master of the wordless story, thi
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published October 2nd 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Clare Cannon
Dec 01, 2011 Clare Cannon rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this story in pictures without words, it makes me joyfully teary every time... it's a present-day Christmas story about the message of Christmas.
Manik Sukoco
Dec 24, 2015 Manik Sukoco rated it really liked it
This book is a kind, simple book about a lady who is poor and plays her accordian on the streets for money. She sells her accordian and gets some cash, only to be robbed by a thief. She goes to the church and sees that the Nativity scene is scattered, and that the thief has taken the "Help The Needy" money. She gets it back, and falls in the snow. The Christmas scene help her by getting food, money, anda Christmas tree. She wakes up in surprise and has the best night ever.
Feb 03, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it
Shelves: wordless-books
I was surprised by this book, it holds quite the inspiring story that I was not expecting. For being a wordless book the special message it conveys is clear. The art work I found to be a bit odd, but the story it conveys makes up for it in every way.
Laurel Garver
Dec 02, 2016 Laurel Garver rated it it was amazing
This quickly became a family favorite Christmas story. Told wordlessly with beautiful pictures, it conveys a powerfully emotional story of God's generous care for one of "the least of these." Highly recommend!
Ellen Bankhead
Nov 09, 2010 Ellen Bankhead rated it it was amazing
This is one of my all time favorite books. Highly recommended.
Jan 09, 2015 Evan rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Evan by: Rebecca
Shelves: christmas
A beautiful, touching picture book with a message that masterfully manages to be both extraordinary and simple at the same time.
Jan 09, 2015 Rebecca rated it really liked it
I don't want to give away too much about this wordless Christmas story, but it got me all verklempt.
Book title and author/illustrator:
A Small Miracle by Peter Colington

Professional Recommendation #1:
Marilyn Courtot (Children's Literature )
This Christmas tale is told entirely in paintings, without a single word spoken. An old woman, living alone in a caravan, has run out of money and food. She walks into town to try to earn a few coins playing her accordion for people on the street. Unsuccessful, she is forced to pawn her beloved accordion. A thief steals the coins the sale brought, and later
Kathryn Cunningham
Dec 13, 2013 Kathryn Cunningham rated it it was amazing
An old, lonely woman wakes on Christmas Eve with no food and no money. After all her efforts to earn some extra cash in town fail, she turns toward home, despondent but still with enough goodness in her heart to stop a thief from robbing a small church and tenderly reassemble the nativity set he had knocked over. When she collapses on the snowy road back to her home, the figures in the church's nativity set magically come to life, eager to return the kindness she so willingly showed to them. Tog ...more
Jan 29, 2016 Kermit rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books

4.7 stars

I was reading an article that was talking about children’s Christmas books that are older and that are now difficult to find. A Small Miracle was listed. It is an unusual but incredibly sweet Christmas book. It’s not a book that could be used in a school or library setting, but it would be great for families.

The book is wordless. An old woman lives in an old wooden trailer in the countryside. She has a musical instrument that’s not an accordion, not a concertina---I’m not sure what it i
Emily Allen
Mar 28, 2013 Emily Allen rated it really liked it
Reviewed by "The Horn Book" as being the "Most original Christmas book of the year"...I would have to agree! Being a wordless picture book, the illustrations were everything. At first I was taken a back by the almost faceless characters, but Peter Collington brought these characters to life in other ways.

The story follows a woman who lives in a trailer, for lack of a better word. When she wakes up one morning to a growling stomach, she checks the bread box only to see that's it's empty. She open
Emma Hoyer
Feb 24, 2015 Emma Hoyer rated it it was amazing
Literature Requirement: **Picture Book #3: Wordless Picture Book**

Immediately after finishing this book, the first thing I did was say, “Awwww!” This was the sweetest book I have read in a long time, and even though it’s a little unbelievable, it preaches a powerful message. Of course some of the characters appear to be inanimate (until proven otherwise), but even so, the lesson that shines through is that good deeds will not go unnoticed, even if you don’t get immediate praise or retribution fo
Courtney Turpen
Feb 01, 2012 Courtney Turpen rated it really liked it
Shelves: group-1
A small miracle is wordless book and a story about a small elderly lady. She wakes up one morning and she goes to her cabinets to look for some food. Come to find out she has nothing there to eat. She goes to town to play her accordion and make a little cash to get some food at the market. When she is on the sidewalk playing her instrument some man steals her money and takes it away. She chases him to the church and sees him coming out the doors stealing more money. She knocks over his bike and ...more
Sep 22, 2011 LLash rated it really liked it
The wordless story "A Small Miracle" by Peter Collington was a book I've read for the first time that was wordless. In fact, at first I forgot it was supposed to be a wordless book and I was confused. I then had to start over and really focus on the story through the illustrations. Speaking of illustrations, I felt they were well-done enough to understand the story and what happened throughout the story, however, I really did not like the drawing of the woman, the main character. I felt as thoug ...more
Stephanie Croaning
This is a quirky little book that kind of grows on you! It features an accordion player, a thief, and a nativity that comes to life. It starts out very depressing, and then is almost comical as the small nativity characters in the church come to life to help the old woman.

So what did I like about the book? I love wordless picture books, and the illustrations in this one are beautifully detailed and tell the story well. I like that it is different and original. And quite frankly, you should read
Lora Hall
Feb 17, 2012 Lora Hall rated it it was amazing
This book tells a wonderful story without saying a word. I was amazed at the author's ability to communicate emotions through pictures. This is a wonderful book for children when teaching them about giving and receiving. During the group read aloud the other students in my group felt that this story contributes to building hope in humanity. The old woman is at a dead end and has not options in sight. Even though she is suffering she still shows care for others, this leads to her life being saved ...more
Kayla Bennett
Oct 10, 2014 Kayla Bennett rated it it was amazing
This was a very inspiring story that gave me comfort in my trials and there is always ways you can serve an many will return it back. It really touched me that she took the time to fix the nativity. She took time and gave it to our Savior. It made me reflect how much I have done in my life to help others in their journey. Have I benefited anyone? He will always provide a way for us. She was taken care of by the nativity characters and she did not know it. This has a really good meaning to it tha ...more
Jan 29, 2015 Sydney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wordless
This is a beautiful book in art and in the story line. Since there are now words, the illustrations are really designed to show emotions. I could feel those emotions flipping through the pages. I thought it was a heartwarming story and it teaches a lesson of compassion and acts of service. It was a little strange to see the statues she set back up come to life and serve her in return but it is a sweet thought. It could be used to teach lessons of kindness and to show that when you see someone i ...more
Nov 26, 2012 Trace rated it it was amazing
Luke and I "read" this book together this evening. Well, we didn't actually read it because there are no words. But the story is so well done, there are no need for words.

This book literally made me cry. Such a beautiful story of a Christmas miracle. Luke says we must read this EVERY Christmas. Looks like this will need to be purchased to add to our library.

Unanimous decision between the Lukester and I: this is a 5 star book

Dec 30, 2015 Vicki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, kindergarten
I'm not a fan of wordless books, but this has to be my favorite.

The illustrations have fantastic crisp plain detail which children will enjoy looking at.

A few things I noticed and loved were Mary sitting with the old woman, Joseph the carpenter repairing the wood floor, and the old woman's home reminded me of the tv show "Tiny House" currently on HGTV!

The title truly portrays the story in the book and the message of Christmas.
Feb 23, 2009 Missy rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this cute little story. It's told entirely through illustrations without words and would be the perfect addition to any family's Christmas book collection. I read this a few years ago and tried to purchase it through Amazon for Christmas this past year. I just got notification it should be here before May. :) A couple of times since ordering, Amazon has given me the option to cancel the order. But this book is worth waiting for and I'm anxious to add it to our library.
Blair Herron
Oct 03, 2011 Blair Herron rated it liked it
one of the five picture books:

I liked this book, especially the part where the old woman was being taken care of when she became sick by the people in the nativity set that she had so diligently looked after. The illustrations were great in the fact that they showed every step that happened in the plot, and were very realistic. They would definitely help a beginning reader to put the plot line of a story together through the pictures that show the story line.
Rare is the book that can say so much without saying a word. A Small Miracle is a beautiful book composed entirely of pictures. It follows the Christmas Even journey of a poor gypsy woman who is saved from certain starvation by a true Christmas miracle.

Every picture is a work of art, and the story is so beautifully moving and sweet. You are doing yourself a disservice if you miss this one. For kids of all ages.
Dec 20, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I would love to have this Christmas book on our shelves but sadly it is out of print. The story is all told through pictures and is so cute. The nativity comes to life help a poor old woman. The illustrations are wonderful and it is so fun to see the wise men shopping in the grocery, Joseph fixing floor boards and Mary comforting the sick woman.

This illustrator has done a number of other books as well. I am going to have to find a few others.
Dec 21, 2009 ABC rated it it was ok
This is a wordless book for Christmas. An old woman is literally rescued by figures from a nativity scene.... They drag her home from the snow where she has passed out, they go shopping and fix her a Christmas dinner....

I think is supposed to be a warm-hearted book, but I just found it creepy. My six year old son didn't understand it at all. "Why are they so small?"
Another wordless book by Collington. This illustrates the story of a poor, old woman who has no money and no food. She does all she can, rights a nativity set that has been knocked over by a thief, then heads home cold and hungry and tired. She collapses in the snow, and the nativity set comes to life and cares for her.
Mackenzie Piper
Wow, I loved this book! What a cute way to show that small kindnesses come back to reward you in big ways. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this picture book spoke volumes. I recommend this one to anyone, especially someone trying to teach their children about neighborly kindness and the spirit of Christmas.
Lauren Leith
Dec 31, 2016 Lauren Leith rated it really liked it
I love this book! It made me cry in the store as I was reading through it and it sure is a treasure. I have looked through it so many more times since bringing it home. Peter collington is such a talented artist and I enjoyed another one of his books growing up as a child. The books got a surprising and beautiful plot.
Jan 19, 2017 Hannah rated it liked it
I love wordless picture books!! They engage readers of all ability levels!! This one was a bit too fanciful. It was almost too hard to explain to a child how all of the events could happen. Not my favorite wordless picture book.
Dec 09, 2012 Ruth rated it really liked it
Beautiful story told completely through pictures of an old, poor woman who sacrifices to help rebuild a nativity that is damaged at a local church, and the miracle that happens to her because of it.

My son loved narrating this story.
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