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Carving Angels

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Papa Adam, the North Pole's oldest elf and Santa's former chief carver, has given up. Blind, frail, and feeling useless, he counts the minutes in every day as he waits to die -- until his youngest granddaughter challenges him to carve again. Together they prove that the most beautiful creations can come from the most unlikely sources and with the right love and encourageme ...more
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published (first published September 8th 2011)
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4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  63 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Diane Tolley
Sep 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Darling, precious, sweet were the first adjectives I considered

using to describe Diane Tolley’s newest book. Those are the

superficial impressions. Ms. Tolley has managed to pen a piece that is

filled with messages of compassion, tolerance, understanding, belief in

God’s abiding love and the power of love in our lives.

She does this within the pages of her book using a timeless subject,

the magic and mystery of the North Pole. While recommended for young

readers, a mother would enjoy this
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So cute loved the symbolism
Logan Hippard
I grew up on those corny claymation/cartoon Christmas specials from the 60’s and 70’s. You know those ones you watched as a kid like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (“Didn't I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles *bounce*!”), Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town and How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Who can forget “He took the Who’s feast, he took the Who pudding, he took the roast beast. He cleaned out that ice box as quick as a flash. Why, the Grinch even took their last can of Who h ...more
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Carving Angels is definitely not the genre of book that I normally read and considering the target group for which it was written probably also not age appropriate. I had received a copy for review from the author and was a bit hesitant about whether I would like it at all. What I found between the pages of this book however is definitely a story which I adored and which I believe should have an honorary space on any shelf between all the best classical Christmas stories.


This beautiful st
Steven Clark
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Much like how the weather changes in Alberta, ofttimes our lives don't quite turn out the way we think it would. Such is the case in this wonderful Christmas story, "Carving Angels."

The story is told through the blind eyes of a woodcarver, who was once the lead carver in his shop but has chosen retirement with his loss of sight. Ten years have passed since he put away his tools and now he's spends his days waiting. Waiting for breakfast, waiting for lunch, waiting for supper, and waiting to go
Dec 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Papa Adam was the best carver in the North Pole. All the other elves envied his skills, but as he got older he lost his eyesight. Now Papa Adam spends his days waiting for them to be over. Nothing seems to have meaning anymore...that is, until one day his young granddaughter comes with a piece of wood. She challenges Papa Adam to carve for her. This one bit of support spurs Papa Adam on to rediscover his love of carving and redefine what he can and cannot do. Soon Papa Adam and his granddaughter ...more
Nov 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carving Angels is a wonderful book to read together as a family at Christmas time. This book is a quick read, only 128 pages, but it is a huge punch with an important message.So many times, especially as we age, we feel like we are not important anymore. There may be that feeling that our lives have no meaning. In Carving Angels we learn, through a very heart warming story, that Father Creator(What God is referred as in this story) "He uses life and experience to mold and refine us. Father Creat ...more
Kay Curtiss
Nov 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 year old Amy brings the sweet innocent belief of a child to Carving Angels which can help us all realize that we can do anything we put our minds to - we just have to believe. It's not hard to relate to Papa Adams and see all the reasons why we can't "carve" again in our own lives -- forgetting that to "see what's within" is really all the power we need to succeed - and maybe a little help from the innocence of a child that doesn't know they can't do something so they just do it.

One of my favo
Oct 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011, fiction
3.5 stars/Fiction; Christmas

Carving Angels is a wonderful Christmas story about a little girl who brings encouragement and gives life back to an aging, disabled man.

Amy's Papa Adam feels depressed and useless in his current state. His blindness caused him to leave the only job he believes he was good at as one of Santa's elves and Chief Woodcarver. Now his days are filled with question about what it is that he should do with himself.

Sitting on his porch right one day, his granddaughter Amy bring
Christine Jensen
This is a sweet Christmas story that tells more than just the tale of Santa and his elves. It tells of the power of love and belief to bring light and joy into the lives of another. Sweet Amy (Papa Adam's youngest grandchild) brings her blind grandfather a block of wood and asks him to make her a carving like he had made for the other grandchildren. At first Adam says no, but Amy's belief in him inspires him to take his tools out of their dusty box and try. What results is more than just beautif ...more
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a heartwarming story just in time for Christmas. Amy is the main character, she has an elderly grandfather who has a hard time performing the job he loves. He used to be able to create beautiful carvings for young children without straining much at all, now it seems all he does is strain to see the intricacies necessary for his task. Amy doesn't want him to give up his lifelong passion, she decides to make it her mission to help him overcome his age and fear of doing a bad job to continu ...more
This is really a very nice story. I was prepared for a cloyingly sweet story with anvilicious morality, but I was completely surprised. All too often in children's books the characters are sock puppets and the setting might as well be cardboard, but Tolley presents a very full, rich world in her North Pole. The characters feel like real people; they make jokes to themselves, they have realistic reactions, and even witty dialogue (view spoiler).

Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
First line:

"The old elf sat on the porch of his cozy little cabin and gazed sightlessly out at the world, feeling at once worn out and useless."

Sweet, heartwarming and uplifting Christmas story. One I recommend buying for your Christmas book collection.

A story of love, family ties, elves and a little bit of Christmas magic.

Papa Adam has given up on himself until his little granddaughter visits, asking for a wood carving like her cousins received from him. At first he refuses but soon his love
Lisa  (Bookworm Lisa)
Papa Adam is an old blind elf. He has given up on life and lives for meals and bedtime. He is miserable, lacks energy, and feels sorry for himself.

He is given a new lease on life when his young grandaughter, Amy, stops by to visit. Papa Adam is a carver and carved all of his other grandchildren a special figurine. Amy wants one too. She convinces Papa Adam to try to carve once again.

This story is about not giving up on life under any circumstances. Adam learns that his life is not over. He can s
Tracy Smith
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautiful, magical story was a great read aloud for our children. Each of them enjoyed the chapters and looked forward to the next chapter. As a parent, I enjoyed the relationship and connection that Papa Adam had with his granddaughter, Amy. It reminded me so much of how my own children relate and interact with my father, their grandfather.

Amy gives Papa Adam unconditional love and confidence, which are priceless gifts any time of the year.

Diane Tolley does a wonderful job writing this C
Nov 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Precious story about how getting older and loosing the ability to do the tasks you once do can cause you to feel useless and hopeless. This story has a happy ending when the granddaughter of the elderly elf craftsman asks to hAve her now blind grandfather make he rave hr something from wood like all he other older grand kids got. He declines at first, but then is inspired by her confidence in him And car es her an angel. She shows the talent of seeing the creation in the wood and grandpa teaches ...more
I loved this story as did my boys. We read the book together. Amy the main character tries to help her grandfather who is going blind. He use to carve so many great toys. Amy ask him to carve her something. He says no at the beginning, and Amy convinces him to change his mind. The love that grows stronger through out the story is heart warming and make you think about your own family. Papa Adam feels stronger and needed.
My boys loved it so much we have read it every night so far in December. A n
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE
This is a beautiful book about how the simple act of a child helps bring meaning back into her grandfather's life and how the grandfather helps his granddaughter develop her talents. I would recommend this book be on everyone's shelf. It is not only wonderful for the holidays, but any time of year. I love the relationship between Papa Adam and Amy as they keep a grand secret that will help many people when it is complete. The way they interact with each other expresses the kind of relationship a ...more
Kristina Brownell
Dec 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this in less than an hour and plan on reading it out loud to my family (it's just over 100 pages). I'll admit that I generally do not love these feel-good Christmas stories for adults and I thought that's what this was when I picked it up at the library. My 10 year old daughter picked it up, breezed through it in two days and had rave reviews. I'm glad I listened to her. The message is simple and not over-done (or preachy). It takes place at the North will LOVE it! Hec, I love ...more
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
Carving Angels is an beautiful Christmas story. It would make a perfect book to read aloud as a family at Christmas time. It's fairly short, just 128 pages but has a wonderful, heartwarming message. It's a story of hope and not giving up in the face of trials. If you are looking for a book that captures the magic of Christmas and can be enjoyed by young and old alike, I recommend you read Carving Angels.
Shannon O'Donnell
Nov 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Carving Angels is lovely and deeply touching. I loved it. The bond between Amy and her grandfather is wonderful, and the fact that he is one of Santa's elves doesn't hurt either. I recommend reading this one together as a family. It's full of love, hope, friendship, determination, and the joy of Christmas. I felt the emotional tug on my heart from the very first chapter. This is an absolutely beautiful Christmas story.

Jan 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My 9 year old daughter loved this book because, "it was like a story about how a blind man returns to the work and life he loves." I loved this book because it shows the importance of purpose, passion, determination, unconditional love and family.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was just what one would expect for a little Cristmas novella. Certainly this is not great literature, but it hits its mark. It was a nice story of changing attitudes and being useful. A great little read. Too bad I missed it in December.
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Probably would have given it 2 1/2 stars if that was a choice. It was an okay book -- a little too predictable and sugary sweet.
Oct 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very sweet, quick read. I would recommend as a great choice for family reading and discussion (questions included at end of book). Lovely holiday read!
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very sweet story for Christmas about the love of a granddaughter and how she helps her grandfather feel important again.
Dec 03, 2011 rated it liked it
a pretty predictable Christmas story...a very fast read.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good book. Even when we think that our limitations prevent us from doing things that we used to, that is not always the case. I liked this book.
B.D. Wilson
rated it liked it
Dec 07, 2013
Byaombe Salome
rated it it was amazing
Oct 30, 2011
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Raised on the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches and trained in journalism, Diane recounts tales of growing up in the bend of the north fork of the Milk River. Author of countless short stories, articles, poems, plays, songs and novels, she brings a wealth of western family ideals to her writing.
Nothing intrigues more than a background story. And nothing is quite as peaceful as relivin
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