The Lump Of Coal is a children’s Christmas tale written by Lemony Snicket. When Lemony Snicket’s An Unfortunate Series of Events ended, I was sad. (You can find my comments on the various books on this blog in July, August and November 2006.) Not only did I want to know more about the Baudelaires, but I was going to miss Snicket’s unique style of writing. He has a way of teaching something to the reader, whether a moral or meaning of a word, with ease. He does not condescend; explanations are done plainly and with humour.
In this story, it starts off a little sad. No one wants a lump of coal for Christmas. At least, that’s what you think. Someone wants a lump of coal and it makes them very happy. Snicket turns a negative into a positive without being obvious. It just happens naturally, as we follow the coal on his journey. The Lump Of Coal, I think, actually teaches you to look beyond preconceptions. A cliché comes to mind, but I think it’s appropriate in this instance. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
PS: The cover is actually silver, not white.
PPS: The illustrations are done by Brett Helquist and they’re fantastic!