The story begins after a Wemmick named Tuck buys a new box. He proudly shows it to everyone, bragging about how wonderful he is because he has a new box. Another Wemmick, Nip, is not impressed. He has a box too and his is bigger. Not to be in the shadow of Tuck's newer box, Nip runs to buy two new balls. A competition begins between Tuck and Nip. The one with the most, fanciest boxes and balls is best! It's not long before the whole town gets involved. Everyone wants to have the most boxes and balls because all the good Wemmicks have them. If anyone doesn't have a lot of boxes and balls, then they must not be a good Wemmick.
Punchinello is far from immune to this peer pressure. He works hard to keep up with the other wooden people, but just doesn't have enough. Soon he sells his house and all he has to buy more boxes and balls. He can't spend time with his friends or his maker anymore; he's too busy working to be the best and have the most. One day the rules change: to be the best Wemmick you must have the most boxes and balls and be the highest. A race is begun to climb to the highest point of the highest mountain, all the while carrying all their boxes and balls. During the race, Punchinello gets off track and ends up right at Eli's door. It is there in the home of his maker Punchinello realizes all he has lost for the sake of silly boxes and balls: his friends, his home, his bed and his money ... most importantly, his happiness. Eli reminds Punch: "You're special -- not because of what you have. You're special because of who you are. You're mine. I love you. Don't forget that, little friend."
The wonderful story and reminder of God's unconditional love for all of us is accompanied by enchanting illustrations. The same as You Are Special, this book is illustrated by Sergio Martinez in sketchy but detailed drawings that invite the reader into the world of Wemmicks.
What I Like: Everything. The point of the story is excellent! It teaches contentment and peace in spite of a material world. The author and illustrator make it easy to relate to the characters. My three-year-old loves these books, as do I.
What I Dislike: Nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent.
Age Appeal: 4 and up (according to the publisher), though my daughter likes it at age 3
Publisher Info: Crossway Books, 2001; ISBN: 1581342764; Hardback; $15.99
Buy it Now at Amazon for $11.35
Also look for the first book in this series: You Are Special.