A bright red package greets Punchinello one morning. He opens it to find a hammer. He loves hammers, but wonders who gave it to him. Several citizens of Wemmicksville receive a package that day. Lucia gets a new paintbrush; the baker a new spoon. Woody's box holds sewing stuff and Splint's box a new guitar. Each brings their gifts to the village hoping to find the giver, but instead encounters a weary, sad-looking family. Their wagon wheel broke as they crossed the bridge. The river washed away their clothes, and the rain soaked their food. They are tired, hungry and dirty. Everyone drops their gifts and rushes to help. Unfortunately, nothing seems to work. Not until they consult with Eli, the Wemmick maker, do they know what to do. "Each of you do the most what you do the best." He encourages them to use their gifts to the best of their ability. When they do that, everything turns out just as it should.
This is the first book of this series not illustrated by Sergio Martinez. David Wenzel steps up to the plate nicely! He continues the work Martinez began with the same creative characters and classic warm colors. His drawings are less sketchy than the previous books making for smoother illustrations.
What I Like: I love this series and this is one of my favorites. It clearly illustrates Ephesians 2:10 which says we were created "to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (NAS) The book does a beautiful job teaching Christian service and proper use of spiritual gifts. It's a wonderful book!
What I Dislike: Absolutely nothing.
Overall Rating: Excellent!
Age Appeal: 4-8, but I love it, too, and I'm 31!
Publisher Info: Crossway, 2006; ISBN: 1581346980; Hardback; $15.99