Book Review of The Wonderful Once: A Christmas Story
Sponsored | All opinions are our own
The Children’s Book Review
Written by J.R. Buchta
Illustrated by Erin O’Leary Brown
Ages 3+ | 40 Pages
Publisher: Warbucks, Inc. | ISBN-13: 9798986989501
What to Expect: Christmas, magic, good deeds, family, and kindness.
A blend of nostalgia and warmth fills the pages of this Christmas story, inviting readers to think about the real significance of Christmas gifts and giving.
Lucas Astan may be an orphan, but he has a very happy life. In the village where he lives, orphans only stay orphans for a short time. They live in a special school and are cared for and loved by the whole village. One Christmas, at the special winter festival, Lucas receives a gift of a wonderful toy sleigh, but when a new girl comes to the orphanage too late to receive a gift of her own, he generously gives the sleigh to her instead of keeping it. The little girl’s happiness fills him with such joy that he wishes he could hold on to that feeling forever.
Perhaps the Spirit of Giving will be able to help with that? Lucas is about to find out!
Set in a world and time where nothing terrible seems to happen to anyone, this story offers readers nothing but joy as they learn to respond to that joy with gratitude and generosity. Softly colored, vintage-style illustrations sparkle with Christmas magic, and the surprise ending will surely delight young readers and offer some food for thought.
The Wonderful Once is a lovely story, perfect for a shared tradition of Christmas reading.
Buy the Book
About the Author
John Buchta was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. As a youngster, he expressed an interest in music and spent most of his early life in the performing arts as a singer-songwriter. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, he entered the business world and made a career in marketing for various entrepreneurial ventures. His interest in writing took a turn towards children’s books when his grandchildren were born, and he recognized the power of their imaginations and their enjoyment of reading. His writing is inspired by memories of his childhood, the spirit of his father’s character, and his penchant for a good story or poem. Today, he resides in Bucks County, PA, with his wife.
About the Illustrator
Erin O’Leary Brown is an illustrator based in upstate NY, specializing in children’s illustration as well as botanical and nature themes. She works traditionally in watercolor and often utilizes digital media to adjust the final illustrations. Over the years, Erin has worked in freelance illustration creating art for various books and children’s magazines, as well as decorative designs, for clients such as Llewellyn Worldwide, Cricket Media, and Scholastic. She received a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University and an MS in Education from Elmira College. In addition to working in the field of illustration, she has also spent some time teaching art.
More of Erin’s work can be seen on her website at eobrownart.com.
Dedicated Reviews allow authors and illustrators to gain prompt visibility for their work. This is a sponsored, non-biased review of The Wonderful Once: A Christmas Story. Learn more about getting a book review