Sunday, December 14, 2008

Review: The Cole Family Christmas by Jennifer Liu Bryan and Hazel Cole Kendle

Cole Family Christmas by Jennifer Liu Bryan and Hazel Cole Kendle

Description: This amazing year, the nine children in the Cole family have been allowed to sit down with the Sears, Roebuck and Company catalogue to choose the gift they would most like to receive for Christmas. This is a rare event, for the Coles are not wealthy. Indeed, "Cole Family Christmas" is the true, tender, and wholly unforgettable tale of a coal miner's family. The story takes place in the small company town of Benham, Kentucky, in a time (1920) and place when coal was king and families made their precarious living mining the dirty and sometimes deadly coal.When one of Mama's few possessions, a treasured purple glass bowl with fluted edges, is accidentally broken by exuberant children rushing in from the outdoors, and an unlikely blizzard prevents Papa from coming home after working extra hours at the coal mine on Christmas Eve, the stage is set for a Christmas morning in which gifts are given and received that no one could have predicted.

This is a heart-warming Christmas story based on a true story of a real family living in the Appalachian coal country during the 1920's. Hazel, is the 88-year-old co-author of the book and the youngest of nine children in the story. Jennifer Liu Bryan is the granddaughter-in-law of Hazel Cole Kendle. This story, follows a very special Christmas when the Cole children are allowed to ask Santa for gifts from the Sears catalogue wish book. An unexpected snowstorm changes things for the family. Instead, they cherish a very special holiday in which the gifts they give and receive have such special meaning that the store bought gifts lose their significance. This special and very unexpected Christmas morning has lived on as a treasured family story and is shared with the world in Cole Family Christmas.

This book is geared towards children ages 9 to 12 years old. I found that it is suitable for adults as well as I enjoyed reading the book with my 10 year old son. The book is made up of 9 short chapters and is 74 pages in length and is designed for family read-a-louds for all ages. The illustrations by Jennifer Julich enhance the reading experience of this book. They are beautifully illustrated with vibrant colors and details. I especially enjoyed the "six vintage Christmas-themed fabrics featured on the borders" that reflected Mama Cole's quilts!

You can find more information about this book at The Cole Family Christmas Website HERE.

Thanks to Lisa Roe from Online Publicist for the opportunity to review this wonderful Christmas Treasure.


  1. I love Christmas stories and the fact this one's true makes it even more appealing. Thanks for the review.

  2. I just loved this book. It makes such a nice Christmas book, doesn't it Bonnie.

  3. I've read a lot of good things about this book. Nice review!


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