Saturday, September 22, 2018

Review: The Broken Ornament by Tony DiTerlizzi

by Tony DiTerlizzi
Simon & Schuster
Picture Book / Holiday / Christmas
48 pages
ages 4 to 8

When a beloved ornament breaks, will it ruin the holidays or save them? New York Times bestselling author and Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi offers a brand-new Christmas story that is sure to be a holiday classic.

Jack wants this to be the best Christmas ever, and he knows just how to make it happen…

More! More lights, more presents, more cookies, more treats. More. More. More! So, when Jack breaks a dusty old ornament, he’s not sure why his mom is so upset. They can always get more ornaments, so what’s the big deal? Turns out the ornament was an heirloom, precious for more reasons than one. And Jack has a lot to learn about the true meaning Christmas. 

A fairy emerges from the shattered ornament. She has the power to make the most magical Christmasy things happen. Suddenly trees are sprouting, reindeer are flying, and snowmen are snowball fighting. All of it is so perfect, or it would be if she could fix Mom’s ornament. But she can’t. 

So it’s up to Jack to make some Christmas magic of his own.


This lovely Christmas tale reminds of the purer meanings of the holiday with a bit of magical flair.

Jack's excitement for Christmas mounts by the second, and he can hardly contain himself while helping his parents decorate for the holidays. When he fails to listen to his mother's warnings and a glass ornament shatters, he realizes his mistake. But can he make things better again?

With the feeling of a more traditional tale yet set in a modern day world, this book hits upon a topic young readers will easily relate to. Listening and obeying parents isn't always easy, and not doing so often ends with unpleasant results. Emotions take hold as well as the feeling of helplessness and draw the reader in. But it doesn't stop there.

Christmas magic abounds with a new twist and a little spunky glitter of fantasy. This unexpected addition has a character of its own, which took a page or two to grow accustom to, but added spice to the story in so many ways. The scenes burst full of imagination while twisting the story and helping Jack understand the situation better. The illustrations take flight with the tale and pull into this fantastical, holiday world. The last message leaves a smile. It's a lovely read for the holiday season.

And here he is...

Tony DiTerlizzi is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator who has been creating children's books for nearly two decades. From fanciful picture books like The Spider & The Fly (a Caldecott Honor book), to chapter books like Kenny and The Dragon and the WondLa trilogy, DiTerlizzi imbues his stories with a rich imagination. With Holly Black, he created the middle-grade series, The Spiderwick Chronicles, which has sold millions of copies, been adapted in a feature film, and has been translated in over thirty countries. He teamed up with Lucas film to retell the original Star Wars trilogy as a picture book and his collaboration with celebrated author Mo Willems created the bestselling The Story of Diva & Flea. The beginning of his storied career is showcased in Realms: The Roleplaying Game Art of Tony DiTerlizzi. He has been featured in TIME, USA Today, CNN, PBX, the BBC and The Today Show. You can visit him at

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