Review Blog

Mar 05 2010

The Watchmaker who saved Christmas by Bruce Whatley

cover image

Random House, 2006 (reprinted 2009)ISBN: 9781864719567.
Ages 5 and up. Highly recommended. Three days before Christmas, the Watchmaker, an old style craftsman, is visited by a bearded gentleman with silvery-white hair and beard. On the back of the watch he leaves to be repaired are the initials S.C. Instead of the usual internal workings, the Watchmaker finds a myriad of unusual and delicate parts which he sets about straightening and cleaning. When he is unable to find a suitable piece to replace a broken wheel, his young friend Peter supplies him with a part from his hearing aid. This enables the Watchmaker to complete his repair in readiness for the elderly gentleman's return. The Old Man's arrival and the retrieval of his special time piece lead to the journey of a lifetime for the craftsman.
Whatley has the happy knack of combining his simply written texts with detailed, realistic and appealing illustrations. His depiction of the shop and the old clocks brings back memories of a bygone era. This story of friendship, persistence, kindness and generosity is told without appearing to be sickly sweet. Peter, despite his hearing impairment, is happy and positive, willing to help the cause by giving and sharing and expecting nothing in return. A delightful story, this could be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
Jo Schenkel, Pilgrim School

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