If you are new to my ramblings here on the Cutoff, you may not yet realize that I love children’s literature as much as I love any other genre. Those of you who have been visiting my neck of the woods for a while would not be surprised to know that I have a collection of children’s literature that I bring out come December and savor until January or that my family and friends know that I will always purr with delight if gifted with a child centered book.
I’m purring right now, dear reader, for Antler Man, aka Tom, gift wrapped ( in children’s wrapping paper) a book I’ve been wanting. He placed it beneath our Christmas tree where it awaited my childlike glee as I unwrapped it on Christmas morn.
“Favor Johnson: A Christmas Story” is written by Willem Lange, a short story writer and radio commentator from Vermont The book is illustrated by Bert Dodson with nostalgic scenes of Favor Johnson, his farm, his beloved dog, Hercules, and the nearby town.
This is a simple story of how a quiet farmer who keeps to himself, Favor Johnson, comes to make fruitcake in tin cans and delivers them to his neighbors on Christmas Eve after a neighbor, Dr. Jenkins, saves his dog’s life. Is is about neighborliness and how one act of kindness can lead to others, in the most remarkable ways.
Like all good children’s books, “Favor Johnson: A Christmas Story” is really a story for all ages and would make a lovely gift to an adult, including yourself, my friend. It is a stunningly simple reminder of giving to others in the simplest of ways as we read of Favor “A man in overalls and an old red-and-black checked jacket” trudging up stairs and knocking on doors, driving from house to house on Christmas Eve and leaving his packages wrapped in aluminum foil.
It is a timely book, not just for Christmas, but as a call to action as we embrace the New Year. A call to give a bit of oneself to others in whatever way we can, like Favor Johnson and his tin cans of fruitcake.
I will be offline for several days, but wanted to tell you about Favor Johnson – and to wish you the best in the new year ahead!
The bookcover above is from Willem Lange’s website. It can be found here.