Book Summary: Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin.
As he performed his duties, Lt. Halvorsen began to notice the German children gathered by the fences of Tempelhof Air Base. Knowing that they had very little, he one day offered them some chewing gum. From that small act, an idea sprang: He would "bomb" Berlin with candy. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive.
Lt. Halvorsen became known by hundreds, if not thousands, of children in Berlin as "Uncle Wiggly Wings" or "The Candy Bomber." Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen's small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.
Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.
My Review: Each year in Salt Lake City, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir puts on a beautiful, free Christmas concert with special guests. There is also always a lovely Christmas story told by the guests. The tickets are given away as part of a lottery and believe me winning the lottery is a very coveted and special thing! This book is the story that was told at last years concert, it and the DVD that comes with it are beautiful. I love that the book has vintage black and white photos that go along with the story. The story is beautiful and amazing, but I have to tell you that watching Tom Brokaw tell the story on the DVD that goes with it was a very moving and magical experience for me. I loved the magic of the candy parachutes raining down on the audience as if dropped from an old cargo plane. And it brought me to tears when the hero of the story, 92 year old "Hal" Halvorsen came onto the scene, so amazing. This is a great Christmas story to read with children young and old and don't forget to watch the DVD!
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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About the author and illustrator:
Tom Brokaw is one of the giants of television journalism. Anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004, he also holds the honor of being the only person to host each of NBC News’s major news programs: The Today Show, NBC Nightly News, and Meet the Press. He has won several awards, including a Peabody Award and seven Emmys. He is the author of The Greatest Generation and The Greatest Generation Speaks, among other books. He and his wife, Meredith, have three daughters and five grandchildren
Robert T. Barrett is a professor of illustration at Brigham Young University, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s degrees in painting and completed postgraduate work in Germany. An accomplished painter, muralist, and illustrator, his work has been featured in many national magazines and in art exhibits across the country and in Germany. He and his wife, Vicki, have ten children and one grandchild and reside in Provo, Utah.
Labels: Deseret Book, DVD, LDS non-fiction, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, picture book, Robert T Barrett, Tom Brokaw