Winning Year: 1995 Illustrator: P J Lynch Title: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Walker Current Publisher:
0744554020 In Print
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley. He is a gruff, cold man; no-one knows of his grief for the wife and child he lost years ago. Then one day in early winter, the widow McDowell comes to call. Would Mr Toomey carve a set of nativity figures for her and her son Thomas in time for Christmas? When, reluctantly, he agrees, Jonathan Toomey's Christmas miracle begins.
P J Lynch was born and brought up in Belfast. He says it was a scary place to be when he was a teenager in the 1970s, so holidays at his mother's family farm were especially important for him and his brothers and sister. "Holiday" may not be the right word as they worked really hard every day - but he loved it. His mother particularly encouraged his drawing. "I'm sure that for me, burying myself in books, and the little worlds it created on a page, was a good way of escaping for a while from the horrors that were happening around me in the real world."
He married his wife Barbara on his fortieth birthday, they live in Dublin and have two sons, Ben and Sam.