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Christmas at the Candle Factory by Barbara L. Johns

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating


Christmas at the Candle Factory

The Bottom Line

"The Cat in the Candle Factory" ends, "So the factory was fine until Christmas...but that's another story!" It was another story...a story I've been waiting for eagerly!

I'm happy to report it's here, and just as wonderful as the first. This is a fun and heartwarming story with a wonderful subtle lesson for kids who struggle to get along with their younger siblings. And anyone who has ever busily made candles for craft fairs or as gifts will certainly relate to the story as well, and also relate (like I certainly could) to the trouble that little ones (feline or human) can cause in the candle shop!

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  • A wonderful Christmas story for children, cat lovers and candle-makers alike.
  • Delightful illustrations by Carolyn R. Stich
  • A wonderful story of tolerance, friendship, and forgiveness.
  • Some really great Christmas candle ideas too!
  • We see more of Grady the candle maker in this book.


  • The part where Elvis gets sent away is a little scary.


  • Bold, bright illustrations that are sure to delight children, candle makers and cat lovers alike.
  • The Christmas candles that Grady is making are really wonderful. I'm going to have to try some of them!
  • Great/accurate representation of how a real candle factory works.
  • Heartwarming lesson of friendship and forgiveness that will certainly apply to bickering siblings.

Guide Review - Christmas at the Candle Factory by Barbara L. Johns

"Was it possible that Midnight missed that annoying kitten?"

The prequel to this book, "Cat in the Candle Factory" is based on Midnight, a real cat in a real candle factory. When Barbara bought the Davisburg Candle Factory in the early 1980s, a black cat named Midnight came with it. Midnight was a fixture in the candle factory for many years.

In this new story, we learn that Midnight the cat now shares the candle factory with an annoying, but endearing, kitten named Elvis. (See the real Elvis the cat (and the author) here)"It's the candle factory's busiest and most exciting time of year, but Midnight, the factory's hardworking cat, can't handle the holiday rush and an annoying new kitten named Elvis!"

As a cat lover, candle maker, Christmas-lover, and father of a four-year-old, I related to and loved this new book on many levels, and it's quickly become one of my son's favorite books.

"Christmas at the Candle Factory" tells how Midnight tolerates, teaches, and saves troublesome Elvis on more than one occasion. But Elvis continues to cause Christmas chaos and becomes too much trouble for even mild-mannered Grady the candle maker. Both Elvis and Midnight suffer the consequences and it seems that Christmas will never be the same at the candle factory. Gladly, like most good Christmas stories, redemption comes with a big red bow on it on Christmas morning, and things all turn out for the better.

In addition to being a great story, I love how much candle making Johns has woven into the story! In preparation for Christmas, Grady the candle maker is busily making a different kind of candle each day Sugar Plum, Cranberry, Cinnamon, and more.

All in all, this is a truly charming and wonderful book. I certainly hope we get to read more about Midnight and Elvis soon!

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