Down at Angel's


I was nearly at a loss for words after finishing this book. This CHILDREN'S book!! 

No Spoilers

I was so impressed by the story arch and its touching ending and I want you to have the same experience when you read this book, so no spoilers here. Just be prepared because, like a pull-at-the-heart-strings Pixar movie that makes parents weep and children laugh in consecutive beats, this book contains a powerful story.

A story about how everyone has something to offer.

A story that strengthens my appreciation for the skills God has given me and the impact it can have on those who receive my work.

South Dakota Heritage

Perhaps one of the reasons I was so moved by this book is the author's South Dakota heritage. Sharon Chmielarz (man, I thought I had a rough last name) was born and raised in South Dakota and now lives in MN. You can find out more about her on her website,

Sharon's story is the inverse of my own. I was born and began my early education in MN, but was soon transplanted to South Dakota. I was in MN long enough to develop a deep love of trees, lakes and hills COVERED IN TREES!!! Landing in the prairie, I felt like a fish out of water. WHERE are all the TREES? WHY are those trees all standing in straight ROWS?

That was many years ago now, and I've learned to appreciate South Dakota and all it has to offer. While reading this book, I assumed that the story was taking place on the East Coast. Somewhere with more TREES, more WOODWORKERS! What a wonderful surprise to read that this book tells the story of South Dakota's woodworking heritage. Something I do my little part to keep alive every day.

Be a Good One

I'm going to skip my typical "How - What - Why" rating for this book, but let me just say, this book is a FIRM reminder of WHY I choose woodworking over so many other (constructive or destructive) things I could do with my life.


Children's books about woodworking are few and far between (excluding Bob the Builder). If you have a Midwest connection, this book will be even more meaningful. 

Thanks for reading,