He was born four weeks early -- because he was hungry, his family joked.
James had a voracious appetite. His favorites? His dad's egg omelets with bacon, and his mom's French toast.
He looked up to his older sister, wanting to do everything she could.
"They were the best of friends, going to school together, playing games together, and making endless drawings and crafts together."
The boy, whose family fondly called "J," will be incredibly missed, they said.
Grace McDonnell, 7
The ultimate "girly girl," Grace loved wearing pink and playing dress-up with jewelry, her grandmother told the Boston Herald.
As Mary Ann McDonnell spoke, she was surrounded by Christmas presents meant for Grace, or Gracie, as she was sometimes called.
The little girl loved art, gymnastics, soccer and her small spaniel, Puddin', her grandmother said.
"She was a wonderful little girl. She was always smiling," McDonnell told the newspaper. "I think everybody should know about these beautiful children whose lives were cut short."
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
A hero. That's how a first responder reportedly described Murphy to her father.
He told Newsday that authorities told him her body was found in a classroom, covering young children killed in the shooting in an apparent attempt to shield them.
"She died doing what she loved. She was serving children and serving God," Murphy's mother, Alice McGowan, told the newspaper.
A married mother of four, Murphy was artistic and hardworking, her parents said.
"She was a happy soul," her mother told Newsday. "She was a very good daughter, a good mother, a good wife."
Emilie Parker, 6
She could "light up a room," Emilie's father said about his oldest daughter.
Robbie Parker described her as "bright, creative and very loving." Emilie was always willing to try new things, he said, except food. Her laugh was infectious.
"My daughter Emilie would be one of the first ones to be standing up and giving her love and support to all of those victims, because that is the type of person she is," Parker said.
He said she was "an exceptional artist and she always carried around her markers and pencils so she never missed an opportunity to draw a picture or make a card for someone."
"This world is a better place because she has been in it," Parker said.
Emilie's aunt described her niece as the "sweetest little girl I've ever known."
The family is devastated that "someone so beautiful and perfect is no longer going to be in our lives and for no reason," said Jill Cottle Garrett.
Emilie's father, who works as a physician's assistant in the newborn unit at the Danbury hospital, recalled his last conversation with his daughter was in Portuguese, a language he was teaching her.