Stephen Krensky, Author
Pascal Campion, Illustrator
Dial Books for Young Readers, Fiction, Oct. 16, 2014
Suitable for Ages: 3-7
Themes: Christmas trees, Empathy, Hope, Spirit of Christmas
Opening: “Almost exactly a month before Christmas, the trees arrived for the holiday. On the day before, the lot had been empty.”
Book Synopsis: Among the grand balsams and firs at the Christmas tree lot is a little hunched tree that is missing several branches. Still, no tree is more filled with the spirit of Christmas. As the weeks go by, many others are selected but the little tree holds onto its hope of finding a home. On Christmas Eve, now alone in the lot, the little tree receives a special visitor who might just give it what it wants most of all.
Why I like this book: This is such a heartwarming and moving Christmas story by Stephen Krensky that will delight young children for years to come. His story will certainly create empathy among children as the little tree endures snickers and rejection by families searching for the perfect tree. But this little tree has spunk. It is filled with hope that it will be selected until it is the last tree standing in the lot. Yet Krensky’s little tree is a very upbeat with an unwavering faith and personality. The plot will keep children turning pages and guessing what will happen to the last tree. Pascal Campion’s digital illustrations are colorful, inviting and show the loneliness and joy in the story. Beautiful book with a surprise ending.
Resources: Take your children to a Christmas tree farm or tree lot and let them select the family tree. Encourage them to make their own ornaments and decorate your tree together.
Stephen Krensky is the author of more than one hundred fiction and nonfiction books for children, including How Santa Got His Job, How Santa Lost His Job, Chaucer’s First Winter, The Great Moon Hoax, Big Bad Wolves, Ghosts, Paul Bunyan, and Casey Jones. Visit Krensky’s website.
Pascal Campion is a French American illustrator and animator. Visit Campion’s website.