From Publishers Weekly
Brimming with Christmas spirit, Brown's quiet story is timeless, like all classics. So too are Caldecott Medalist Cooney's colorful pictures of woodland wonders in all seasons, huggable children and a lame boy's loving father. Every year at Christmas, the man digs up the little fir tree and takes it to decorate in his son's room where the boy's friends gather to sing carols. Then the father takes the tree to replant it in the meadow. As Christmas Eve approaches years later, and no one comes to bring it to the house, the little fir is lonely and sad. But he hears singing, soon he sees the children he remembers, especially the bedridden boy, coming close. The youngster is now walking and bringing the holiday cheer with him and his friends, to the small tree that had brought him so much joy. The words and easy arrangements of the songs are integrated into the story.
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
K-Gr. 2. In this striking edition of Brown's tender Christmas story, the illustrator of The Elves and the Shoemaker
(2003) provides lush new paintings to replace Barbara Cooney's 1954 artwork. Although the omission of carol music and lyrics removes the original's sing-along possibilities, the story is unchanged, recounting how a living pine tree is brought indoors each Christmas and how it bears witness to the miraculous healing of a sick little boy. Even if children are confused by the nature of the bedridden boy's "lame leg," which readers in the 1950s probably interpreted as polio, Brown's distinctive, rhythmic storytelling ("Seven times the Summer had droned its hot bee-buzzing days around him. Seven Autumns had whirled their falling leaves and milkweed parachutes past his head") reaffirms her legendary status in children's literature. Casting an equally potent spell are LaMarche's acrylic-and-pencil scenes, evoking the picturesque harmony of a Currier & Ives print. Topped off with a jacket proclaiming "By the author of Goodnight Moon,
" this lovely treatment guarantees an expanded audience for Brown's seasonal tale. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved