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The Christmas Tugboat: How the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York City Hardcover – Oct 30 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (Oct. 30 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618992154
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618992157
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 24.8 x 28.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 481 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #598,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Readers will be captivated by the vivid details of the journey, which help form a radiant Christmas story."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"What gives this story depth is the richness of James E. Ransome's paintings: His use of color brings majesty to the working of men and machines in the shifting light of early dawn."
Wall Street Journal

"An attractive addition to the holiday shelf."
School Library Journal

"Absorbing."
Horn Book

About the Author

George Matteson grew up around boats and has crewed on and captained many different types, including tugboats, an 1885 schooner, fishing boats, and a fisheries research vessel. He’s the author of two adult books, Tugboats of New York: An Illustrated History and Draggerman: Fishing on Georges Bank, as well as many articles in marine publications.
Adele Ursone is an artist, editor, and former editorial director of Universe/Rizzoli. She accompanied her husband, George Matteson, on towing jobs whenever her schedule allowed and loved their time on the water, often doing watercolor sketches while under way. You can see her artwork at www.adeleursone.com.
They live with their daughter in New York City and Sedgwick, Maine, never far from water.


James Ransome has illustrated more than 35 books for children, including many award winners. He lives in Rhinebeck, New York, with his wife, children's book author Lesa Cline Ransome, and their four children. Visit his website at www.jamesransome.com.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 6 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A new holiday classic! Dec 2 2012
By Odette Chatham Baker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book makes you yearn to be in a cozy chair in front of a warm fire in those last years before your child is too old to be read to. The book is a quiet one, telling the story in straightforward language of how the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is transported to New York City one winter. Told from a child's point of view, we feel the magic of the moment without excessive sentimentality. The rhythm of tugboat life is both interesting and lulling. We come away from reading these 40 or so pages with the feeling of having looked at a map of an endeavor rather than just a timeline of it. It feels as if we have crossed through varied and interesting terrain, stopping at times to soak in the atmosphere of a place before being guided on. This book is destined to become a classic read, and is a pleasure for both children and their parents who read to them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A story worth reading! Jan. 24 2013
By Irene's Christian Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The subtitle to this book is How The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came To New York City. I gave this book 5/5 stars. The illustrations are perfect and really help tell the story. The story itself is exciting and will keep any child entertained. At the end of the book there is a page with notes from the author and illustrator, make sure you read this page as well! I will add that the text in this book is longer than most picture books. It is a great story though and worth taking the time to read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A charming new story to add to Christmas traditions Dec 4 2013
By Ms. Elli Mastrangelo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The delightful tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center is televised every year at the beginning of December. This children's book tells the short but engaging story of steering up the Hudson River by tugboat to tow the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree to Manhattan. The tale is narrated by the young daughter of the tugboat captain, and the reader is caught up in her excitement about steering the tug during the two-day trip. The rich illustrations throughout the book evoke the chill of late November and the warmth of the family's shared memorable voyage. Published in 2012, this is the second year that I read the story prior to the annual tree-lighting ceremony, and then displayed the book among other Christmas books and decorations. It's a wonderful addition to Christmas traditions.
Boring Dec 17 2013
By NotAReader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have a 4 year-old who will not go to bed unless we read him a book. And during advent, we have carefully selected 24 books that we will read year after year.

Unfortunately this book is a real miss, even if 1 out of 24 is a good record. To summarize, I will use the little boy's word: "Boring".

To elaborate a bit more, the text is trying too hard to be flowery and literate, it just doesn't flow for children (and adults alike). The illustrations are poor: there's one picture on one page and a page full of text on the other; it takes about one minute to read the 'boring' text while the kid stares at the 'boring' picture (e.g. daughter and mother in front of a bowl of cereals, dark dawn/dusk views of wintery NY state, father and daughter watching out of a window at night).

This book just does not put you in a Christmas spirit.

I would greatly recommend however "The Carpenter's gift, a Christmas take about the Rockefeller center tree". That one makes his mommy cry every year.

A dad, upset to have wasted an advent night story on this book.
Unique Slant on The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Jan. 23 2013
By White Fang - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There have been many books written about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, this one, however, presents the story from the standpoint of a Tugboat Captain and his family. This beautifully illustrated 9 7/8 inch by 11 1/4 inch 40 page children's book presents the story of a tugboat traveling up the Hudson River to Stony Point to tow a barge with the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree back to Manhattan. The author, George Mattesson, along with his wife, Adele Ursone and their daughter, Emily, wrote this book in a cooperative effort based on a real life happening. Each page is a beautiful illustration that conveys the feel and atmosphere of traveling and working on a real tugboat on the Hudson River with the New York City Skyline as a backdrop. The artist, James E. Ransome, uses dark and neutral colors to capture the chill of the waters and the night and early morning of the day as well as the cold darkness of late November weather in his illustrations. The artist painted the tugboat a bright red and white so it would stand out from the dark gray and neutral skyline signifying the joy and accomplishment that comes from a family working together.

Emily was used to her dad getting up in the middle of the night trying not to disturb her and her mother as he prepared for his day's work operating a tugboat out of New York. This morning would be different, however, because she and her mother were accompanying her father on a special mission to pick up and tow the Rockefeller Center Christmas to Manhattan. The three family members arrive at the docks in the middle of the night greeted by the stray cats. Father had taught his daughter well --- "Pay Attention" on the water - even though her mom was worried about her. Emily and her dad start the big yellow engine and they are off on a wonderful cooperative adventure - traveling up the Hudson River at just nine knots or eleven miles an hour. The author knows just how much detail to include in the story to make it interesting for the reader. The reader will experience what life is like on a tugboat from the starting of the big yellow diesel engine to the final unloading of the Rockefeller Center Tree. When reading this book, children will find themselves in the engine room, the pilot house, the galley, the bunk room, the deck and the bow of the tugboat. One of the highlights of the story is when Emily actually steers the tugboat pulling the barge with the Rockefeller Christmas. After experiencing the details of this tugboat task, the reader is excited and joyful as this mission is completed and the tug and its crew and precious cargo are welcomed by helicoptors. red, white and blue streams of water from fire boats and cheering people. While the reader never really sees the actual tree on display in Rockefeller Center, they sense that all things end well.

This is a great book illustrating the importance and the details of a tugboat family's adventures based on the real life experiences of the tugboat captain and his family. It is rather weak on the Christmas theme. However, saying that, I would heartily recommend this book. It would be ideal for a read aloud in the classroom. I give it four stars only because I expected more about Christmas in the book.


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