A solitary pine tree on the outskirts of a tree farm enjoys her place near the tracks, where she can hear trains roar past.
A little boy who loves trains as much as she does comes with his father to choose a Christmas tree. There’s an instant connection between the boy and the personified (but not visibly anthropomorphized) tree, and she’s the one he chooses to take home. Lest a child be horrified at the thought of the father cutting down the tree, the illustrations make clear that it’s carefully dug up and roots swaddled in burlap for the trip. The boy is happy, but the tree, now trapped in the corner of a room, is sad that she can no longer hear the trains. When the boy sets up his new toy train around the tree, she’s happy once again. Eventually, the boy and his father take her back to her favorite spot by the tracks and replant her. This beautifully designed and illustrated book conveys the emotional import of moments big and small through a visual rhythm that intersperses double-page spreads with smaller, more intimate scenes in soft ovals set against white space. The title page echoes the cover while framing the publication information within the tracks. Soft reds and greens enhance the Christmas theme, while onomatopoeic display type propels the action. The boy and his family present white.
Reminiscent of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Fir-Tree,” this story of friendship will warm children’s hearts. (Picture book. 3-7)