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THE LITTLE FIR TREE by Margaret Wise Brown

THE LITTLE FIR TREE

By Margaret Wise Brown (Author) , Jim LaMarche (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-028189-8
Publisher: HarperCollins

LaMarche updates this sentimental story, first published in 1954, with new illustrations showcased through an oversized format and many double-page spreads. The little fir tree of the title was chosen by a kindly father as the special Christmas tree for his disabled young son, a child of three or four with a “lame leg” who “had never left his bed.” The tree is brought to the little boy for two Christmases and then returned to the forest to be replanted each spring. The third year, the tree waits to be part of the boy’s Christmas again, but this time the boy and his family and friends come out to the forest to celebrate because the boy has learned to walk. The story is rather dated in both its anthropomorphized tree and in its treatment of someone with a disability, although it is made clear through the illustrations that the setting is long ago and far away in a remote mountain village. LaMarche’s paintings capture the beauty of the forest and the warmth of friends and family in a cozy, old-fashioned home. Though the little boy is appealing in some illustrations, his age progression is inconsistent in the concluding spreads. Still, this is a lovely way to revisit an old favorite. (Picture book. 3-6)