WHAT THE LITTLE FIR TREE WORE TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY by Satomi Ichikawa

WHAT THE LITTLE FIR TREE WORE TO THE CHRISTMAS PARTY

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The Cinderella of fir trees meets her fairy godmother in this Christmas tale. In the forest, the big fir trees are all excited about Christmas, planning what each of them will wear to the big party. One will wear a dress of thousands of twinkling stars, while another will fashion one from a rainbow. In the shadows, the littlest fir tree listens intently and dreams about her own dress, but the others are too busy with their plans to even talk to her. As Christmas gets closer, a noisy truck arrives and the little fir is left standing alone, with no way to get to the party. But there is one other tree that got left behind, a scraggly one, bare but very kind. The old tree is a willing listener for the little one, and asks her about her dream—to wear a long dress of pure white like the moon. On Christmas morning, Mother Nature clothes her youngest tree in newly fallen snow and her older tree in the bright colors of the forest birds. Finally dressed for the party, the two share their own special celebration. Ichikawa’s (The First Bear in Africa, p. 498, etc.) trees’ dresses are awash in light, glowing with the gold of the sunset and illuminated by the stars of the night. The country-red borders framing the soft greens and blues of the watercolor illustrations will remind readers that this is a Christmas story, even as the author emphasizes the beauty found in nature and within each living thing. Unfortunately, while the reader will appreciate the work of Mother Nature, the stronger message seems to be that it is a tree’s dream to be cut down and decorated for Christmas. Better pair this one with Eve Bunting’s Night Tree (1991). (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-399-23746-1
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Philomel
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2001




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