The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy
Pictures By: Emily Sutton
Published by: Candlewick Press, 2016
Genre: Children’s Picture Book, Christmas
Source: borrowed from the library
From Candlewick Press:
It’s late on Christmas Eve, and the little fir tree is the only tree left in the shop. What a poor thing I am, it thinks. But then a young boy enters the store, drawn in from the damp by the warmth and lights and the wonderful smell of Christmas, and he doesn’t seem to mind that the scrawny tree isn’t tall and straight like the others. . . . This magical story, beautifully illustrated by Emily Sutton, captures an unexpected and unforgettable moment of happiness that brings a whole city together.
In a deeply moving story with the hallmarks of a classic, a homeless boy’s rescue of a spindly Christmas tree sparks a glimmer of hope that has far-reaching effects.
Review: A little fir tree is planted carelessly and ends up growing sideways and small. After many years, the trees are large enough to sell in time for Christmas. The little fir tree ends up being the only tree unsold and as the shopkeeper goes to throw it away, a little boy asks if he can have it. The boy plants the tree in an empty cardboard box he finds and brings it under the railway bridge where he “lives” in a cardboard box. The boy buys candles and matches to decorate the tree The other homeless people return to their boxes for the evening and gather around the little tree. A street performer sits down with his accordion and everyone begins to sing Christmas carols. Soon more and more people stop by and join in singing. The little tree helps brings the city together for one evening and “the magic of Christmas eve was everywhere.”
This book was so heart-warming yet so sad. I was surprised when I discovered that the boy was homeless. The book doesn’t focus on the boy’s homelessness though, but rather the spirit of Christmas and the “magic of Christmas eve.” The book ends with a message of hope and resilience. Filled with colorful illustrations, The Christmas Eve Tree has been one of my favorite Christmas books read this year!
Overall Rating: Recommended Read