Book Review: Night Tree

Rating: ★★★★☆

Strong families have traditions that bind them together through the memory of shared experiences, repeated year after year.  This sweet story tells about one family’s tradition of decking an outdoor Christmas tree with homemade, edible ornaments, then enjoying a hot-cocoa picnic with Christmas carols before leaving the tree for the wildlife.  This story is told from the perspective of one of the children and warmly illustrated by Ted Rand.

Night Tree is pleasing not only because it provides a new variation on the tradition of bringing home a Christmas tree to decorate.  Its outdoor setting creates a contrast between the snowy cold and the warmth of the family’s warmth, as they bundle against the cold and crowd together on a blanket to sing while hot cocoa warms their hands.  There is a certain romantic appeal to the idea of animals benefiting from the family’s celebration (pictured in the final scene), and a feeling that the family’s warmth has overflowed toward other living things.  Like some of Bunting’s other stories, it verges on the sentimental, but is still a great addition to a Christmas reading basket.

Christopher (age 4) and Mrs. LaSonya

Christopher (age 4) and Mrs. LaSonya, December 09

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Publication Information: Bunting, Eve. Night Tree. Rand, Ted (Illustrator). Sandpiper. 1994. ISBN: 0152001212.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08
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Posted on December 2, 2009


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