Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Apple Tree Christmas

Apple Tree Christmas

Trinka Hakes Noble
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 8
Sleeping Bear Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-1585362707

Katrina and her family live in a barn. Beneath the section where they live, the cows, horses, sheep and chickens sleep, and out in the yard there is a wonderful old apple tree that is practically a member of the family. Around the apple tree a vine grows, its long thin arms going around the trunk and up into the branches of the tree. There is a loop in the vine that Katrina's little sister Josie uses as a swing. On the opposite side of the tree there is a branch that Katrina sits. She calls the branch her "studio" because it is where she sits to do her drawings.

As well as being a wonderful play and work place, the apple tree gives Katrina's family lots of apples every fall, which they store away and make into apple butter. Some of the apples, the best of them, are saved for decorating the house at Christmas.

All is going well until a dreadful blizzard blows in. For days the wind howls and snow falls. Then there is an ice storm that peppers the barn with ice pellets and that makes the trees outside snap and groan. When the storm is finally over Katrina and her family discover that the wonderful apple tree was one of the casualties of the storm.

Poor Katrina feels the loss of the tree a great deal. Where will she draw her pictures now that her "studio" is gone? Katrina cannot even get into the spirit of Christmas until her father shows her the special Christmas gifts that he has made for her and Josie.