Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

One Splendid Tree

One Splendid Tree

Marilyn Helmer
Illustrator:  Dianne Eastman 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Kids Can Press, 2005   ISBN: 978-1553376835

Things don’t look very promising for Christmas this year, and Hattie is not at all happy about it. Not only is Daddy far away fighting in the war, but she, her mother and her little brother Junior are having to live in a small apartment in town. There is very little money to spare, and Momma has to work every day. Not only are there not going to be any presents this yea,r but it doesn’t look as if they are even going to be able to have a Christmas tree.

Hattie’s little brother Junior finds this latter deprivation very hard to bear, and then he comes up with an idea of what they can do to have a Christmas tree, of sorts, without having to spend any money. At first Hattie is not enthusiastic, but then she catches some of Junior’s excitement and the children set about trying to create a Christmas atmosphere with what they have on hand.

This wonderfully heartwarming story about a family doing their best to make do during the Second World War will give readers of all ages something to smile about. Beautifully crafted photographic collage illustrations are rich with colors and textures, which give the pictures a unique three dimensional effect. At the back of the book, the author provides her readers with instructions on how to make one of the Christmas tree decorations described in the book.