Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Beautiful Christmas Tree

The Beautiful Christmas Tree

Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrator:   Yan Nascimbene 
Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Houghton Mifflin, 2001   ISBN: 978-0618152452

There once was a street that was lined with brownstone houses. All the houses were cared for except for one, which was rundown and shabby. Then, one day, a man called Mr. Crockett moved into the little house. Unlike his neighbors, Mr. Crockett was not “fashionable” or “elegant,” but he took good care of his new home, and he made it look clean and cared for.

One night Mr. Crockett stopped to look into the window of the flower shop at the end of the road. It was the night before Christmas, and the window was ablaze with lovely flowers and “bright red poinsettias.” In a dark corner of the shop, there was a wooden pot that contained a very sad looking little tree. Mr. Crockett went into the shop and he bought this unpromising little tree. Everyone who saw the little tree sitting in his window thought that Mr. Crockett was foolish to put such an ugly thing where everyone could see it. However, Mr. Crockett knew something that his neighbors did not know, that all “living things need love and care.”

This memorable Christmas story with its stunning art work, beautifully conveys a simple and meaningful message that will resonate with readers of all ages.