Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Family Christmas Tree Book by Tomie dePaola

Have you ever wondered about Christmas trees? Where did they come from? When did we start using Christmas trees? How do people around the world use them? The Family Christmas Tree Book takes the form of a conversation while one family goes to a tree farm to select their Christmas tree. Through questions, answers, and speech bubbles, they talk about the history of Christmas trees, how trees are used, and how things like strings of lights and Christmas tree holders came into popularity. With Tomie dePaola's signature drawings and a strong sense of curiosity, this is a neat book for people wanting to learn more about one of Christmas' premier symbols.

I love Tomie dePaola's artistic style. There's a lot of information wrapped up in this tiny book - perhaps a little too much information for must children, who might grow tired of the historical facts, but it's smartly accompanied by detailed drawings. I really enjoyed the parts that looked at the family's own personal history with Christmas trees. And the craft at the end sort of shows the age of the book; if this was a more recently published book, it would likely have its own page where you could cut right in the book rather than the warnings not to cut the book. But no matter. This is still a lovely book about how one family gets ready for the Christmas holidays by sharing and learning together.

It doesn't look like The Family Christmas Tree Book is in print anymore, but you can probably find it in libraries, used bookstores, and online.

See more of Tomie dePaola's books at his website.

Read it with:
Mary, the Mother of Jesus by Tomie dePaola
Christmas Tree! by Wendell Minor
O Christmas Tree by Jacqueline Farmer

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