Trees that become Christmas trees are decorated with lights, bedecked with tinsel, and have baubles of all sorts hung from their branches. They sparkle and twinkle. Presents appear around them. People laugh around them and enjoy their beauty. So when one tree in the forest is left out in the cold, there’s only one thing he has left. A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree.
Colleen Monroe tells kids the story of this tree who just wants to be as important as other trees that are chosen for this time of year. He becomes sad and lonely out in the snow and ice, but soon others come around to him. The animals of the forest all arrive and let him know how important he is to them. The deer appreciates his soft needles for a warm bed. The squirrel is thankful for the tree’s large branches. The cardinal is glad for the protection the tree provides against the harsh winter wind. They make the tree happier, and to top it all off, they each bring in unique forest decorations, from acorns to berries to icicles, and dress the tree in their own version of holiday baubles and things. Thanks to their love and effort, the tree realizes he’s important not just at this time of year, but all throughout the year.
Michael Glenn Monroe illustrates A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree, offering up powerful impressions of snow and cold days and nights. Some may not notice right away, but the trees actually have faces, which can come as a delightful surprise to kids when they see them. Picture books often evoke feelings, and people who see the tree’s sad face will definitely want him to find a happy moment, which they are rewarded with at the end.
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree appears every year for adults to pick up for kids. The intended age range is 5 to 8, and the book is most popular in its hardcover form. However, it is also available as a board book for even younger children to handle. The story is told in rhymed couplets, which can be fun for both parents and kids to read.