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Library : Book Reviews > Night Tree

Night Tree
By Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Ted Rand

Review by: Christa J Koch
Owner/ Operator of

           Every family has their own holiday traditions. This is a very touching story told by a little boy, about his family's traditions. Nina (his sister), Mom, Dad, and the little boy all participate in this holiday tradition. Late Christmas Eve night they drive out to Luke's Forest. "Dad says it's not really a forest, just a nice forgotten place where our town ends." They walk into the forest with a blanket, a box, and a lantern. "Here's our tree." Dad says. The family opens the box to reveal popcorn chains, apples and tangerines with strings on them, balls of sunflower seeds. The family excitedly, together decorated the tree. They even "scattered shelled nuts and bread crumbs' and pieces of apple underneath for the little creatures who can't climb very well." Then the family sits back on the blanket with the lantern out and cups of hot chocolate to warm their bellies and hands. They admired their tree. They had hoped that a few animals would come by, but Dad said they were shy. The family sings a few Christmas songs (well Nina picked Old Mac Donald had a farm.) before they left.
     "Later in bed" the little boy thinks about the next day when aunt, uncles and cousins will be at their house. Then he thinks about Luke's forest. He thinks about the animals eating Christmas dinner. "And they're all there together, singing their own Christmas day songs around our tree."
     Ted Rand does an excellent job illustrating this beautiful story. The illustrations are done in watercolors with additional chalk and grease pencil on illustration board. The illustrations bring beauty to this fabulously touching family Christmas story.
            I recommend this story for preschoolers and young elementary aged children.

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