Sunday, December 2, 2012

a trio of Christmas books

For a little fun this year, I scrounged up a few books about the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree to read to my kids.  While each book had a different style and target audience, all were excellent choices for our seasonal book basket!  They all fit the criteria for the Christmas Book List, too.  

This first Rockefeller book is for older children.  Brand new-- just released this year!-- it is the true tale the family who is hired to carry the Christmas tree along the river to New York City.  Told from the perspective of the tugboat captain's daughter, the story begins early in the morning as the girl rises to join her parents for the 2-day trip.  She shares details of the interior of the tugboat, what they do for meals on the boat, and how it makes her feel to see the enormous tree for the first time and to see the crowds of people waiting for the anticipated cargo.  Though wordy and detailed, it is never boring!

What makes this book most fascinating is that, though told from the child's perspective, the author is the real-life tugboat captain himself!

Christmas in the City by Loretta Krupinski

This tickled the fancies of my littlest girl (Alaine, 2) and my animal-loving girl (Maddie, 8). This book was less factual and more fanciful.  It shares the story of a young mouse couple who make their home in the tree that was selected to be the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.  They explore landmarks around New York City, looking for a new home after deeming theirs no longer suitable to raising a family.  You'll have to read yourself  to see the home they choose! 

This was my favorite of the trio and the book with the widest appeal to my audience.  I love books based on true stories and this was a good one.  Set in 1931 during the Great Depression, a little boy and his father drive into New York City on Christmas Eve to earn a bit of money selling trees.  After a successful day, they decide to donate their remaining trees to the construction workers who are building the new Rockefeller Center.  The workers decorate the  20-foot tree with homemade garland and tin cans.  The following day-- Christmas Day-- the boy and his father receive a unexpected gift in return from the construction workers. 

The story continues many years later as the boy, now grown into an old man, is invited to participate in the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree tradition in an exciting new way. 

Don't miss the notes following the story, which sort fact from fiction and explain how Rockefeller Center began donating the lumber from their trees to Habitat for Humanity in 2007. 


Do you have a book or two to add to the growing Christmas list?  If you do, I'd love to hear about it in the comments. Plus don't miss out on my Christmas Book Giveaway, ending Monday at midnight.

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