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PICK A PINE TREE by Patricia Toht Kirkus Star


by Patricia Toht ; illustrated by Jarvis

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-7636-9571-2
Publisher: Candlewick

A family of four buys a cut pine tree, takes it home, and, with the help of friends, decorates it for their Christmas tree.

The family drives to a tree lot, selects a tree, and takes it home on top of their car. The mother, the father, and their two children set up the tree, with the mother using a saw to trim the tree trunk. Boxes of decorations are brought in, and then friends arrive for a decorating party. When all the decorations are in place, the page turn reveals the completed tree in all its glory. That illustration is printed in landscape format across the double-page spread, so the book must be rotated 90 degrees to emphasize the tree’s height, a clever and surprising feature. The family’s interracial, with a white dad and black-haired, brown-skinned mom. Other characters at the tree lot and the party include people of different ethnicities. The short, rhyming text has a bouncy, appealing tone, with four brief lines of text per page. Delightful mixed-media illustrations use a flattened perspective, simple shapes, and glowing, light-filled backgrounds for a fresh take on the tree-decorating tradition. The illustrations are all in double-page-spread format with compositions that will work well for reading to a group or with just one child in a lap.

Pick this delightful story for a Christmas storytime, for library collections, or for family reading around the Christmas tree.

(Picture book. 2-6)