The Tree That’s Meant to Be

Doubleday. Sept. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593119679.
PreS-Gr 2–On the cover of this book, a small, unassuming tree is center stage, with forest animals hovering about. Bits of the cover are embossed, which will appeal to the youngest hands. The little tree is passed over repeatedly as Christmas shoppers choose bigger, more impressive trees. But when the crowds are gone, forest friends go out of their way to adorn the little tree with all kinds of pretty decorations found in the forest they share. The little tree is jubilant at the end and knows that he is loved. The story is less about Christmas and more about feeling left out but ultimately finding yourself appreciated. This parable is sweet and serves as a good alternative for teachers and parents who want to avoid holiday titles with overt religious overtones. The message of feeling good about oneself makes it a natural fit for the classroom.
VERDICT A good alternative for those whose holiday celebrations are not tied to a particular religion. Children will identify with the little tree’s plight and might find some adventure searching for “decorations” in the woods for their own trees.

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