Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Christmas Tree

The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon (illustrated by Jill Weber) is a compact story about trees and the deep-rooted emotional meanings they can hold in our lives. 

It is narrated by the chief gardener from Rockefeller Center in New York City and his quest to acquire the immense Norway Spruce from a convent in New Jersey. The book tells the story of Sister Anthony, an elderly nun at the Mother House, who refuses to accommodate the gardener's agenda to cut the tree down for use as the centerpiece in the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas display.  

During the process of many years of negotiations, Sister Anthony ultimately shares her back-story about how, when she was a shy, orphan girl named Anna, she was sent from New York City to live at the convent. Once there, she felt incredibly lonely, but she befriended a tiny fir tree whom she came to call, "Tree." Anna and Tree grew up together and it was through their life-long union that Anna came to love and appreciate the wonders of nature - a breadth of knowledge she generously passes on to the next generation. 

One winter, when a harsh storm threatens Tree's safety, Sister Anthony begins to have second thoughts about the tree becoming the crown jewel at the Rockefeller Center.

This is a sensitive, simply told and moving story, a perfect December read about growth, memory, love and letting go. You'll never look at a tree, or Rockefeller Center at Christmas-time, the same way.

The Christmas Tree by Julie Salamon; Jill Weber (Illustrator)
Random House, Paper, 9780375761089, 128pp.
Publication Date: October 29, 2002
To purchase this book via INDIEBOUND click HERE

This blog post was originally featured on "Reading Between the Lines" on December 5, 2010. The full post from that date can be read HERE.