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O CHRISTMAS TREE: It's History and Holiday Traditions

Author: Jacqueline Farmer

Illustrator: Joann Friar

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Publisher: Charlesbridge,

Material: paperback

Summary: As you read this book you’ll learn about where the custom of using fir trees for decorations came from and how the Christmas tradition evolved into what we have today. The author also takes a look at the different types of fir trees and how tree farms operate. You’ll also find lots of interesting facts about Christmas trees and the celebration of Christmas. This is a nonfiction picture book for the Christmas season.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 5 to 9; read yourself: 13 and up

Interest Level: 5 to 10

Reading Level: 7

Age of Child: Read with a fourth-grade class.

Young Reader Reaction: The students not only found the book interesting but many of them asked if they could borrow it to share with their brothers and sisters at home.

Adult Reader Reaction: I loved this book, the art work and the interesting facts the author included.

Pros: This is a book equally suited for classroom and home use. The artwork is great and it grabs kids' attention.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! Everyone in the family will enjoy sharing it, and you can use it also to inspire a deeper look at various holiday customs.


Educational Themes: There are lots of things to do with this book. You can talk about the different traditions, you can map the countries or contrast/compare customs, or you might recreate a particular tradition in your home. It would be a nice tool for genealogy research if you want to know how your ancestors celebrated Christmas.

Notes: Bob Walch, Monterey, California, sent us this review. Bob's reviews appear in the Salinas Californian, Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, Aptos Times, Ride/Western Times and Coast Views Magazine. His online reviews can be found at MyShelf, Roundtable Reviews, Parent Click, Midwest Book Review, and I Love a Mystery.

Literary Categories: Nonfiction - picture book, cultures and tradition, Christmas, history, multicultural

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2010

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