The Christmas Tree Ship

The Christmas Tree Ship

5.0 1
by Carol Crane, Chris Ellison
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Describes the annual voyage of the Rouse Simmons ship bearing Christmas trees to Chicago, highlighting its final tragic voyage in 1912, when the captain, crew, and cargo were all lost, and the ship's wreckage not recovered until 1971.

See more details below

  • Checkmark Kids' Club Eligible  Shop Now

Overview

Describes the annual voyage of the Rouse Simmons ship bearing Christmas trees to Chicago, highlighting its final tragic voyage in 1912, when the captain, crew, and cargo were all lost, and the ship's wreckage not recovered until 1971.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
Two young boys live with their grandparents in a lighthouse on Lake Michigan. The boys and their cousins listen to Grandpa tell a story. Grandpa tells of the ship that each year brought Christmas trees to Chicago. During a storm in 1912 the ship sank. When some of the trees washed up on the Michigan shore, Grandpa and others put one on top of the lighthouse. The next year, in honor of the Captain, the Captain's wife and daughters brought trees to Chicago in another ship. Grandpa pulls from his pocket a metal tag that had been on the trees and which he later found in the sand. In an "Author's Note" we learn the facts on which this story is based: In 1912, Captain Herman Schuenemann went down with his ship with 5,000 Christmas trees. Also, we learn that the grandparents of the story are of Swedish background. The boys and Grandfather are shown in colored pictures while the back story is in browns. This seems a rather bitter-sweet Christmas story. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—A narrator tells of his boyhood with his grandfather, a lighthouse keeper on Lake Michigan. The man likes to tell the stories at the holidays while he carves ornaments. The boy's favorite is a tale about a schooner that went down in a November 1912 storm while on its way to Chicago with a full load of Christmas trees. This anecdote is not enough to hang a picture book on, despite its being based on a historical event, and the basic prose of the story occasionally breaks into awkward rhyming stanzas. The nostalgia is reinforced by attractive, old-fashioned oil and acrylic paintings; unfortunately, the scenes with Grandpa Axel telling his "old" story of the 1912 wreck seem to be set in 1912 themselves, judging by Grandma Hannah's clothing. Mildly pleasant but flawed.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

The true story of a ship loaded with Christmas trees that was lost in a storm on Lake Michigan in 1912 is interwoven with a nostalgic reminiscence by an adult narrator recalling storytelling grandfather.

The unnamed narrator recounts how, as boys, he and his younger brother lived with their grandparents in a lighthouse on the shore of Lake Michigan. One Christmas, Grandpa Axel told his grandchildren the story of Captain Santa, who each November took a shipload of thousands of Christmas trees from northern Michigan to Chicago to sell. The ship and its crew were lost in a fierce November storm, but the following year the captain's widow and his daughters brought another ship loaded with trees to Chicago to continue Captain Santa's tradition. Grandpa Axel's retold story of the Christmas-tree ship is illustrated in sepia tones to distinguish it from the later story, which is illustrated with vibrant paintings with an appealing, Impressionistic flavor. The wreck of the ship is glossed over with a blurry illustration of the sinking ship and no mention of loss of life. The transition back and forth between 1912 and the era of the storytelling grandfather (with no specified date) may be confusing to some readers, and a map of the Lake Michigan area would have been helpful.

A dramatic but lugubrious subject for a Christmas story. (author's note)(Picture book. 6-10)

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585362851
Publisher:
Sleeping Bear Press
Publication date:
09/08/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,280,415
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
6 - 10 Years

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >