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Little Tree

Little Tree

by Cummings, E. E. Cummings

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"little tree," E. E. Cummings beloved tribute to a tiny Christmas tree, is the inspiration for celebrated author and illustrator Chris Raschka's original story about a little tree who yearns to be a special Christmas tree.


"little tree," E. E. Cummings beloved tribute to a tiny Christmas tree, is the inspiration for celebrated author and illustrator Chris Raschka's original story about a little tree who yearns to be a special Christmas tree.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
A classic poem from e. e. cummings is given sparkling treatment from the talented author-illustrator Chris Raschka. We couldn't be happier that Cumming's "little tree" poem is back in the spotlight for the holidays. With glorious wonder, Raschka uses the poem's tribute to a small Christmas tree as a cause for colorful celebration.

Rewriting the story of a little tree destined for stardom, Raschka presents a flowing tale of true holiday spirit. A little tree, in the green forest, finds comfort in his home. But he often dreams if he'll find his own family, and his own house to brighten as a Christmas tree. When a truck arrives to take him away, the tree knows he is on his way. Standing on a streetcorner in a busy little city, a lively family look for that perfect tree. And when they see little tree their search is over. They take him home and adorn him with ribbons and lights. "The little tree lifted up his little branches, like little arms, to show off all the little ornaments..." He had finally found his place in the world.

This touching story is brilliantly matched with stunning watercolor illustrations in geometric shapes. While in some hands the use of geometric shapes would be harsh, Raschka's illustrations shine. Warm emotion and jubilant cheer bounce off the pages. Simple shapes allows readers to pick up the cozy sensibilities of a wash of color, and the play of forms. Enriched by the added beauty of the color and design. e. e. cummings's little poem never sounded or looked so stunning. (Amy Barkat)

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This joyously illustrated version of cummings's well-loved poem should take root in many household collections. Crisp, airy watercolors, occasionally kissed with the sparkle of a foil-stamped gold star, show the evolution of a "little silent Christmas tree" in the snowy woods to a family's happy, glistening holiday symbol, sporting "spangles... the balls the chains red and gold." Ages 3-up. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The entire text of cummings' 1925 poem about a little tree which is cherished by some children as a Christmas tree forms the basis of Raschka's retelling and is reprinted as an opener. Raschka tells the story from the tree's point of view as he wonders where he is going, rides the truck and train to a "little big city." There a family finds him on a sidwalk and take him home, up the little elevator, where they decorate him in their little apartment and he glows and shines. It's the kind of book that makes a child sigh with contentment and the illustrations are a triumph of triangles and other patterned shapes to represent forests, cities, exteriors and interiors, and the childlike drawings of the people. Greens dominate with plenty of other colors to make this fun for close-up looking but a little too complicated to share well in large groups. All in all, it's a beautiful contribution to the literature of Christmas and brings to light a poem not familiar to many children and rarely anthologized. 2001, Hyperion, $16.99. Ages 3 up. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Inspired by cummings's poem, which is presented in its entirety at the beginning of this beguiling book, Raschka's story echoes and expands on its themes of families and belonging. Delicate tiny vignettes decorate the text pages, which face full-page illustrations. Loose, geometric lines, skewed multiple perspectives, and childlike representations of people characterize these intricate, energetic watercolors. The story takes the little tree from his faraway forest home, via a little truck and a little train, "past the farms and little towns to the little big city," where he is purchased by a loving little family. In an engaging sideline, Santa appears in small scenes pulling on his boots, skiing, listening to music, and drinking a glass of wine at a caf . Final pictures reinforce the connection between the poem and the story. Visually, and as a simple, sweetly old-fashioned read-aloud, Little Tree embodies the warm sense of love and belonging that for many defines the true meaning of Christmas.-S. P. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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Meet the Author

About the Author
e.e. cummings was one of the most preeminent American poets of the 20th century. He died in 1962.
About the Illustrator
Deborah Kogan Ray's work has appeared in numerous exhibitions and collections, and she is the author/illustrator of many books for children.

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