The Christmas Tugboat: How the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York City

The Christmas Tugboat: How the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York City

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by George Matteson, Adele Ursone, James E. Ransome
     
 

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The splendid iconic Christmas tree at New York City's Rockefeller Center doesn't just spring up overnight. It is delivered by tugboat on the Hudson River. This is the story of how one such tree made the journey.See more details below

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Overview

The splendid iconic Christmas tree at New York City's Rockefeller Center doesn't just spring up overnight. It is delivered by tugboat on the Hudson River. This is the story of how one such tree made the journey.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Ransome's rich paintings lend warmth to the wind-chilled scenes. Not every child gets this kind of adventure for Christmas, of course. But most will very gladly read all about it.
—Pamela Paul
Publishers Weekly
A girl wakes on a November morning at dawn to accompany her mother and father—a New York Harbor tugboat captain—on a special excursion: to pick up a tow ship carrying the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and deliver it to New York City. Ransome’s smudgy acrylic scenes transition smoothly from panoramic views of the tug crossing in front of the Manhattan skyline to intimate moments, such as an image of the girl riding with her father in the inviting pilot house. Readers will be captivated by the vivid details of the journey (based on the authors’ experiences with their daughter), which help form a radiant Christmas story. Ages 4–8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Carlee Hallman
A girl and her mother accompany the father on a tugboat trip to deliver a Christmas tree down the Hudson River to New York City. The tree is on a tractor trailer which is on a barge. When they dock, the truck will take the tree to Rockefeller Center. Part way to their destination, they tie up overnight to sleep. As they approach the George Washington Bridge, helicopters fly overhead to take pictures for the morning news. Police boats run beside them. A tour boat with children greets them. The girl gets to steer for a while in New York Harbor. A fireboat sends red, white, and blue water above them. They dock, and the tree is whisked off by the truck to midtown. It has to be set up by the next day. A worker hands the girl a pinecone as a souvenir. The front and back two-page spreads show the red tugboat running along the New York skyline with snowflakes in the air. The bright blue, red, and green-colored pictures don't make up for the dull story. Reviewer: Carlee Hallman
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—Early one morning, a girl wakes up at dawn to travel with her dad and mom up the Hudson River in a tugboat. Their mission? To bring the barge bearing the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree down the river to New York City. The somewhat lengthy text is full of information about the two-day journey, told from the girl's point of view ("The fastest we'll go…is about nine knots. That's like driving your car eleven miles an hour. Pretty slow!"). Ransome's full-page and full-spread acrylic paintings, highlighting big, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets above the Hudson River, are ravishing. More about tugboats than Christmas, but an attractive addition to the holiday shelf.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
A girl joins her tugboat-captain dad (along with her mom) on a family trip as they tow a barge with a gigantic Christmas tree and some immense ornaments into New York City for the holiday display at Rockefeller Center. The unnamed girl narrates the longish story in first person, detailing how her dad operates the tugboat and how they eat and sleep during their special overnight trip. The tugboat pulls the barge around the tip of Manhattan and into New York Harbor, past a tour boat, police boats and a fireboat shooting jets of water to welcome the Christmas tree delivery. Ransome's polished illustrations are the best part of the book, capturing all the different boats and scenes of New York City with glowing backgrounds at sunrise or sunset. The story has unanswered questions, however, because the huge ornaments that were transported with the tree are not shown with the lighted Christmas tree at the end, as expected, and Rockefeller Center and the significance of the tree there are never explained. A map would have been helpful to track the progress of the tugboat. Children in New York City who have seen the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will enjoy the atmospheric story; others may be puzzled by all the geographical references. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 4-8)
From the Publisher

"Readers will be captivated by the vivid details of the journey, which help form a radiant Christmas story."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"What gives this story depth is the richness of James E. Ransome's paintings: His use of color brings majesty to the working of men and machines in the shifting light of early dawn."
Wall Street Journal

"An attractive addition to the holiday shelf."
School Library Journal

"Absorbing."
Horn Book

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780618992157
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/30/2012
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
1,466,527
Product dimensions:
9.88(w) x 11.25(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD850L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Readers will be captivated by the vivid details of the journey, which help form a radiant Christmas story."
Publishers Weekly, starred review

"What gives this story depth is the richness of James E. Ransome's paintings: His use of color brings majesty to the working of men and machines in the shifting light of early dawn."
Wall Street Journal

"An attractive addition to the holiday shelf."
School Library Journal

"Absorbing."
Horn Book

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