The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story

Overview

This unforgettable tale, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Barbara Cooney, has become a seasonal classic-a touching and joyful story about courage and the power of family.

Author Biography:

Ruthie and her mother wonder how they will fulfill their obligation of getting the perfect Christmas tree to the town for the holiday celebration, since Papa has left the Appalachian area to go to war.

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Overview

This unforgettable tale, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Barbara Cooney, has become a seasonal classic-a touching and joyful story about courage and the power of family.

Author Biography:

Ruthie and her mother wonder how they will fulfill their obligation of getting the perfect Christmas tree to the town for the holiday celebration, since Papa has left the Appalachian area to go to war.

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Editorial Reviews

Mailbox Bookbag
Since Ruthie's family has the honor of providing the community Christmas tree, this Christmas promises to be memorable! But fulfilling this responsibility becomes a struggle when papa goes to war. Delicately detailed acrylic illustrations complement this heartwarming story about the love and determination of one Appalachian family.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Armistice has been declared, but still there is no sign of Ruthie's father in their little Appalachian town. So, in accordance with the traditions of Pine Grove, it falls to Ruthie and her mother to bring home the perfect Christmas tree to donate to the town. Ruthie had accompanied her father to the rocky cliff where he marked a tree in the spring, so she and her mother set out to find it again, and haul it home. Their trip becomes the basisovernightof a new town legend; Ruthie, chosen for the role of the heavenly angel in the the church Christmas play, finds herself outfitted in a madeover wedding dress of the finest silkanother ``miracle'' wrought by her hardworking mother. An accomplished, fluid telling garnishes this simple story, as do Cooney's moonlit paintings of wintry evenings and the welcoming glow of fire and lanterns. Ruthie is more or less an observer; her mother is the real heroine. But the way they work together to keep their family's duty is rendered in a harmonious blending of text and pictures. Ages 4-8. (September)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140558777
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 43,369
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.32 (w) x 10.28 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 22, 2010

    My favorite Christmas story!

    In this true Christmas story you read about a family's hardships during WW1. When Papa is sent to be a soldier, then doesn't come home when expected for Christmas. You can feel the mother's desperation. No money for food, clothes, or a present for Ruthie. Then the mother rallies herself and climbs the mountain with Ruthie to cut down the Christmas tree for the town church that Papa chose before going to war. Then she loving cuts up her wedding dress and the silk stockings Papa sent her to make a pageant dress and a doll for Ruthie. The ending is perfect as St. Nick has a surprise for both Ruthie and her mother after the Christmas pageant.

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  • Posted December 22, 2010

    My favorite Christmas story.

    In this true Christmas story you read about a family's hardships during WW1. When Papa is sent to be a soldier, then doesn't come home when expected for Christmas. You can feel the mother's desperation. No money for food, clothes, or a present for Ruthie. Then the mother rallies herself and climbs the mountain with Ruthie to cut down the Christmas tree for the town church that Papa chose before going to war. Then she loving cuts up her wedding dress and the silk stockings Papa sent her to make a pageant dress and a doll for Ruthie. The ending is perfect as St. Nick has a surprise for both Ruthie and her mother after the Christmas pageant.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A charming Christmas book

    This book tells the tale of Ruthie, a young girl during wartime. Her family is chosen to bring the Christmas tree to the church. Her father is sent to war, and Christmas certainly brings miracles to Ruthie and her family.

    Beautifully illustrated, this gem of a book was given to me in 1992 for St. Nick's Day. I will treasure it ALWAYS!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2005

    This is a holliday classic!

    Every year in Elementary school I would check this book out from the library and then my mom would read the book to me and my little sister. Now that I don't have the book to read this year I am really dissapointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2001

    Timeless

    I met Ms. Houston back during Christmas of 1991, while I was still an elementary school student. Ms. Houston was doing a booksigning tour of elementary schools, and luckily, my school was on the list. She read this heart-warming story to our class and then signed the books for us. Every year at Christmas time, I get out the book and read it to myself, to remind me of joyful Christmas memories long since passed. It doesn't matter if you're 8 or 18 (like me), this book will make your holidays bright and restore your heart.

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    Posted March 3, 2009

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    Posted March 3, 2009

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    Posted December 3, 2009

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews

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