Long, long ago, in a land far away, lived a perfect little tree named Small Pine. Small Pine hoped to maintain its perfect form and be selected by the Queen as her Christmas tree. But as the warm-hearted little tree gave shelter to birds, rabbits, and deer in the forest, its branches became damaged. Fortunately, the Queen had a different idea of perfection...
Young readers will want to read and reread the story of how Small Pine's love and charity for its friends helps make it the most "perfect" Christmas Tree of all.
This magnificently illustrated story of a warm-hearted Christmas tree will surely become one of the most beloved classics of future generations. Schneider's storytelling will enthrall children and adults alike.
|Product dimensions:||6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.40(d)|
About the Author
Richard H. Schneider has been a journalist and author for more than 50 years and has written more than 20 books for adults and children. A former senior staff editor at Guideposts, an interfaith inspirational magazine, he is a World War II veteran. He and his wife, Betty, are residents of Rye, New York, where Schneider served as vice commander of Post 128 of the American Legion and a lay leader of the Rye United Methodist Church.
Read an Excerpt
Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect
By Richard H. Schneider, Elizabeth J. Miles
Abingdon PressCopyright © 1987 Guideposts Associates, Inc.
All rights reserved.
They say that if you creep into an evergreen forest late at night you can hear the trees talking. If you listen very carefully to the whisper of the wind, you can hear the older pines telling the younger ones why they will never be perfect. They will always have a bent branch here, a gap there....
But long, long ago all evergreen trees were perfect. Each one took special pride in branches that sloped smoothly down from pointed top to evenly shaped skirt.
This was especially true in a small kingdom far beyond the Carpathian Mountains in Europe. Here the evergreen trees were the most beautiful of all. For here the sun shone just right, not too hot, not too dim. Here the rain fell just enough to keep the ground moist and soft so no tree went thirsty. And here the snow fell gently day after day to keep every branch fresh and green.
Each year as Christmas approached, the Queen's woodsmen would search the royal evergreen forest for the most perfect, most beautiful tree. The one fortunate enough to be chosen would be cut on the first Saturday of Advent. It would then be carefully carried to the castle and set up in the center of the great hall. There it reigned in honor for all the Christmas celebrations.
Out in the hushed forest every evergreen hoped for this honor. Each tree tried to grow its branches and needles to perfection. All of them strained to have the best form and appearance.
One tree, Small Pine, grew near the edge of the forest and promised to be the most beautiful of all. As a seedling it had listened carefully to the older trees who knew what was best for young saplings. And it had tried so very hard to grow just right. As a result, everything about Small Pine, from its deep sea-green color to the curling tip of its evenly spaced branches, was perfect.
It had, in fact, already overheard jealous whispers from the other trees. But it paid them no mind. Small Pine knew that if one did one's very best, what anyone else said didn't matter.
One cold night, when a bright full moon glittered on the crusty snow, a little gray rabbit came hopping as fast as he could into the grove of evergreens. The rabbit's furry sides heaved in panic. From beyond the hill came the howling of wild dogs in the thrill of the hunt. The bunny, his eyes wide with fright, frantically searched for cover. But the dark, cold trees lifted their branches artfully from the snow and frowned. They did not like this interruption of their quiet evening when growing was at its best.
Faster and faster the rabbit circled as the excited howling of the dogs sounded louder and louder.
And then Small Pine's heart shuddered. When the terrified rabbit ran near, Small Pine dipped its lower branches down, down, down to the snow. And in that instant before the wild dogs broke into the grove, the rabbit slipped under Small Pine's evergreen screen. He huddled safely among the comforting branches while the dogs galloped by and disappeared into the forest.
Excerpted from Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Richard H. Schneider, Elizabeth J. Miles. Copyright © 1987 Guideposts Associates, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Abingdon Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a yearly favorite for our household’s young of all ages.
I love this book. I have read it to kids and adults of all ages. The heartfelt story of why it's important to be kind to others shines through on each page. This is a wonderful book to share with friends and family.
A lovely holiday book that you look forward to unpacking every year. The artwork is truly lovely and you could frame every picture for Christmas decorations. It is a short, sweet story that you can read to just about every age child and keep their interest for the whole book in one sitting.
I have read this story to my children many years ago. It was first published in the Ideals book and my children loved it. It is a way to show children that it is ok to be different. This is a very heart warming story and will be come a christmas tradition in your home as it did in mine.
I belive this book shows children that they do not have to be perfect and its great to show thats its nice to help others that are in need of the help
I loved this Christmas book because of the values it teaches, and the fact that it incorporates the true meaning of Christmas...Jesus Christ. The story tells of a small pine tree that chooses to help others in need even though the other pines in the woods are trying to be selfishly perfect so they might have the honor of being picked to be the Queen's Christmas tree. The author even states that the small pine that had tattered broken branches because it helped other animals is how Jesus would expect us to help others, setting aside our own selfish pride and to do what is right regardless. The illustrations are breathtaking and the story is a healthy moral teaching for the whole family.