Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

Robert Barry

Published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 2000
ISBN 10: 0385327218 / ISBN 13: 9780385327213
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Synopsis: A classic picture book celebrating all the joy a Christmas tree can bring!

Christmas is here and Mr. Willowby's tree has arrived! There's just one big problem . . . the tree is too tall to fit in his parlor. He cuts off the top so it will fit, but little does he know that the top of that tree will travel clear across the countryside, bringing holiday cheer to the homes of bears, rabbits, mice, and more! This heartwarming story is the perfect way to start your yuletide season, and the perfect addition to your family’s festive holiday traditions.

Review: Mr. Willowby, the unwitting hero of this Christmas classic, looks quite a bit like the little mustachioed mascot from Monopoly. But as befits a Yuletide tale, this diminutive millionaire turns out to be a good bit more generous.

The Christmas tree in question shows up at Mr. Willowby's home by special order, aboard a big pink truck: "Full and fresh and glistening green--The biggest tree he had ever seen." But it's just a little too big, so he asks his butler, Baxter, to trim off the top few feet that brush up against the parlor ceiling. Baxter realizes that this snipped-off top would make a perfect little tree for "Miss Adelaide, Mr. Willowby's upstairs maid." But she, too, must clip off the top of her tree... which then ends up with Timm, the gardener. Timm's trimming goes on to Barnaby Bear, the tippy-top of Barnaby's tree ends up with Frisky Fox and family, and then Benjamin Rabbit finds the top few inches that Mrs. Fox snipped off. And so it goes, until soon the whole countryside learns that it's simply "grand to have a tree--Exactly like Mr. Willowby."

There's many a lesson to be taken from this tale, about recycling and supply-side economics just for starters. But the cheerful illustrations of Robert Barry ensure that you'll have fun just watching as the ever-tinier tree gets passed on to ever-tinier families. (Ages 5 to 8) --Paul Hughes

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Title: Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
Publisher: Doubleday Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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