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Christmas Farm Hardcover – October 1, 2008

25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-5–Could a middle-aged woman and a five-year-old-boy plant and care for more than 600 trees? Perhaps that is one of the miracles of the holidays. Wilma is tired of growing petunias and sunflowers, but can't decide what to cultivate next. Then she realizes that she has everything she needs to grow Christmas trees, including an enthusiastic helper–her neighbor Parker. She orders 62 dozen small starts of balsam, or five-year-old seedlings, and she and the boy plant them. Finally, after five challenging years, they have trees to sell. That Christmas, they think about the 566 families who have their trees and place an order for 83 dozen new seedlings to plant in the spring. This lovely tale celebrates intergenerational friendship and determination, growth and nature, and the joy of the holiday season. Root's graceful watercolor and gouache illustrations beautifully capture these elements and more, and an author's note gives additional information about Christmas trees and how they grow.–Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

As in their previous collaboration, Pumpkins (1992), Ray and Root once again focus on a holiday crop. Wilma, a gray-haired gardener, decides to plant a huge field of Christmas trees. She orders hundreds of small starts of balsam and enlists the help of Parker, the little boy next door: “He was five, like the seedlings.” Parker helps measure straight rows and dig holes for 744 trees, and he continues to help through the following years. Root’s appealing watercolor-and-gouache illustrations invite inspection, from scenes of the field in different seasons to those that show Wilma and Parker’s harmonious teamwork over time. Ray gracefully conveys an acceptance of natural cycles: some trees are lost to “deer that dug in the snow to chew the sweet green tips.” The year that Parker is 10, the team sells their first 566 trees and then, looking to the future, order dozens of new seedlings. All the numbers add up to an added math theme in a story that lovingly depicts the hard work, cooperation, and patience necessary to grow crops. An author’s note offers more about Christmas-tree history and farming. Grades K-2. --Abby Nolan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152162909
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152162900
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on September 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wilma is getting tired of planting sunflowers and petunias in her garden. So, she's looking around for a change. When she goes out to cut down her annual Christmas tree, Wilma knows what she's going to grow in her garden: Christmas trees. So, she places an order for sixty-two dozen balsam seedlings, and gathers string, shovels, and her five-year-old neighbor, Parker.

Year after year, Wilma and Parker nurture their trees, keeping careful count of how many perish to what causes, and how many grow up to be Christmas trees.

Christmas Farm doesn't really go into detail about what it is like to own and operate a Christmas tree farm, but it does cover a few of the things they do to care for trees, how long they have to grow, and what might kill the trees.

With Christmas quickly approaching, Christmas Farm is definitely a book you'll want to pick up for your favorite three- to seven-year-old. My three-year-old and my six-year-old both enjoyed this book, though it held the six-year-old's attention a little better.

The illustrations are beautiful, and the text is interesting. Even grown-ups would enjoy reading this book to learn a little about where their Christmas trees might come from.

Armchair Interviews says: A nice holiday addition to a family's library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Darlene on December 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I read this book aloud to my children.

The story is about a woman named Wilma who loves to garden but wants something more of a challenge than the same old petunias and sunflowers. While chopping down a tree (I love this independent woman!) in the forest on her property, she realizes that not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to grow their own Christmas trees. And so her plan begins to grow a Christmas tree farm.

With the help of the five-year old boy next door named Parker, Wilma measures the rows, digs the holes, and plants the seedlings. Parker continues to help Wilma over the years watching the seedlings grow more each year, and he learns it takes a lot of work to ensure that the seedlings survive! Not all of them do, and some are lost each year to wildlife and the inclement weather. With careful nurturing, the majority of the trees survive. After five years' growth, they are ready to be sold as Christmas trees!

This is a feel-good Christmas story! Parker learns the value of hard work, and Wilma and Parker both are filled with joy knowing that their Christmas trees are bringing smiles to the faces of young and old alike.

Ray includes additional information at the end of the book about the history of Christmas trees, which we found very interesting!

We all loved this book, and it is a great addition to your seasonal reading!

MY RATING: 5 stars!! Loved it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mix and Match on January 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son checked this book out of his school library but couldn't find the book at our public library. The story is very entertaining and has my children focus on what it takes to put a Christmas tree in our living room each December. My boys 4 and 7 enjoy this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judy from Wisconsin on December 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is just the type of story that I wanted for my grandchildren and nieces and nephews' children for Christmas. It has a soft and gentle storyline. The illustrations were great.
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Format: Hardcover
Introduce your child to the reality of how long it takes a Christmas tree to grow and the work involved. This beautifully illustrated picture book is about a lady called Wilma. Having grown petunias and sunflowers for years, she now wants to grow something else. Deciding on Christmas trees she orders sixty-two dozen balsam starts! Who is going to help her? Parker, a young boy of 5, who is her next door neighbor. When the trees arrive they are also five years old so we see Parker and the trees growing up together.

A truly delightful story telling how many trees survive each year and how many are eaten/destroyed by mice, moose and deer so very realistic. At the end of the story in 'A Note From the Author' we learn more of the history of Christmas trees so an added bonus.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jonina R. Decker on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't remember exactly how we came to posess this book but it is easily the best children's christmas book I've ever read. My son is 4 and a half and he actually looks forward to reading this book as part of our holidays. We own hundreds of children's books and have always read to my son at least half an hour daily, this title is hands down my favorite read and one my son or my wife and I never tire of.
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By mary payton on January 17, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very well illustrated book for children.We read it aloud here at the library and children liked it so well,they checked it out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Christmas Farm is a nice story of how Christmas trees and a young boy grow up together. Pretty pictures and nice factual Christmas tree information at the end of the story.
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