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The Little Fir Tree Hardcover – September 27, 2005


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 1
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 1St Edition edition (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780060281892
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060281892
  • ASIN: 0060281898
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brimming with Christmas spirit, Brown's quiet story is timeless, like all classics. So too are Caldecott Medalist Cooney's colorful pictures of woodland wonders in all seasons, huggable children and a lame boy's loving father. Every year at Christmas, the man digs up the little fir tree and takes it to decorate in his son's room where the boy's friends gather to sing carols. Then the father takes the tree to replant it in the meadow. As Christmas Eve approaches years later, and no one comes to bring it to the house, the little fir is lonely and sad. But he hears singing, soon he sees the children he remembers, especially the bedridden boy, coming close. The youngster is now walking and bringing the holiday cheer with him and his friends, to the small tree that had brought him so much joy. The words and easy arrangements of the songs are integrated into the story.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. In this striking edition of Brown's tender Christmas story, the illustrator of The Elves and the Shoemaker (2003) provides lush new paintings to replace Barbara Cooney's 1954 artwork. Although the omission of carol music and lyrics removes the original's sing-along possibilities, the story is unchanged, recounting how a living pine tree is brought indoors each Christmas and how it bears witness to the miraculous healing of a sick little boy. Even if children are confused by the nature of the bedridden boy's "lame leg," which readers in the 1950s probably interpreted as polio, Brown's distinctive, rhythmic storytelling ("Seven times the Summer had droned its hot bee-buzzing days around him. Seven Autumns had whirled their falling leaves and milkweed parachutes past his head") reaffirms her legendary status in children's literature. Casting an equally potent spell are LaMarche's acrylic-and-pencil scenes, evoking the picturesque harmony of a Currier & Ives print. Topped off with a jacket proclaiming "By the author of Goodnight Moon," this lovely treatment guarantees an expanded audience for Brown's seasonal tale. Jennifer Mattson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and Runaway Bunny. Even though she died over 45 years ago, her books still sell very well. Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or poem. She thought this made children think harder when they are reading. She wrote all the time. There are many scraps of paper where she quickly wrote down a story idea or a poem. She said she dreamed stories and then had to write them down in the morning before she forgot them. She tried to write the way children wanted to hear a story, which often isn't the same way an adult would tell a story. She also taught illustrators to draw the way a child saw things. One time she gave two puppies to someone who was going to draw a book with that kind of dog. The illustrator painted many pictures one day and then fell asleep. When he woke up, the papers he painted on were bare. The puppies had licked all the paint off the paper. Margaret died after surgery for a bursting appendix while in France. She had many friends who still miss her. They say she was a creative genius who made a room come to life with her excitement. Margaret saw herself as something else - a writer of songs and nonsense.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
The pictures are beautiful.
Susan P. Weickgenant
This was a cute story and it had a happy ending which leaves my grandkids enjoying it so much more.
Oma Irene
It's a great Christmas story to share with children and adults alike.
Robert P. Armintor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Kennedy-cummings on November 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You may remember this one from your childhood and now it's time for the grandchildren to have a chance. This is a before Christmas read full of gentle life lessons of kindness and true Christmas spirit. A great story to read and reread. This one will be a family classic to pull out every year and be passed from parent to child for years to come.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nibal Petro Henderson on January 30, 2006
Format: Hardcover
What a beautiful book! I just read this to my son and it brought tears to my heart. A touching and moving story about the love of a father. To say this is a book just about Christmas is to miss the point entirely - it is a book about how the Christmas spirit is alive and well throughout the year and a reminder of how we should celebrate that love daily.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Green VINE VOICE on July 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was one of five books I selected as a gift for a young couple just having had their first child. Believing in the "power" of books, believing in an early exposure to words and pictures, I felt this lovely story by Margaret Wise Brown would be a perfect choice. Not having read the book previously, I made sure I did so before sending this group of selections off. Parents and child will love the story and accompanying illustrations.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarrah Sammoon on January 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
It's a lovely story if the parent has time to explain. Initially it is sad, that the little boy can't walk. And my 3 year old had so many questions and a long face, till the end of the story. Once I read it once, and she realized it was a happy ending she was fine with it. She loved the christmas song in it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Experienced Editor VINE VOICE on November 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
Hans Christian Andersen's "The Fir Tree" is a cautionary tale in which the ambitious little tree meets a sad end, but Margaret Wise Brown has given her little fir tree a happier fate. As in Andersen's tale, a little tree admires the taller trees in the forest and wishes to be as grand as they are, but this tree is not cut down at Christmas. Instead a father carefully digs it up and plants it in a great wooden tub at the foot of his lame son's bed.

Warm, realistic pictures in colored charcoal bring a luminous glow to the pages. In fact, the illustrations are better than the text.

Never mind that the miracle at the end is somewhat forced. The tree lives on, returned to the forest, and the final scene leaves a warm-fuzzy feeling lingering with readers young and old.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Carol Swenson on January 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sweet to cuddle up with in the days before Christmas. My 7 and 4 year old grandchildren, both, listened intently. In small ways, it is about love and courage, giving and gratitude and the goodness of nature. The illustrations are beautiful.
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By Oma Irene on April 15, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a cute story and it had a happy ending which leaves my grandkids enjoying it so much more.
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By Coffee drinker on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Margaret Wise Brown has always been one of my favorite children's authors. Unfamiliar to me, I found this tale heartwarming but a bit lacking in explanation of the ending especially for small children. I'm afraid that astute children would wonder how the inability to walk was resolved.
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