From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3. When Kate's towering evergreen is chosen for the New York City Christmas season, she is heartbroken not at the loss of the tree, but of Redbird, a cardinal who lives at the top. Her mother cannot dissuade her and even a trip to the city doesn't help. It is only her tears and prayers on Christmas Eve that work the necessary magic to bring the thousands of artificial bird decorations on the tree to life. These concerned cardinals carry Redbird and his huge tree back to New Jersey in time for Christmas morning, and Kate finds real happiness in this environmentally appropriate but trite story. Told in a rhyme scheme reminiscent of, but not as clever as classic Dr. Seuss, this holiday story is mediocre at best. The story plods along in spite of staccato rhythm and the characters are more caricature than personality. The pencil-and-watercolor cartoon illustrations fill the pages with soft color, highlighted by numerous redbirds throughout. Save your holiday budget for another copy of "The Grinch."?Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
A nonsensical rhyming tale of an unusual Christmas adventure shows the persistence of a heartbroken little girl trying to rescue Redbird. Kate's mother, in a Marge Simpsonlike beehive, complains about the enormous pine growing higher than any tree among the rows of identical houses where she and her daughter live. She cruelly orders it cut down even though a bird may live there: ``About such creatures I don't give a pittance. That tree is going and I say good riddance!'' The lone bird nesting there and Kate are ``sadder than sad'' when the tree is moved to Rockefeller Center to serve as the Christmas tree at the skating rink. There the tree is decorated with hundreds of stuffed red birds, which come to life in a sort of Christmas miracle and carry the tree back to its former home (readers will have to assume that the saw cut that severed it from its roots will heal). Kate's mother finally admits that the tree must ``belong in our yard.'' A mediocre text comprised of tortured meter makes this no easier on readers than the forced plot, but the illustrations are full of humor in the exaggerated lines of cartoons, and in the homely details: hair curlers, puffy slippers, and Kate's omnipresent hair bow. (Picture book. 4-8) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.