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The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree Hardcover – September 27, 2011


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The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree + The Christmas Wish + Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 4
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375869220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375869228
  • Product Dimensions: 11.6 x 8.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sample Photos fromThe Carpenter's Gift

Christmas Tree
Rockefeller Center Tree
The Gift

Review

Review, The Horn Book, November/December 2011
"Rubel’s story of compassion hits all the right holiday notes; LaMarche’s lush, warm illustrations of glowing Christmas trees and smiling, caring characters drive home the central message of charity."

Review, School Library Journal, October 1, 2011
"Detailed characterizations and a straightforward tone keep the tender tale from becoming saccharine. LaMarche’s almost impressionistic colored-pencil illustrations put readers in the midst of the action."

Review, Publishers Weekly, September 26, 2011
"Author/historian Rubel’s story of a Depression-era family’s connection to that first tree—and the ripple effect of its bounties—puts the now magnificent symbol in perspective. LaMarche conveys emotional resonance with gauzy, soft-hued paintings of the inspirational proceedings."

“The Carpenter’s Gift captures two of New York City’s greatest traditions ― the Rockefeller Center tree lighting and giving back to people in need― in a way that families can share together all year long.” Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor of the City of New York

“The heartwarming tale told in The Carpenter’s Gift brings together—through beautiful illustrations and a moving, multi-generational story—two great traditions: the Rockefeller Center tree and the neighbor-helping-neighbor program of Habitat for Humanity.”   Jimmy Carter, 39th President of the United States and dedicated Habitat volunteer

“Through my support of Habitat for Humanity, I have seen all of the good that can happen when people work alongside each other to build something better. I see the same thread in The Carpenter’s Gift, a sweet story” about a young boy whose life is changed when new friends help his family build a house Susan Sarandon, actress

“My dad was a carpenter who built the house we grew up in, and this book brings to mind his gentle nature and generosity.”  Garrison Keillor, storyteller

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Habitat for Humanity is a great Non-profit organization.
Rogene Morge
You will want to read this delightful story and share it with children from Kindergarten to 6th Grade and beyond.
White Fang
The story flows really well, is interesting, unique, very happy, emotional, and has beautiful illustrations.
Bunny Hugger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By White Fang on October 5, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Carpenter's Gift - A Christmas Tale About the Rockefeller Center Tree" is a delightful historical fiction children's Christmas picture book with a wonderful message for all. Written by children's historian David Rubel in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity, the heartwarming tale combines two wonderful traditions --the Rockefeller Center Tree and the work done through the Habitat for Humanity programs. The author, David Rubel, did research on the famous Rockefeller Christmas tree tradition which had its start in 1931 and wove the historical facts into a touching fictional Christmas story.

The 11 3/4 inch by 8 3/4 inch books has a most wonderful eye catching dust jacket depicting the main character, Henry, holding a handmade Christmas ornament. The book's title on the dust jacket is embossed in red shiny foil and will capture the attention of most children. The illustrator, Jim La Marche, has rendered the historical period and emotions of the characters in what appears to be beautiful pastel drawings. Every other page is a full color full page drawing that accurately conveys the emotions of the characters and meanings of the text.

The story begins at the height of the Great Depression in 1931. Henry lives in an unheated shack with his parents. One day his father borrows a truck and invites Henry to go with him. They drive to an area where many spruce trees are growing. Henry and his father cut down many trees and transport them to New York City where they sell them as Christmas trees. When they had finished selling the trees for the day, there were several large trees left over. Henry's father donates them to the construction workers who were kind enough to let Henry and his father sell trees on their building site.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By susan ferrin on November 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
this is really a sweet book. it takes place during the depression and a family who has fallen on hard times. it's about a father who borrows a truck to cut Christmas trees to sell. he has one left over and gives it to the workers at what is now Rockefeller Center. they decorate the tree with bits and pieces and decide to help the little family. this starts a the grand tradition of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. It's about helping one another and giving back to the community. I was unaware that Habitat for Humanity uses the tree to build homes after the holiday season. It is really a sweet book. i especially enjoyed the history behind the tree. the ending was sweet. I buy a Christmas book every year to share with my seven children and my sister. I have a special Christmas Party for my grandchildren and read the book and give each family their own copy. This was the book for this Christmas. I've purchased 10 of them! Read and enjoy and Merry Christmas.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Talalay on October 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover
KIWI Magazine Review:

The Carpenter's Gift is just the book we all need to read around the holidays. Remembering the spirit of Christmas as being a time for helping others and treasuring family and friends is the cornerstone of this lovely book. During the Depression, a family was down on their luck and found some solace and sustenance through friends and neighbors through the holiday season. The story and illustrations are perfectly paired.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By dsjhoward on December 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I teach third grade and we have been spending some time studying the mood of the Great Depression era using a couple of picture books and photographs from the time period. Just yesterday, I told the children I found this very special book that is perfect for our study AND for this time of year. I cannot emphasize enough how enthralled they were with the story as they listened to me read aloud.

I told the children earlier in the school year that there would be some picture books that I read to them that actually make me cry-that they may see me well up with tears because books can be that powerful. I did not realize THIS book would now become one of "those" books that make me tear up with emotion. When I began to read the page where, as an older man, he has the flashback to 1931, I had to stop in my tracks. The emotion is THAT powerful in the text. A few of the children even welled up with tears. They just "got it".

After the story, we went to the habitat for humanity website and watched the videos related to this book with the illustrator and the family who was helped in 2007. They loved it. What a wonderful discussion we had.

THANK YOU for this beautiful story. I cannot recommend it highly enough and will be using it for YEARS to come!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Shopper58 on November 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely story of a little boy who learns the importance of giving to those in need. Many years later, the grown boy, from his own personal experience, realizes the importance of giving his loved tree so that it may be displayed at Rockefeller Center and then later used to build a home for a family in need. A child will learn the importance, beyond the pretty New York City Holiday Display, of the tree that is given each year. I look forward to giving this book this year at Christmas.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By beach1 on November 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nice illustrations and meaningful story. Knowing that it's true is special. Every year we watch the lighting of the Rockefeller tree, so this gives that more meaning. This is a great book for all ages.
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