Follow the Author
Apple Tree Christmas (Holiday) Hardcover – September 20, 2005
Enhance your purchase
The Amazon Book Review
Book recommendations, author interviews, editors' picks, and more. Read it now.
About the Author
Trinka Hakes Noble is the award-winning author of numerous picture books including The Orange Shoes (2007 National Parenting Publications Awards Honors Winner), The Scarlet Stockings Spy (2005 IRA Teachers’ Choice), The Last Brother, and The Legend of the Cape May Diamond. Ms. Noble also wrote the ever-popular Jimmy’s Boa series and Meanwhile Back at the Ranch, both featured on PBS’s Reading Rainbow. Her many awards include ALA Notable Children’s Book, Booklist Children’s Editors’ Choice, IRA-CBC Children’s Choice, Learning: The Year’s Ten Best, and several Junior Literary Guild Selections.
Ms. Noble has studied children’s book writing and illustrating in New York City at Parsons School of Design, the New School University, Caldecott medalist Uri Shulevitz’s Greenwich Village Workshop, and at New York University. A member of the Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature, she was awarded Outstanding Woman 2002 in Arts and Letters in the state of New Jersey for her lifetime work in children’s books. Ms. Noble currently lives in the historic Jockey Hollow area of Bernardsville, New Jersey.
- Publisher : Sleeping Bear Press (September 20, 2005)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1585362700
- ISBN-13 : 978-1585362707
- Reading age : 5 years and up
- Grade level : Kindergarten - 4
- Item Weight : 14.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 11 x 1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #17,265 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
An old beloved family apple tree, barn living, a tremendous snow blizzard and ice storm, and the simple Christmas where family ties and love are more important than an elaborate Christmas celebration, all add up to a wonderful Christmas children's tale.
Katrina and her sister, Josie, Mamma, Pappa, Mrs. Wooly and her lambs, Old Dan the family horse, and Sweet Clover, the family cow all live together in a barn. Near the barn stood an old apple tree overgrown with wild grape vines. It is late in autumn and snow is coming. One day the girls stay home from school to help pick and sort apples. They sorted apples in piles for cider, applesauce, pies, apple butter, lunch pails, food for Old Dan, and decorations for their Christmas tree. After all the apples were picked, Josie used one of the wild grape vines for a swing and Katrina climbed up on a limb that made a perfect drawing board. Katrina would dream and draw on this limb until the sun glowed low in the winter sky. One night a tremendous snow blizzard batters the barn and continues for three days. On the third night the blizzard turned into a heavy ice storm. After the storm the family discovers that their beloved apple tree split in half and lies dismembered in the snow and ice. Everyone is really sad. No more apples for cider, pies, applesauce, apple butter, and Christmas decorations, but most of all there won't be a grapevine swing for Josie or a drawing board for Katrina. You will want to read this book to find out how this dead old apple tree provides a wonderful Christmas surprise for the family.
This book is a wonderful portrayal of farm life at Christmas on a southern Michigan farm in 1881. The only negative that I found was the fact that no mention is made of the true meaning of Christmas anywhere in the book. That would normally result in me giving a four star rating but because the book was so meaningful and nostalgic I gave it a five star rating.
When the storm does come, it nearly collapses the barn-home and the girls are terrified to the point of hysteria. (You may need to skip this part for younger audiences who might, like the girls in the story, start to lose control of themselves with fear). After the sickening ice storm passes, it has wreaked total havoc on the lives of the Ansterburg family. It has destroyed the moldy old apple tree, the single gleaming point of light in their otherwise bleak existence. The heartless father begins to chop it into pieces for firewood to keep the family alive for one more day.
After Christmas comes, it turns out the father was actually sacrificing the best interests of his family (keeping them warm) to mollify his two whiny daughters who were on the verge of catatonic depression over the loss of their Apple Tree. The father has turned portions of the tree into a drawing board for one daughter, and a swing for the other. These diversions likely eased the girls into the next few months of blinding snow storms and brutal cold, as the family desperately forged ahead into an uneasy future. Their fates are not made clear in the book, except for a haunting charcoal drawing left behind by on of the girls. It illustrates the last happy moment the family had together, the day they collected apples from the dead apple tree. In a subtle metaphor, the author hints that like the tree which was doomed from the start, the family too, may not live out the rest of the winter.
If your children are very brave they may enjoy this story. The cheery drawings are in strange contrast to the harsh and frightening quality of the story, and provide a little respite from the dreadful hopelessness of the tale. This is a Christmas classic, and a book that kept me awake at night for years, a book that I still can't get out of my mind even all these years later.
Id give this book 10 stars for that alone if I could. This trial and era period of finding books to engage my boys has been quite the process, so i cant say enough about a book that makes it easier because it captivates and engages them. This book wasn't a chore or something mom was forcing them to do. This was a book they enjoyed and engaged with. An absolute blessing!
Our grandchildren request this read whenever we are together especially at Christmastime. It is delightful to catch them reading this book independently too!
The watercolor illustrations are beautiful and add depth to this touching story of a beloved father and his two daughters. Themes of selfless gift-giving and family closeness are the foundation of this lovely narrative.