Pick a Pine Tree Book Review by Emma Davis

17th December 2017

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Author: Patricia Toht

Illustrated by: Jarvis

Published by Walker Books

I was thrilled to receive a copy of ‘Pick a Pine Tree’ to review – visiting the Christmas tree farm is one of the highlights of my year.  The cover of this book, so charmingly illustrated, sparked my excitement so I couldn’t wait to delve in.

This delightfully festive book takes on a fabulous journey from picking the perfect tree, finding room for it when we get home to decorating and lighting it.  Children will be familiar with this experience which adds to the excitement and anticipation of turning each page.   The rhythmical, rhyming text is easy to read and follow so children will soon be joining in.  Wonderful vocabulary is featured throughout, particularly evident in the description of the trees:

‘slim and tall

Or short and squat.

One with spiky needle clumps,

Scaly bark, or sappy bumps.’

Through perfectly descriptive text, Toht manages to bring the whole adventure to life, allowing us to imagine the sights and smells which really get us in the Christmas spirit.  The mixed media illustrations adorn double page spreads and bring warmth and excitement to the Christmas tradition.  My particular favourite is the full page spread of the decorated tree – turn the page lengthways to take in the magnificent sight!  The illustrations beautifully compliment the text and will allow children to retell the story when looking at the book independently.

From the start to finish, this beautiful book is a pleasure to share with young children.  The tradition of choosing and decorating a tree is magically told and will be a firm favourite year after year.

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