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In a deeply moving story with the hallmarks of a classic, a homeless boy’s rescue of a spindly Christmas tree sparks a glimmer of hope that has far-reaching effects.
It’s late on Christmas Eve, and the little fir tree is the only tree left in the shop. What a poor thing I am, it thinks. But then a young boy enters the store, drawn in from the damp by the warmth and lights and the wonderful smell of Christmas, and he doesn’t seem to mind that the scrawny tree isn’t tall and straight like the others. . . . This magical story, beautifully illustrated by Emily Sutton, captures an unexpected and unforgettable moment of happiness that brings a whole city together.
About the Author
Delia Huddy worked as an editor in children’s publishing in a long career that included many happy years at Julia MacRae Books in London, after which she became editorial director at Random House UK. She was also an author of novels, picture books, and younger fiction. At the end of her life, in 2005, Delia Huddy was working on the text for The Christmas Eve Tree.
Emily Sutton is the illustrator of Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies. In addition to illustrating picture books, she paints and makes prints, ceramics, and textiles. Emily Sutton lives in York, England.
Sutton’s saturated watercolors create rich, folk-art-style scenes that reflect the classic spirit of the story. Its gentle, uplifting message is well suited for holiday sharing, while the beautiful illustrations invite lingering looks. Readers will be happy to see that the little tree’s story doesn’t end with the Christmas season, but extends into a fulfilling future.
A homeless boy and a scraggly fir tree rescue each other in this somber tale about the potential in all living things, including those that society casts aside...Huddy’s story faces unpleasant realities and injustices head on, and Sutton’s (Tiny Creatures) finely detailed watercolors do the same.
Huddy’s romanticized story is the tale of a “scraggly” fir tree...Sutton’s fine-lined watercolors, with their subdued hues on creamy paper, nod to the text’s wistfulness without veering into nostalgia or melancholy. The “Magic of Christmas Eve Was Everywhere” spread, especially, captures the holiday glow.
Thanks to artist Emily Sutton, whose watercolor visuals have a delightful retro quality, Huddy's story brims with holiday sweetness. This distinctive tale is a testament to the way Christmas can create a sense of community.