Tag Archives: loneliness

The Last Christmas Tree

30 Nov

18637192

The Last Christmas Tree written by Stephen Krensky and illustrated by Pascal Campion (2014)

Wedged between two large trees on the Christmas tree lot, as one small tree that was a bit bent and missing a few branches. But no tree in the lot had more Christmas spirit than this one. The littlest tree shook with excitement at being chosen to go home and covered with lights and ornaments. But no one stopped to look at it. Still the little tree kept hoping for just the right person to come by and take him home. The lot got emptier and emptier, and still no one noticed the little tree. Finally, after all the other trees were sold, a sign hung on this little lonely tree. It said, ‘FREE’ and still it sat alone in the cold. Then just before dawn it was scooped up and flown overhead to a place far away. And when it arrived, it was decorated and placed in front of a fireplace.

Stephen Krensky and Pascal Campion worked magic on this book. It’s sure to become a classic. The story is told so simply and poetically. The art work is endearing. But the big surprise comes at the end when the reader sees through the artist’s work, who takes the last Christmas tree home. Hint: The stockings over the fireplace have the initials D-D-P-V-C-C-D-B on them. Ho-Ho-Ho!

I absolutely fell in love with this book the very first time I read it, about 2 minutes ago. And I plan on getting a copy for each of my grandchildren this year.

Bluebird

6 Jun

15799165Bluebird illustrated by Bob Staake (2013)

A lonely boy goes through life being teased and bullied. The bluebird befriends him and just when the boy starts to feel happiness he encounters fear and sadness in the park. The bluebird, in an effort to distract the bullies, becomes injured – maybe even dying. The boy is overcome with guilt and heartbreak. Suddenly another bird appears, then another, and another. The redbird, and the yellow bird, and the green bird, and the other colored birds come and take the boy holding the bluebird into the sky. Above the city and above the clouds, the bluebird is rejuvenated and flies away in the heavens.

Bob Staake tells this story and more without a single word. His masterful artwork speaks to the reader with descriptive scenes, actions, and most importantly feelings. The colors you see on the front cover are the only colors in the whole book until the end when birds of different colors come to lift the boy and bluebird into the sky.

There is something about this book that tugs at your heart and soul. It begs to be read over and over. I can look at any spread and immediately be drawn into the story. I actually felt myself draw inward when the boy was being teased, and sigh with relief when he made friends with the children at the park, and tense when the bullies came out of the shadows, and rise when the birds carried the boy in the sky. In its quietude, it is a private story to be felt more than read, and Bob Staake was a genius not to let words interfere with the story.

%d bloggers like this: