The Finest Christmas Tree
John & Ann Hassett
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2005
Farmer Tuttle grows Christmas trees and every year he takes them into town to sell. With the money he earns, he buys Mrs Tuttle a new Christmas hat. But one year he loads up the trees and goes to the spot he always sells from but no one wants to buy his trees. All they want are plastic trees that make no mess and can be stored and brought out each year. Sadly there is no Christmas hat for Mrs Tuttle this year.
During the year a man offers to buy the farm and turn the trees into toothpicks and clothespins. He gives Farmer Tuttle till Christmas to decide. Just as he has to make his decision, a letter arrives. Will it save the Christmas tree farm from destruction?
This is a charming story that will appeal to young readers, possibly sparking a discussion about the pros and cons of real and plastic trees. Or perhaps it could kickstart an investigation into the origins of the Christmas tree as a symbol of the season. Worth reading.