Jeanette’s Favorite: Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
This is a Christmas classic that I can re-read every year without fail. The rhyming tale tells of a rich man who orders the biggest tree you’ve ever seen. Too big for the parlor, the top of the tree is trimmed and the smaller tip is given to the maid. Still too big for her home, the top is cut again and that part is retrieved by the gardener. The process continues, with parts of the tree serving a variety of animals, until a little mouse has a tree just the right size for his mouse hole. I think I like this story a lot in part because my father always bought a tree that was too big for our house and we always had to cut in down quite a bit to fit inside. The cumulative tale is easy for young kids to join in telling as characters are added to the story with each new iteration of the tree. The illustrations capture the subtleties of the characters and the action, beautifully capturing the joy of the season.