Night Tree

Eve Bunting, Author, Ted Rand, Illustrator
Eve Bunting, Author, Ted Rand, Illustrator Harcourt Children's Books $17 (32p) ISBN 978-0-15-257425-3
Reviewed on: 09/16/1991
Release date: 09/01/1991
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-15-200121-6
Prebound-Other - 978-0-606-12452-2
Paperback - 978-0-15-201030-0
Prebound-Other - 1 pages - 978-0-7857-5315-5
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7807-4235-2
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-7-5434-8544-0
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A refreshing alternative to the tinsel and sugarplum commercialism of many Christmas offerings, Bunting's ( In the Haunted House ; The Wednesday Surprise ) arrestingly simple tale resonates with genuine warmth. A boy recounts his family's annual Christmas Eve outing to a nearby wood, where they decorate a special tree (``It has been our tree forever and ever'') with fruit, seeds and strings of popcorn for the animals. Rand's ( Knots on a Counting Rope ) atmospheric watercolors create a mood of hushed excitement as they enhance the festivity of the occasion--apple-cheeked figures exude a homey cheerfulness, their brightly colored caps and blanket sparkling against the deep tones of a nighttime forest. After a mug of cocoa in front of their masterpiece and heartfelt renditions of favorite songs, the family returns home, keenly aware of ``the secrets all around us'' and pleased with the notion that the animals have a place to celebrate Christmas. Parents will take heart at this uplifting book that celebrates the spirit of the season without undue moralizing. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)
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