cover image Pick a Pine Tree

Pick a Pine Tree

Patricia Toht, illus. by Jarvis. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9571-2

Holiday spirit crackles in Toht’s warm, step-by-step recounting of how humble stately pines transform into shimmering Christmas trees. Snowy outdoor scenes of tree selection give way to cozy interiors as a family brings its tree home and begins to set up and decorate it, aided by friends. The clipped verse never misses a beat, and Toht stokes gentle anticipation throughout the process: “Add the final touches now—/ garlands strung from bough to bough./ Strands of tinsel on the tips,/ falling down in silver drips./ Then... grab a footstool./ Climb right up./ Set something/ wonderful on top.” Toht keeps things secular (an angel is mentioned as a possible tree topper, but that’s it), presumably aiming for a broad audience, while Jarvis’s chalk and pencil texturing adds to the sense of a casual, homey holiday filled with traditions many families will recognize. Ages 3–7. Illustrator’s agency: Bright Agency. (Sept.)