cover image The Last Christmas Tree

The Last Christmas Tree

Stephen Krensky, illus. by Pascal Campion. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3757-0

Where’s Charlie Brown when you need him? A tiny, scraggly evergreen tries to keep up its hopes for going home with a kind family as the surrounding balsam firs and spruces in the Christmas tree lot are snapped up. But no Schulz character (nor anyone else) takes an interest, even when the forlorn tree is left alone and marked down to “free” on Christmas Eve. Happily, a surprise hero of another sort—who pilots a flying sleigh—arrives to make the tree part of a special delivery. Though the story’s theme is familiar, Krensky avoids slipping into schmaltzy territory. Campion’s digitally rendered scenes have a loose, painterly flair, capturing moods of happy holiday bustle and the lonely, quiet expanse of an empty city lot with equal success. Ages 3–5. Illustrator’s agent: Justin Rucker, Shannon Associates. (Oct.)