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The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An…

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story (original 1988; edition 1996)

by Gloria Houston, Barbara Cooney (Illustrator)

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5681225,420 (4.37)8
Title:The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story
Authors:Gloria Houston
Other authors:Barbara Cooney (Illustrator)
Info:Puffin (1996), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 32 pages
Collections:Childrens Books, Your library

Work details

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston (1988)



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Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This story is about a family and their christmas story. Each year a different family donates the christmas tree to the church. This year, the chosen family struggles to get a tree as the father is away fighting in the war. Together the mother and daughter hike up a hill to pick out the perfect tree. On christmas day a miracle happens and the father comes home from war.
  rhod4 | Jul 23, 2018 |
This unforgettable tale, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Barbara Cooney, has become a seasonal classic-a touching and joyful story about courage and the power of family.
  Sara1211 | Sep 25, 2016 |
Love Barbara Cooney's American Folk Art style illustrations and she always seems to be paired up with writers who create old time/classic or timeless type stories that fit perfectly with her style. This book does not fail at story or illustrations. A beautiful annual Christmas read. ( )
1 vote maddiemoof | Oct 20, 2015 |
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, is a story of a little girl named Ruthie and her family. It is their year to provide the Christmas tree for their church so her and her papa go and pick it out in the spring time, it is also the year that Ruthie will play the angel in the Christmas play. In the spring Ruthie and her papa climb the high cliffs and find the perfect balsam Christmas tree. Later her papa is sent to war and her and her mother go through some hard times because they have no money from the work that the father usually does. The day before Christmas Eve Ruthie and her mother go and cut down the tree Ruthie and her papa had picked out last spring. When Ruthie goes to bed her mother races to make her a beautiful dress for the play and a little doll that Ruthie and been asking Santa for. That night Ruthie is a beautiful angel and gets the doll she had been wanting, she was worried she wasn’t going to get a gift at all but her doll was the angel on top of the tree. When they left the church, Ruthie’s father had come home from war.
This is such a beautiful little story. It really made me think of what is really important during the holidays and in life. The mother is such a strong person in the book, they sacrificed so much and the mother does her best to make sure her daughter his happy. This is a great book to show children what to focus on during Christmas and to stay strong as a family. For me, some of the most precious memories are during the holidays with my family around our tree.
Classroom extensions:
1. The tree in the book is decorated so beautifully, have the class decorate a bulletin board tree for the Christmas season.
2. Have the class write what their favorite thing about is Christmas is. Is it the tree, singing Christmas songs, getting to see family you haven’t seen for a while, or getting gifts?
  CiaraLohman | Oct 22, 2014 |
a touching and joyful story about courage and the power of family.
  hmz001 | Nov 3, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gloria Houstonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cooney, BarbaraIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
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Original publication date
Important places
Important events
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Awards and honors
For Mama, Ruth Greene Houston — G. H.
... and for J. Myron — B. C.
First words
It was getting toward Christmas in the valley of Pine Grove.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
After Papa has to leave the Appalachian area to fight in the Great War across the ocean, Ruthie and Mama fulfill their family’s obligation of getting the perfect Christmas tree for the holiday celebration at Pine Grove Church.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140558772, Paperback)

Acclaimed author Gloria Houston has written a tale that is as joyful and timeless as Christmas itself. Jewel-like paintings by two-time Caldecott Medal winner Barbara Cooney capture all of the season's warmth and mountain flavor. "A heartwarming holiday story, simply told and graced with true sentiment rather than sentimentality."--Kirkus Reviews. Publisher's Weekly Bestseller. Booklist Best Books of the Decade. Full color.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:48 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Ruthie and her mother wonder how they will fulfill their obligation of getting the perfect Christmas tree to the town for the holiday celebration, since Papa has left the Appalachian area to go to war.

(summary from another edition)

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