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Together with his grandpa, a young boy finds a way to save his favorite tree in this heartwarming Christmas tale
Alec loves to climb trees—the little apple trees, the wide willow trees, even the tall locust trees. But his favorite is the great spruce, with its sturdy trunk and branches that stretch up to the sky. Alec’s grandpa planted it as a sapling years and years before Alec was born, and every Christmas, Alec and his grandpa decorate the tree together, weaving tinsel and lights through its branches, making it shine bright.
But one day, a few curious men from the nearby city take notice of Alec’s glistening great spruce, and ask to take it away for their Christmas celebration. Though it’s a huge honor, Alec’s heartbroken at the idea of losing his friend. With great courage and creativity, Alec comes up with a plan to save his favorite tree in this joyful holiday tale.
About the Author
John Duvall grew up on Long Island, New York, where he started work as a tree climber--a job that quickly developed into a lifelong passion for trees. In 2009, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times about the Christmas tree tradition. John is a tree-care consultant in New York. The Great Spruce is his debut picture book.
Rebecca Gibbon is the illustrator of several picture books, including Papa Is a Poet, Celebritrees, and Elizabeth Leads the Way, which was named an ALA Notable Book. Rebecca lives in England with her husband and their two sons.
Praise for The Great Spruce:
“Why do we chop down Christmas trees, anyway? Duvall is out to persuade readers to try a live tree. . . . Gibbon’s loose art is just right, making the winter world look teeming, twinkling and homey.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Appealing illustrations in acrylic ink and colored pencil… A pleasant holiday story with a subtle hint to protect living trees instead of cutting them down.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Gibbon’s (The Bee Who Spoke) images of a countryside speckled with cottages and snowy cityscapes recall the work of Ludwig Bemelmans, amplifying the sweetly nostalgic mood of newcomer Duvall’s story.”—Publishers Weekly
“An attractive holiday offering with an environmental focus.”—School Library Journal
“Gibbon’s cozy acrylic-ink and colored-pencil art accentuates the tree’s grandeur in both its idyllic country home and its big-city home-away.”—The Horn Book