O Christmas Tree
Product Code: 92384
Binding Information: Hardback
Ages: 5 - 8
Availability: In stock
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An endearing holiday symbol with ancient roots.
The Christmas tree tradition has roots in many ancient cultures. Originally, it had little to do with gift-giving, reindeer, or elves. O Christmas Tree explores the history and traditions--from the tree's origins to the first tree lights and decorations--that led to how people enjoy these trees today. Also includes information about how these special evergreens are grown.
Beautiful illustrations capture the magic and festivity of the holiday season.
This book is good for your brain because:
Explores the history of cultures and traditions around the world, life science (life cycle of trees), non-fiction, historical studies
Watch the book trailer. Download the cover image.
If you like this book, you'll love these:
Kirkus Reviews - September 1, 2010This carefully researched and attractively illustrated historical view of a familiar Christmas tradition conveys a large amount of information within the oversized picture-book format. The historical background explains the evolution of the custom from evergreen branches in Egypt and Rome to early Christmas trees in Germany. The rise in popularity of the trees in the United States includes Christmas trees at the White House and the changing styles of trees. Growing methods, the most popular kinds of trees and the difficulties faced by tree farmers are also described. The final pages include Christmas-tree trivia and a short resource list. Friar's gouache paintings provide additional details, succeeding in both the appealing historical scenes and in the more scientifically oriented spreads about tree farming. Bids fair to be a real workhorse for library holiday collections.
School Library Journal - October 1, 2010Beginning with the ancient Egyptians and Romans, who decorated with palm and evergreen branches at the winter solstice, readers learn about the customs and traditions through the centuries that led to the modern Christmas tree and various decorations, including popcorn, blown-glass ornaments, and electric lights, as well as trees made of feathers, plastic, and aluminum. The last section is devoted to the planting, care, and harvesting of trees. Friar’s gouache illustrations have plenty of detail, but are a little awkward in scale. In all, an interesting look at a very specific part of the Christmas celebration.
Horn Book Magazine - November 1, 2010The author addresses the question, "How did the Christmas tree custom begin?" From the evergreen boughs used by the ancient Egyptians to celebrate the winter solstice to modern LED lights and pink aluminium tress, Farmer provides a wealth of information about the social history of the Christmas tree. She als traces its development both as plant and as cash crop. Illustrated with warm gouache pictures filled with cheer, the book is accessible and well-organized, perfect for browsing. A list of resources is appended (but no source notes are give).
Doc Kirby at WTBF-AM/FM - December 9, 2010How did the evergreen tradition start? It goes back to ancient times! The Egyptians and later the Romans used evergreens to signify new life. Boniface in AD725 challenged the northern European custom of worshiping trees, and pointed them toward a fir tree. Its triangular shape symbolized the Holy Trinity and its branches pointed toward Heaven. From the 11th to the end of the 16th century, "miracles plays", based on the Bible, became popular. The most famous was the Paradise Play, performed on Dec. 24th. The centerpiece was a vivid green fir with shiny apples. The Great Reformer, Martin Luther, and Riga in Latvia both get credit for inventing the Christmas tree, which was brought to America by German immigrants, and to England by Prince Albert. Decorations for Christmas trees changed and evolved during the later 19th and most of the 20th century, and this clever book shows some of those changes!
curled up with a good kid's book - December 6, 2010Long before there was Christmas, the ancient Greeks and Egyptians celebrated the winter solstice by decorating their homes with evergreens. Representing a symbol of the Holy Trinity, fir trees eventually found their way into religious celebrations around December 25th and the beginning of the New Year. Over time, decorations mad it onto the fir trees, and they became one of the iconic symbols of the holiday season.
In this informative and delightful picture book, Jacqueline Farmer not only delves into the evolution of the Christmas tree but also how decorations have changed and lighting has developed to the LED bulbs in use today.
There is also a special section on the different types of fir trees, how the trees are produced in tree farms, and what problems the growers face from animals, insects and diseases.
One of the more comprehensive books for children you’ll find on the Christmas tree, you’ll love the artwork as well as the information the author includes. There’s even a trivia section that lists some unusual facts about the Christmas tree and its use, too.
Children's Literature - November 29, 2010Did you know that today's Christmas tree had its genesis in 1300 BCE when Egyptians festooned their homes with palm leaves during the winter solstice? Or that the red-and-green colors of the holiday evolved out of the medieval apple-hung Paradise Tree? Author Jacqueline Farmer shares these and other fascinating facts in this history of an enduring tradition. She also takes readers behind the scenes to a modern tree farm to reveal how evergreens are planted, tended, harvested and sold in present-day America. Gouache illustrations by Joanne Friar softly illumine the subject like old-fashioned candles on a 19th century tree
Roundtable Reviews for Kids - December 1, 2010Filled with the history and lore of the Christmas tree, this picture book begins with a look at ancient times and how the Egyptians and Greeks used evergreens to celebrate the winter solstice. Then, as the author moves through the centuries, one sees how the fir tree tradition emerged until the Christmas tree became one of the icons of the holiday season.
Along with a cursory glimpse at various types of natural and artificial trees (remember the horrid aluminum and the plastic trees of the 1960s?) and the decorative options that have developed over the years, the author also offers a close look at the firs themselves.
Besides a guide that pictures the six most popular types of firs used during the holidays, you’ll also discover how tree farms function and what types of natural problems (insects, etc.) the tree growers must cope with.
From start to finish, this beautifully illustrated picture book offers an excellent look at the history and tradition that has grown up around the Christmas tree. I think every member of the family will enjoy this book and you’ll probably want to make reading it a holiday reading tradition for years to come.
The Classroom Bookshelf - December 12, 2010‘Tis the season to find brightly decorated trees outdoors and indoors almost everywhere you go. But how did the Christmas tree as we know it come to be, and why is it a longstanding symbol for this holiday? Readers of Jacqueline Farmer’s nonfiction picture book may be surprised to learn that evergreen branches as decoration do not have their origins in Christian traditions; this symbol can be traced back to Egyptian solstice celebrations. In this survey text, Farmer describes the evolution of the modern Christmas tree, highlighting interesting aspects of its history, including the tree’s presence in the White House. In the second half of the book, Farmer focuses on the industry of Christmas farming, describing farming practices and tree types. The book will inspire many questions, prompting further research and learning about this holiday icon. Deep green endpapers and Joanne Friar’s detailed gouache illustrations make this attractive and informative book a perfect package for the holidays.
I.N.K - December 15, 2010Starting with pre-Christian practices in ancient cultures then proceeding through history to modern times, readers can find out the many ways people have used trees for holiday celebrations. A visit to tree farms and information about the different species of evergreens used for Christmas trees is also included.
TheCalifornian.com - December 25, 2010Local connection: 'Tis the season for decorated fir trees here on the Central Coast. What better way to celebrate the holiday and this iconic symbol than by reading about how and why the Christmas tree evolved?
Content: You'll discover that the use of evergreens to celebrate important events, such as the winter solstice, dates back to 1300 BCE, when the Egyptians set out palm branches to celebrate longer days and the hope for a good crop. The Romans followed suit with the decorations for Saturnalia and, purportedly, in 725 or thereabouts, Boniface made the connection between the fir tree and the Christ Child's birth.
By the 16th century, decorated Christmas trees appeared in Europe and, from that point forward, the decorations became more and more creative and colorful.
Besides tracing the development of the Christmas tree and its decoration, the author also gives us a look at the various types of firs used as Christmas trees. She also takes us to a tree farm and explains the process of raising the trees and the problems tree farmers must deal with.
Fun facts: German settlers brought the Christmas tree tradition to the American colonies. Unfortunately, Puritans and some other groups banned the tree custom because of its non-Christian origins. In fact, in 1659 the General Court of Massachusetts banned Christmas altogether. It wasn't until 1856 that Christmas became a legal holiday in Massachusetts.
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy started a tradition of themed Christmas trees in the White House in 1961. That first themed tree was based on the Nutcracker Suite.
According to Guinness World Records, the record for the tallest cut Christmas tree dates to 1950 and is held by the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington. The tree was a 221-foot Douglas fir.
Audience: Although this picture book is intended for young readers, O Christmas Tree is one of those special volumes that both adults and children will relish. Isn't it time you learned a little more about the history and lore behind the holiday fir?
The book's colorful illustrations created by Joanne Friar complete the total package and give us wonderful images to go with Jacqueline Farmer's informative text.
Paula Morrow - December 23, 2010O Christmas Tree: Its History and Holiday Traditions packs an impressive amount of fun and facts into 32 pages. More than 3000 years ago, Egyptians marked the winter solstice by decorating their homes with palm branches. Did you know early Americans banned the Christmas tree because of its non-Christian origins? The book also tells what decorations were popular over the years, why red and green are traditional Christmas colors, how the White House tree became a tradition, and even a visit to a tree farm. All is presented in simple, child-pleasing language, with plenty of details to explore in the colorful gouache illustrations.