The Last Christmas Tree
5 Star Reviews
Janice Henderson- Harrisburg, Nebraska
Mr. B had a dream of planting a Blue Spruce and hoped it would grow in an area where it was not native soil. God provided a plan. We think most plans come from us, but God takes our dreams and creates plans for them. Mr. B was the caretaker of Twig and he had a dream through his planting and care that Twig would survive. God not only helped Twig grow, but he also made him strong and beautiful; Much greater than Mr. B probably thought or hoped.
When Twig compared himself to the other trees growing around him, he didn't think much of himself because he was small and just a Twig. He didn't think of all the special care he was getting and he didn't know the plan.
How many times has God planted us in a strange environment and given us the courage to grow, change, and help others through our struggles? Mr. B had faith not only for his little tree but that others would be encouraged by the growth of his little Twig. Twig grew and the sight of that gave Mr. B an opportunity to share with his doubting neighbor. Faith and vision gave God's plan time to grow in the neighbor's heart.
We seldom get the opportunity to see our dreams come true but in the writing of this book, God has blessed Debby and her family to see God's plan. My dream is for others to be blessed by her dream and faith in God and that he has a plan for all of us.
The illustrations of this book are perfect. It gives a sense of peace and wonder, not bold, but flowing.
Tom Stephens- Andalusia, Alabama: You think that this is a kid's book just about a cute little tree and then all of a sudden you realize that you're reading about life. This book is one of the best books I've ever read and every person needs one of these.
Kirkus Review: A young, struggling tree learns his worth in this debut picture book.
A little tree named Twig is planted at a Southern farm. But he experiences anxiety because he’s different from other trees: “It’s a horrible thing not to feel good about yourself, and Twig definitely did not feel good about himself.” He’s small; he’s a different color; and even as he grows, no buyers ever purchase him to be their Christmas tree. But Mr. B, the farm’s owner, lavishes attention on Twig, telling the tree he saves the best for last. As Mr. B gets ready to go home to the One, the name the trees use for the creator who is celebrated at Christmas, he finally explains why Twig, now grown large, is special. He’s a blue spruce, and he’s not supposed to flourish in such a warm climate. But Mr. B told a friend the One could “make anything grow anywhere,” and Twig was his proof. After Mr. B’s death, the friend, now a believer, creates a park around Twig. Mr. B’s faith and the love he shows for his friend, through Twig, are sure to inspire Christian readers. Hoffman’s choice to narrate from the perspectives of the trees gives children an easy way to grasp the complex issue of religious belief. The lovely illustrations, featuring mostly pale-skinned humans along with a variety of trees and woodland creatures, by watercolor artist Sauber are worth framing.
An accessible religious fable accompanied by beautiful images of the natural world.
Christian Book Award: Congratulations to "The Last Christmas Tree" by Deborah Hoffman, a 2020 Gold Medal Christian Book Award Winner in the category of Picture Book! This heart-warming picture book tells the story of a little Christmas tree named Twig that no one wanted, but in the end, he became a world-renowned tree! The paintings by Robert Sauber are so well-done they transport the reader right into the story, evoking strong emotion of the warmth of Christmas, and the pleasure of seeing an underdog became something he never in his wildest dreams could imagine!
The story teaches many lessons to young and old readers alike, including God's plan for even the smallest of us, and to not give up! This book is the perfect length for parents to read to their kids at bedtime and would make a great gift for parents with kids! You won't be disappointed if you purchase this picture book and the person you give it to will remember you fondly every time they see it!
Congratulations Deborah Hoffman! This is an inspiring picture book with beautiful paintings and a great message! God Bless! CBA
Emily-Jane Hills Orford- Readers' Favorite:
We are all put on earth for a reason. We live, we give, we share and then we move on to join our Creator. Even trees have their reasons for existing. Mr. B had a marvelous, almost magical Christmas tree farm. Every year families came to choose the perfect Christmas tree. Mr. B cared for these trees, nurtured them until they were ready to be cut and decorated for that special day. The trees knew they were special and that, after leaving Mr. B’s farm, they would be joining their Creator. There was one tree on the farm that was never cut, never sold. A scraggly, unattractive tree that grew very slowly. But this tree was extra special; it had a lesson to share with those who doubted the wisdom, the love, and the care of our One Creator. This tree didn’t know he was special, not at first, but its life served as a testament to Mr. B’s faith and the true love we can all share with our One Creator.
Deborah Hoffman’s picture book story, The Last Christmas Tree, is beautifully told with a powerful message about faith and love. The plot develops with care and compassion so that young readers can easily follow the message that is being presented. At first, the reader will feel sorry for the little scraggly tree that no one wanted as their special Christmas tree, but at the climax, they learn another side to the story and they will experience the same sense of awe and wonder that this ‘last’ Christmas tree must have felt. The story is exquisite and exudes warmth and tenderness. This is a valuable teaching tool for young readers and a compassionately told story that will bring tears to the eyes, both young and old, of those who read it.