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Reviewed by Philip Van Heusen for Readers' Favorite
Richard Wagner wrote Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree to share hope and beauty in the true spirit of Christmas. Needles is a tree whose deepest desire is to become someone’s Christmas tree. But unfortunately, he is a scrawny tree with few branches and short height. So, the other trees make fun of Needles and tell him that no one would ever choose him as their Christmas tree. It is to Needles’ credit that he did not give up hope. He continued to hope even when people had already bought all the other trees on the lot. Finally, a breath of fresh air happens when the lot owner tells one of the workers to take the last tree to a friend. The joy is temporary because the family already has a Christmas tree. What will become of Needles? Will Christmas be happy or a disaster?
Hope springs eternal in Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree by Richard Wagner. Needles teaches us that it is always too soon to abandon hope. Another important lesson this book will help your child learn is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What one person may think is worthless, another may think is the most valuable thing in the world. As you read this book with your child, be sure to discuss rejection and proper responses to it. Everyone faces rejection to one degree or another at some point in their life. The important thing to remember is that rejection is only a stepping stone to acceptance by one who loves and cares. Needles also can teach your child about those who are less fortunate than they are. A Christmas book must include the joy of giving, and Needles finds his destiny due to an act of giving.