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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Have you ever wondered what happens to the Christmas tree at night when everyone in the house is sound asleep? The Living Christmas Tree by Kristin Sponaugle describes how the excitement of Christmas and Santa’s imminent visit was building, but perhaps it’s not just the humans in the house that are charged with this feeling of joy and anticipation. Perhaps the tree ornaments have their agenda and are playing out the fun and games all night long – while the family sleeps. One night, Hannah sneaks downstairs to peek at the Christmas tree and she’s surprised to find that the ornaments have come to life. They’re singing and dancing and sharing stories. At first, they don’t realize Hannah is watching in awe. When they do notice, they jump to the nearest branch and freeze. But Hannah has seen enough to know and she wants to be part of their fun. She wants her brother William to be part of the fun too, at least until the sad day when the ornaments are packed away for another year.
Kristin Sponaugle’s picture book The Living Christmas Tree is full of sparkle and all the magic children hope for in the Christmas season. This isn’t another Santa story, but rather a story about the ornaments one family place on their Christmas tree, year after year. These ornaments have a story too, and the magic they share is spellbinding. The plot unfolds with the introduction of the ornament characters and their different antics. When Hannah stumbles upon this wonderful secret, the plot intensifies, and the siblings learn to respect and care for their living tree, and the living ornaments that adorn it. Their Christmas experience isn’t about gifts, but about friendships and appreciating all that they have and all they can share. This is a wonderful story for the entire family – a real classic. Loved it!