Synopses & Reviews
This new classic Christmas gift book "brings together two great traditions: the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and the neighbor-helping-neighbor program of Habitat for Humanity." Opening in Depression-era New York City, The Carpenter's Gift tells the story of eight-year-old Henry and his father selling Christmas trees. They give a Christmas tree to construction workers building Rockefeller Center and celebrate together. Through the kindness of the construction workers and neighbors, Henry gets his wish for a nice, warm home to replace his family's drafty shack. He plants a pinecone from that first Rockefeller Center Tree. As an old man, Henry repays the gift by donating the enormous tree that has grown from that pinecone. After bringing joy to thousands as the Rockefeller Center tree, its wood will be used to build a home for another family in need.
Written by children's nonfiction author David Rubel in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity. Gorgeous illustrations crafted by Jim LaMarche.
"Ever since construction workers building New York's Rockefeller Center put up a humble Christmas tree on site in 1931, the annual tradition has become a gift that keeps on giving. Author/historian Rubel's story of a Depression-era family's connection to that first tree and the ripple effect of its bounties puts the now magnificent symbol in perspective. LaMarche conveys emotional resonance with gauzy, soft-hued paintings of the inspirational proceedings. An afterword highlights Rockfeller Center owner Tishman Speyer's recent partnership with Habitat for Humanity, which earmarks the tree to be milled for lumber post-Christmas for a family in need. Ages 5 8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Readers will be captivated by the vivid details of the journey, which help form a radiant Christmas story."
and#8212;Publishers Weekly, starred review
"What gives this story depth is the richness of James E. Ransome's paintings: His use of color brings majesty to the working of men and machines in the shifting light of early dawn."
and#8212;Wall Street Journal
"An attractive addition to the holiday shelf."
and#8212;School Library Journal
Family, friendship, and the spirit of giving are at the heart of this inspiring picture book. Opening in Depression-era New York, The Carpenter's Gift tells the story of eight-year-old Henry and his out-of-work father selling Christmas trees in Manhattan. They give one of their leftover trees to construction workers building Rockefeller Center. That tree becomes the first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, the finest Henry has seen when adorned with homemade decorations. Henry wishes on the tree for a nice, warm house to replace his family's drafty, one-room shack. Through the kindness of new friends and old neighbors, Henry's wish is granted, and he plants a pinecone to commemorate the event. As an old man, Henry repays the gift by donating to Rockefeller Center the enormous tree that has grown from that pinecone. After bringing joy to thousands as a beautiful Christmas tree, its wood will be used to build a home for a family in need.
The splendid iconicand#160;Christmas tree at New York City's Rockefeller Center doesn't just spring up overnight. Itand#160;is delivered byand#160;tugboat on the Hudson River. This is the story of how one such tree made the journey.
Nothing says Christmas like a Christmas tree, and the Rockefeller Center tree in New York City has said it beautifully since 1931. But how does the tree get there? One year, the tugboat captain (and author) George Matteson, his wife, and their daughter traveled by tug to fetch the giant tree. This dramatic picture book tells the story of their real-life journey up the Hudson River, and James Ransome's striking paintings capture the excitement of the trip and the pride of the young girl who helped steer the tug into New York Harbor.
About the Author
DAVID RUBEL is a nationally recognized author and speaker whose work focuses on making American history accessible to a broad audience. His most recent book, If I Had a Hammer
, includes a foreward by former president Jimmy Carter. David's children's books, The Scholastic Encyclopedia of the Presidents and Their Times
and The Scholastic Atlas of the United States
have both become grade-school standards, selling more than half a million copies each in multiple editions.
JIM LAMARCHE has illustrated over 20 children's books, some of which he has also written. His lushly rendered illustrations appear in our recent release, The Day Tiger Rose Said Goodbye, by Jane Yolen. His work has been awarded the Parents magazine Best Book of the Year; the Irma S. and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Picture Books; and the American Bookseller Association Pick-of-the-List. He lives in central California with his wife and children.