Title: Pick a Pine Tree
Author: Patricia Toht
Illustrator: Jarvis
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Hardback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description: Pick a pine tree from the lot – slim and tall or short and squat.  Long, straight limbs or branches bent…Mmm!  Just smell that piney scent!

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a lovely and fun picture book for Christmas! This hardcover book is a little shorter in length, but a bit wider, than an A4 piece of paper. It’s filled with thick matt pages with lots of colourful illustrations which I just love! It’s hard to see from the picture of the cover but the title as well as the red ribbon on the side are actually sparkly, giving this book an extra Christmassy feel.

Pick a Pine Tree book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The story of ‘Pick a Pine Tree’ is such a simple one but something that so many kids will love to read. The story follows the journey of a pine tree. A family chooses a tree from a lot and then takes it home to be decorated. Although it may seem like a really simple plot (and it is) the magic comes from the rhyming style of the story which kids usually enjoy. The first lines of the book are: ‘Pick a pine tree from a lot – slim and tall or short and squat. One with spikey needle clumps, scaly bark, or sappy bumps.’ This rhyming pattern follows throughout the entire book making this easy for kids to read alone as well as with adults.

The whole story focuses on the decorating of the tree and the different aspects that go into making it all Christmassy, as well as the fun you can have while decorating. The images really make this book shine and I have to say I love the seemingly simple pictures. Every picture looks a little like a kid’s drawing and they are all very colourful which makes every part of the story easy to understand and stand out. I do enjoy the whole look of all the pictures and the happy way everyone and everything looks but what I love even more is the fun extras on each page. A lot of the double page images have fun little extra things such as the cat that ‘helps’ to decorate the tree or a chance to spot the family dog.

The whole story is fun to read and although it’s simple it does work. The ending is fun and I love not only the final finished image of the decorating but also the hidden extra scene on the last page which makes the whole book a bit magical. The rhyming really does make this book so appealing and although there’s a bit of a strange rhyme at the end (doesn’t quite follow the same pattern on the last page) it still works well and makes the whole book feel like a fun thing to read in the run up to Christmas.

Pick a Pine Tree book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to give their kids an early Christmas present, especially if they enjoy or you’d like to get them involved in the fun of decorating the tree. This would also make a great Christmas present overall as well as a fun book to read anytime of year when kids want to enjoy the magic of Christmas. I remember reading Christmas themed books months before December when I was a child and enjoying the build up to the time when Christmas happens so I know a lot of kids would enjoy this book, even at odd times of the year, and along with the rhyming nature and some fun images I’m sure a lot of adults would enjoy a quick read of this too.

-Review first appeared online October 2017 – now republished here.

What do you think of this book?  Do you like books that rhyme?  Do you enjoy picking out a pine tree?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂