10 Dec 2015

I DON'T WANT TO BE A CHRISTMAS TREE.

The first book (and perhaps the only children's book) to be read for this year's Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.




I DON'T WANT TO BE A CHRISTMAS TREE by KATHY LINDSEY.

BACK COVER BLURB: Kristopher and Kristin Butler are so excited to venture out with their parents to cut down their first live Christmas tree.

After looking at hundreds of trees, Kristin finally finds the right tree. It is green, not too tall, and has plenty of places to hang ornaments. But just as she asks her brother if he likes it too, the tree makes a surprising announcement.

In this colourful children's tale, a brother and sister who choose a stubborn Christmas tree are about to discover that someone in their family is harbouring a big secret that will change everything.

FIRST SENTENCE {Page 3}: In a small farming community named Sheldon lived the Butler family.

MEMORABLE MOMENT {Page 21}: later that day everyone went sledding except Kristin. She said she had a headache. When she was alone she asked the tree, "Why don't you want to be a Christmas tree?" The tree said nothing.

SOURCE: A GoodReads win. 

MY THOUGHTS: I never like to comment on a book and not justify my views. Something which is of particular importance to me if I find myself giving that book a less than glowing account. However to do so with this particular book without giving any of the plot away is proving rather difficult so please forgive me for being rather vague when I say that as a person who likes to believe in the magic of Christmas - and let's face it you don't get much more magical than a talking Christmas tree - I was extremely disappointed by the ending of this book. Though less so than one of the two seven-year-olds I read it with who having clarified that, yes, that was indeed the ending, promptly burst into tears.

That aside.

Why the choice of that font?

Thinking it was only going to be used on the synopsis on the back cover I was surprised to discover it used throughout. Hardly one of the traditional 'tried and tested' fonts. Whilst not to my taste I can't say I had any particular difficulty in deciphering it, however, my two young friends, both of them accomplished readers for their age, did struggle as I should imagine would any less advanced readers or those children with any kind of reading disability.

Overall, an OK story albeit one that I suspect will appeal more to an American market. With one fully coloured illustrated page to every page of text there is plenty of scope for discussion which I thought very child friendly and a necessity given that it provided some much needed pictorial clues as to the written words.

ACHIEVED: VISIONS OF SUGARPLUMS.


15 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

Wait...did I read that right? The ending caused a child to burst into tears? Not one I'd want to purchase! But it reminded me of when I was a kid and my mom sang that song, "Hush Little Baby." At the end I was depressed and she asked why. I said at the end, the little baby didn't get anything at all because everything broke or flew away or whatever...and all the baby was left with was being "the best little baby in town," which sucked when compared to all those things the mom was going to buy!

Brandi Kosiner said...

Sorry to hear that the ending was disappointing

Sherry Ellis said...

That's pretty sad if the ending made a child cry! I'm not sure why some authors choose to use unusual fonts. It makes it very difficult to read. Sorry this wasn't a stellar read.

Literary Feline said...

You have me wondering what happened at the end to make a child cry. :-( Not enough to go out and buy the book. I also am curious about your comment that it may appeal more to the American market . . .

Gina R said...

I understand what you mean. I'm more apt to provide justifications as well when a read didn't sit as kindly in my favor. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

So I'm guessing tears at the end are not the intended outcome for the author. I think I'd find the font a huge distraction. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

Kelly said...

Oh, geez...

I agree with Literary Feline in wondering the same things, but not enough to get the book and find out.

Personally, I like the font, but can certainly understand why it might not be good for the entire book.

I hope you enjoy your other Christmas selections more than this one.

kimbacaffeinate said...

*blinks* It made the children you read it to cry. Oh no..no, no,no. The font is a mistake and one I am sure an editor would have deterred them from using.

Trac~ said...

Thanks for the review and it seems to be one I will not be reading or sharing. Big hugs! :)

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

They burst into tears at the end.. Oh, no! That must have been a shock. As always I appreciated hearing your honest thoughts on this book.

Suko said...

Tracy, I appreciate your honesty. I don't like the sound of this ending!

ClaudineGueh@CarryUsOffBooks said...

Oh dear, I don't think I'd like to read this either if it made a child burst into tears. (Though I must admit I'm curious ~ how exactly did it end?) There have been children's books that have made me tear up (because they are moving) but I don't think this is the case here ...

Melliane said...

Oh that's so sad about the end of the book... It's terrible when oyu like something and the end changes everything

Brian Joseph said...

Based on the reaction of the child who you read this with, it sounds as if the ending was really off base.

That font is indeed strange.

The Bookworm said...

Well, that's too bad, especially since it made the kids cry!
And fancy fonts are no good, I like it plain and simple.