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A Christmas Tree for Pyn
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A Christmas Tree for Pyn

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  159 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Christmas is coming. In the craggy rocks on the snowy mountainside, tiny Pyn has her heart set on decorating her very first Christmas tree. But, "No Christmas tree," Papa says. Still, Pyn won't take no for an answer. She knows that a Christmas tree is just the thing their cottage needs to make the season festive and cheery. Pyn is determined to find the perfect Christmas t ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published 2011 by Philomel Books
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Pyn and her father live in a remote cabin in the woods. Pyn desperately wants a Christmas tree for the holiday this year. She has been saving all sorts of natural treasures she finds in the woods to decorate it, but her pa (who gruffly insists she call him by his given name, and not Pa) doesn't seem to carry much holiday spirit and she is not sure he will get her one. Yet, of course, the love of the season and of his daughter cannot be restrained and by the end, as we expect, he comes to embrace ...more
This is a marvelous Christmas story for children. It's about a mountain man named Oother and his daughter Pyn, who is excited to have her first Christmas tree. But first she has to convince her papa to get one, and then she helps pick it out and decorate it. The sweet ending brought a tear to my eye. Highly recommended for parents.
Pyn wants a Christmas tree but her father Oother, grieving for Pyn's mother, refuses. How she resolves this dilemma is the plot of this story. I was most interested in the setting for the book, which has almost a medieval feel (the name Oother=Uther, for one thing) with its open hearth, wooden implements, and crude beds covered with furs, wooden shoes, etc. The Christmas tree may have been present in the Baltic states as early as the 15th century, so perhaps that is the intended setting.Hoewever ...more
It took me two readings to fully appreciate the beauty of this sweet story. Now, I plan on including this in next year's Christmas read-alouds. It's that terrific. Plus, it has a character named Oother, which may just be the single best character name I have ever come across. Oother. It rocks.

Pyn, who lives with alone her Papa ("My name is Oother."), wants a Christmas tree. Oother is a large, gruff man who wants no part of Christmas. Pyn is a persistent little pixie, though, and when Oother leav
Dec 04, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2011, childrens, christmas
This is a heartwarming story about a father and daughter who live a very rough lifestyle in a remote cabin in the mountains. The background story is very sad, as the little girl's mother appears to have died (no explanation is given), so little Pyn tries her best to provide a comfortable, clean home for her Papa and makes food for him to eat. Her father is quite gruff and often silent; he refuses to allow her call him Papa and he strongly resists her request to have a Christmas tree. But in the ...more
I do like the message of what-you-have-can-be-enough (both in terms of Christmas tree decorations and family) but thought the father's grief and the reason for it was expressed a little obliquely for a child audience. The illustrations are fairly static as well (Pyn & her father are always standing or sitting in one place, and always in exact profile) though I guess that matches the stuck-in-grief theme. And Pyn DOES have the most adorable red wooden clogs in all of children's literature. My ...more
Rosa Cline
Such a different creative Christmas book; touches your heart strings. Pyn lives in the woods with her Papa a very hard hearted woodsman. Not even Pyn can open his heart. He even tells her to call him by his name and not by 'Papa' but Pyn loves him. As Christmas comes near she asks if they can have her first Christmas tree. She's never had one before and she so would like to have one. He says that he'll see. Christmas Eve comes and he doesn't say anything just heads out the door so Pyn dresses up ...more
Pyn is a small, soft girl. Her Papa, Oother, is a big, gruff man. They lived on the top of a mountain. Pyn would like to find the perfect Christmas tree and decorate it but Oother says, "No Christmas tree". So, Pyn ventures out in a snowstorm to get a Christmas tree on her own. Will she be successful? Will Oother approve?

Love the message of this story and the illustrations are warm, round, and cozy--perfect for a Christmas story.
Malcolm says, "I like this because I like men with big...BRISTLY...BEARDS!!! And booming voices."
Colby Sharp
Oother reminds me so much of my own father. That is why I gave this book the extra fifth *star*.
The things that I especially enjoyed about this book include the darling illustrations. The contrast between tiny Pyn and her "two bunches of hair bouncing off either side of her head" and her father's "loud, booming voice, large, rough hands, and a bristly black beard" were delightful. The words flow beautifully, one could read the story without the illustrations and still have a good picture in one's mind of what's happening. But the illustrations do add a great deal to the story. I think my f ...more
Little Pyn dreams of having a Christmas tree of their own, but her gruff Papa (who insists that she call him Oother) refuses to have one. While her father works outside in the woods all day, Pyn tidies up the house. Through it all, she thinks about a Christmas tree. When Oother continues to say no to a tree, Pyn decides to handle matters herself. She waits until her father heads out to work and then dresses herself in warm clothes and takes a small hatchet along with her. But before she gets far ...more
Pyn is hoping for her first Christmas tree this year. But her father, Oother, says no. She keeps asking him and finally he says maybe. On the morning of Christmas Eve, after her father leaves the house, Pyn decides to go get a tree on her own and surprise her father. But it's her dad that surprises her when she falls into a snow drift and he fetches her out.

Together they find the perfect tree, take it home and decorate it with the found objects that Pyn has found in the forest.
Each year I buy a book or two to add to our family's Christmas Book Box. It's a tradition that I learned about in an NPR piece, and it has become a fun tradition in our house. Each year, at the same time that we put up the Christmas tree, we pull out the X-Mas Book Box. Each night leading up to December 25, we read a book or two from the box. Everyone in the family has their own favorites, and it's always fun to revisit these stories... like seeing old friends after a long time away.

This year,
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Christmas is coming. It doesn't look like Papa will celebrate it. How can Pyn get Papa interested in celebrations?

Shift the conversation- Oother doesn’t want to be called Papa. Then, he tells Pyn to call him Papa. The transformation of Oother is revealed in simple dialogue.

“Good morning, Papa,” Pyn said.
“My name is Oother,” said Oother.
“Good morning, Oother,” said Pyn.
“Umphf,” said Oother.

In the end:
“Thank you, Oother!” said Pyn.
“My name’s Papa,” Oother said.
“Thank you, Papa!” cried Pyn, throwin
A cute picture book for elementary kids. Pyn really wants a Christmas tree, but her Papa is gruff and does not immediately take to the idea. She persists and even goes out into the deep snow to get one herself. She is buried by snow falling off a branch, but Papa is there to save her. They get a tree together. Pyn is very excited and together with Papa she decorates the tree with items she has collected from the forest. The true meaning of Christmas is not mentioned, but it is not commercialized ...more
This is a longer picture book about a little girl, Pyn, who lives with her gruff father, Oother. At first, we think Oother is just plain mean since Pyn does all the work around the house and he never even says thank you. But when Pyn decides to get them a Christmas tree for the first time, Oother's heart begins to soften a bit. As she decorates it with bits she's been saving, he gives her a special tree topper, something he had made for her mother. I like this for inference. There are several pl ...more
Bridget R. Wilson
Pyn, the small daughter of a mountain man, longs for a Christmas tree. She asks her papa every day. When he ignores her request, she decides to get tree for herself. The snow drifts are bigger than she is. Will Pyn get her tree for Christmas?

What I thought: A sweet story with charming illustrations. Pyn is persistent and I like that about her. Dunrea makes good use of white space. The illustrations for A Christmas Tree for Pyn are very like his in Old Bear and His Cub. My favorite illustrations
My daughter and I loved this story!
31 months - this story won't appeal to everyone, but we love the author's drawing style and subtle detail. If you've read Gossie etc. this is way way wordier and won't be good for younger kids with short attention spans. But for sensitive kids that can pick up on the emotions of the dynamic between father and daughter it's a beautiful Christmas story. We loved the little girl's creativity with her decorations as well.
I'd give this 3.5 if I could. I had to warm up to it actually. I've found my patience wanes with longer picture books...not sure if I'm regressing or what. Anyway, I found the illustrations most charming and the story a little sad and sweet. It's not going to be the perfect choice for everyone for Christmas but I think most libraries will want it. AM
Shelby Rose Rogers
Such a cute book about the holiday seasons, dealing with the loss of a loved one, and creating an emotional bond and connection between a father and daughter. I would use this in my classroom library and allow the students to share and discuss their favorite holdiay traditions and memories with their families.
Jul 22, 2013 Relyn rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted at the library
Shelves: lawsonland
Cute. A nice change of pace from more typical Christmas stories.

Lesson Connections
One of the Christmas gifts I give my students each year is an extra read aloud every day from the weeks after Thanksgiving till Christmas break. I gather lots of Christmas story books and read one a day.
Jesika La Bryer
Copyright 2011
I thought this was going to be a great book, however looking at it, I wasn't that impressed. It is cute story about the love between a father and daughter. The illustrations didn't meet my personal expectations. They kind of reminded me of Strega Nona illustrations.
Delightful and heartwarming, in spite of the predictable ending. Soft illustrations set against white background keep the focus on the main characters/events, which is refreshing when compared with some illustrations for children that are too busy!
Dec 20, 2013 Kim added it
My grandson didn't seem like he was interested at first, but he loved in. He is 6. It shows how one persons heart can grow compassion with a little help (just like the Grinch).
Amy Campbell
This is the cutest Christmas book I have read this year. I loved every second of it. I loved it so much I am instantly buying myself my own copy so that I can share it will all the kids I know.
Suzanne Jordan
Simple, colorful illustrations accompany a heartwarming tale of a large, silent, loyal father and a hardworking, eager, loving daughter's quest to find and decorate a Christmas tree.

This book was not anything like I expected. I really enjoyed reading it. It as not likely he normal Christmas book story line. That is why I enjoyed reading it so much,
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Since his debut in 1983, author and illustrator Olivier Dunrea has created a steady stream of picture books, including concept books, stories of family life—modern and ancient—and stories about artists. Many of Dunrea's picture books testify to his love of animals and his interest in archaeology and folklore of the British Isles, and several—including Ravena, The Trow-Wife's Treasure, and Bear Noe ...more
More about Olivier Dunrea...
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