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Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  1,317 ratings  ·  150 reviews
"Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree
Came by special delivery.
Full and fresh and glistening green--
The biggest tree he'd ever seen."
That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn't stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas? Snuggle up with this story and fol
...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 17th 2000 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers (first published 1963)
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
31st out of 642 books — 850 voters
A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Best Christmas-Themed Books/Stories
33rd out of 288 books — 404 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,112)
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Diane
An adorable children's story about a big Christmas tree that Mr. Willowby buys, but it's too tall for the room. The top part is cut off and given to the maid, where it's also too tall for her room. She snips off the top part and throws it away, but it's found by the gardener who takes it home. Then that top part of the tree is cut off and is found by a happy bear, and so on...

The book was first published in 1963 and it does seem like a classic Christmas story. I would highly recommend it for par
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Kathryn
4.5 STARS. It's easy to see why this little treasure remains to be a Christmas treat since its debut in the 1960s. The illustrations are gosh darn cute and have that vintage '60s feel without seeming too old-fashioned or the least bit passe. (I love that I am not the only one who thinks Mr. Willowby looks like the Monopoloy man!) It's the sort of cumulative tale kids love--when Mr. Willowby's gianormous Christmas tree is just a bit too tall for his mansion, he has the top chopped off and gives i ...more
booklady
Dec 23, 2008 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kids of all ages
Recommended to booklady by: Sandy
A delightful holiday story first introduced to me by my dear hubby's mom shortly after we got married. Mom-in-Law sent Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree as a Christmas gift for our first or second Christmas as a married couple and it's been a tradition ever since. As best I can discover it was published it 1963. In any event it was a story my husband heard growing up and now my children have been charmed by it as well; we read it every Christmas!

Mr Willowby has no use for the top of his Christmas tr
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Ann
Dec 11, 2009 Ann rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ann by: Katie!
When Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree arrives at his mansion, and is just a tiny bit too tall, there is only one solution: to cut off the top! But, Mr. Willowby realizes that the cut-off-top would make the perfect Christmas tree for his maid. The grateful maid soon realizes that the tree is a tad too big for her room, so she chops off the top and tosses it. But, the top is discovered... and so on.

A great little rhyming story with charming illustrations that are whimsical and warm. I had a few qualm
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Dolly
Dec 22, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
We just read Just Right for Christmas by Birdie Black and thought it was a very nice, entertaining story. We noticed that both Kathryn and Angela compared that book to this one. I knew that we'd also just borrowed this book, too, so I was very excited to read it next.

The story did not disappoint. As in their reviews, we saw how similar the two stories were. The rhyming narrative and the colorful, cartoonish illustrations work together nicely to create a lovely, fun story to read aloud. The chara
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Shimelle
No matter how old I get, this is my favourite story at this time of year. Just a simple little idea of what one person can pass on to make someone else's day brighter, but oh so lovely. The illustrations are perfect as can be.

I'm certainly not the only one in my family to remember this tale. Growing up, my grandparents had a beautiful flocked tree. It was so, so tall, covered in velvet snow and little red satin birds. Of course, artificial trees have a lifespan and by the time I was in my last y
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Thera Grady
LOVE this Christmas story book. It's beautifully illustrated and the story is so charming. My kids and I read this EVERY year!! One of our favorites.
Jourdan
This heartwarming story is about a Christmas tree that was delivered special delivery to Mr. Willowby's house. When he was setting it up in his house, he found that it was too tall and the top bent up against the ceiling. He got the idea to cut the top off and he did! The top of the tree was then presented to Mr. Willowby's upstairs maid. When she was putting it together, she found it was too tall and decided to cut the top off! The top was thrown away and then found by the gardener. He brought ...more
Becky
First sentence paragraph: Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree came by special delivery. Full and fresh and glistening green--the biggest tree he had ever seen. He dashed downstairs to open the door--This was the moment he'd waited for.

I loved, loved, loved Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree. It celebrates giving in a fun and playful way. Mr. Willowby starts off a long chain of giving when he chops off the top of his too-tall Christmas tree. A tree that is splendid in every other way. He gives the tree-top
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Kathy Grimm
"Mr Willouby's Christmas Tree" by Robert Barry, 1963, McGraw-Hill Book Company. Our copy is worn and has faded over the years. This book was ardently loved by six children from two separate families and it was also my favorite Christmas story as a child. I rescued it from one of my Mother's garage sales years ago.

One day she emptied our childhood closets and sold our books for 25 cents a piece! I grabbed as many of the books as I could carry while her back was turned and hid them under my bed
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Shayna
This story is about this man who orders a really big christmas tree. He chops off part of the tree and trows it out. this story is about how the tree topper goes around and what happens when other animals find it. a great story perfect for all ages around christmas time. Love this story, great quick read!
Qwendy
Robert Barry’s Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree has enchanted children up to age seven since 1963 and it continues to hold broad appeal. Beautifully detailed, softly shaded colorful drawings nicely complement the rhyming text, unraveling a predictable Christmas story. Mr. Willowby’s tree starts off "too tall" and it is slowly whittled down, until the tree is a mere remnant of itself.

Through Barry’s rhyming prose children learn about the interconnectedness of life. As the tree grows progressively s
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Skylar Burris
This is a cute Christmas story about the beauty of trickle-down economics. My four-year-old wanted it read several times.
Annamaria
A bit old fashioend but such a great read and, talk about recycling!!
Wendy
Adorable! Might need to add this to my Christmas book collections!
Rosa Cline
What a fabulous idea for a Christmas holiday story! Simple green,black and white illustrations as wonderful as well and brings the story to even that much more life.

Mr Willowby has ordered and received a huge tree to decorate. His help bring it into the house but oh my! it's much to large so they cut the top right off to make it fit. They put the top aside to throw away; but the maid takes it for her room. But 'oh my!' it's to tall for her space so she cuts the top off and throws it away. The ga
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Sam Grace
The formula of the gift that keeps on giving is a common one in Christmas books - my favorite of this type is Yuriko Kimura's Christmas Present from a friend (the data is all kinds of screwed up on that link, and pretty much everywhere online) - and this was fine if you like that kind of story, but not much more. A rich man gets a Xmas tree too big even for his enormous ceiling and cuts off the top (wtf? who cuts the top off?) and then that is thrown away where it is found by someone who wants i ...more
babyhippoface
Even though this book is older than I am, I had never read it before this week. In an effort to find a new book for 1st grade read-aloud, I pulled it off the shelf and started reading. What a pleasant surprise! It's really a cute little story in rhyme that demonstrates the old adage, "One man's trash is another's treasure."

The story begins with a lumberjack cutting down a beautiful, full, green tree and delivering it to Mr. Willowby's mansion. The tree is just a tad too tall, so the butler chop
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Brooke
What an adorable book! When Mr. Willowby's Christmas tree arrives at his mansion, and is just a tiny bit too tall, there is only one solution: to cut off the top! But, Mr. Willowby realizes that the cut-off-top would make the perfect Christmas tree for his maid. The grateful maid soon realizes that the tree is a tad too big for her room, so she chops off the top and tosses it. But, the top is discovered... and so on.
Caranna
I love this book. It has long been one of my favorite Christmas books and my children love it as well.

Mr. Willowby lives in a large house and buys an equally large Christmas tree. The trouble is, it doesn't quite fit so he chops off the top and throws it out.

We follow that abandoned little tree top as it brightens the homes and hearts of many.
Jade Detzer
This book would be a good book to read when teaching a math lesson about reducing numbers, or learning about less than, greater than. The illustrations were very child-friendly as well. This is also good book to use when teaching a lesson about recylcing or not being wasteful since somebone always found a way to use the other person's "trash."
Kelley Bennett
I LOVE this book. It is a poem about a Christmas tree's journey. Younger children will like it because it rhymes and has a theme to it that they will be able to make predictions about what happens to the tree next. It is also a very safe book for Christmas as it only mentions the tree. It can also be used for a recycling lesson as well. And when I was a child I loved the illustrations.
Robyn Corum
Sep 17, 2012 Robyn Corum rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone with small children
This was a standard in my home growing up. It's hard to find a new mesmerizing Christmas tale these days - it seems like we've heard it all. But this classic is just as good today as it was...well...several years ago. *smile*

What happens when th rich man in town buys a christmas tree that's too tall? They cut off the top - and it's shared with the upstairs maid, Mrs. Adelaide, of course. And then, if THAT tree is too tall for her small, spare room, what's to be done?

Well, you'll have to read fo
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Ryan
So love this book. Just wish I would have known about it before. Its not that easy to find anymore. Thanks GoodReads recommendations!
Jen
Mr. Willowby got a special Christmas tree, but there was a problem. The tree was too tall for the house! The butler decides to then chop off part of the tree and give the top to the maid. She loves the tree, but it's too tall for where she wants to put it, too, so she cuts the top off. This story continues on like this with animals finding the discarded tops and sharing them with their loved ones. I liked the idea of this story, but it got a bit long and drawn out for me. There are only so many ...more
Laura
Darling illustrations and a sweet story. One enormous tree ends up making many families (human and wildlife) happy with the Christmas spirit. Whether this is kin to stone soup, or to trickle-down economics is up to you; certainly nobody deliberately shares a bit of pine tree, it's just that each in turn finds the tree too big, trims the top, and throws it away. It works along the lines of "one person's trash is another's treasure." But what really holds me back from a higher rating is the meter ...more
Lorianna
This is still my favorite book from when I was a child. In fact, I still have my original hardcover copy pictured here, over 30 years later! Last year I read it to my 5 year old daughter. It is a story about a wealthy man who brings a very tall Christmas tree into his mansion, but it is just too tall. He has no choice but to chop off the top. He decides to give that piece to his maid, who uses is as her own tree. However, she has the same problem. The story continues on from there, as you would ...more
Tag
Oct 18, 2014 Tag rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: cmas
A treasured book from my childhood. I read it to my kids each year.
Jason Dow
Loved this book as a kid, and it is still a great Christmas book.
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