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Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

4.34  ·  Rating Details ·  2,382 Ratings  ·  190 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 follow
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Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 17th 2000 by Doubleday Books for Young Readers (first published 1963)
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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 AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
35th out of 796 books — 1,109 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 AllsburgThe Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
Best Christmas Holiday Books
37th out of 358 books — 486 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Diane
Dec 15, 2013 Diane rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, christmas
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
Dec 07, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
This was one of my favorite Christmas stories growing up. I was fascinated by how many animals were able to get a Christmas tree from pieces of this one tree, and how the trees and animals kept getting smaller and smaller. It's so nice to see this classic still in print, and to own it both in print and as an ebook. Highly recommended for the yuletide holidays!
Matthew
To check out all my reviews: http://dancinginth3dark.blogspot.com

I have never heard of this Christmas book in my life until now and I am surprised how this is a classic and they even made a Christmas TV Special featuring the Muppets. I believe this classic should be read because I loved every moment of it from the illustrations to the craziness of the story.

Mr. Willowby's is getting ready for the arrival of his Christmas tree and when it arrives it is utterly marvelous in appearance and right fo
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David L. Flickinger
Sep 01, 2015 David L. Flickinger rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my favorites for the Christmas Season. I read it to my children since I loved reading it as a child. Sharing is of paramount importance in this book, but you are not knocked over the head with it. Joy for others can be found in the trash you discard. I recorded myself reading this to an MP3 player that was left with my third child in the NICU for 10 weeks. She was able to hear this story and others that were read by me and by my wife when we were not there to talk to her. Gre ...more
Ann
Dec 11, 2009 Ann rated it it was amazing
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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Shimelle
Dec 22, 2007 Shimelle rated it it was amazing
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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booklady
Dec 23, 2008 booklady rated it it was amazing
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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Ruth Sophia
Dec 22, 2015 Ruth Sophia rated it it was ok
Forgettable

Every bit of Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree gets used in this tale for children as it's always just a tad too tall. But, given the illustrations, the tree ought to have been the right height quite some time before it was! Those who are expecting something like Jim Henson's made-for-TV movie (starring Robert Downing, Jr., no less) of the same name will find the similarities betwixt these scarce. Most of the people/animals who get a piece of the tree are left out of that rendition (with
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Guy Vestal  - Counter Culture Critic
Dec 15, 2014 Guy Vestal - Counter Culture Critic rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Children
This review was posted at Amazon, as well as My Website.

From the publisher:

"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 follow along through a forest full of friendly crea
...more
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
I had a copy of this book as a kid and literally read it to pieces. The pictures were magical to me as a small child, as was the idea of the tree getting cut smaller and smaller--and some small critter enjoying the "leftovers" someone else threw out. Perhaps being the youngest of a large family made that resonate. That and my love of small things.
Read this with a child you love, particularly if they're the smallest, the youngest, or the one who consistently gets pushed aside or left out. Go on-
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Dolly
Dec 22, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
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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Qwendy
Jun 15, 2014 Qwendy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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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Thera Grady
Mar 10, 2014 Thera Grady rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 14, 2014 Jourdan rated it really liked it
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
Sep 07, 2014 Becky rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014reviews
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
Jun 13, 2014 Kathy Grimm rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all children great and small
"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
Nov 05, 2012 Shayna rated it it was amazing
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!
Skylar Burris
Dec 22, 2008 Skylar Burris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This is a cute Christmas story about the beauty of trickle-down economics. My four-year-old wanted it read several times.
Abigail
Dec 29, 2015 Abigail rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my all time favorite Christmas books. My mom read it to my siblings and I ever year during Advent time. This year she sent it to me for St. Nicholas' Day and I sat my husband down and read it to him as soon as I got it out of the package.
The story follows a tree as it makes it's rounds through the houses of those waiting on Christmas day. Starting with Mr. Willowby and ending with a small family of mice. Each person excitedly decorates the tree and then learns that the tree
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Annamaria
Dec 06, 2011 Annamaria rated it it was amazing
A bit old fashioend but such a great read and, talk about recycling!!
Wendy
Jan 06, 2014 Wendy rated it really liked it
Adorable! Might need to add this to my Christmas book collections!
Kimberly
Nov 29, 2012 Kimberly rated it it was amazing
Another Christmas favorite that I love to pull out each year.
Rosa Cline
Oct 29, 2014 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, christmas
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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Laurie
Dec 15, 2012 Laurie rated it really liked it
Adorable!
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
Dec 07, 2010 babyhippoface rated it really liked it
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
...more
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
Nov 13, 2014 Caranna rated it really liked it
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.
Karen
Dec 09, 2015 Karen rated it really liked it
We added this book to our Christmas countdown reading this year. It may be a little young for my boys (15 and 10), but it was still enjoyable. The graphics we bright and cheery which is always great. The story line was a nice one with nothing going to waste and other beings able to enjoy what someone else doesn't need. The hard part for me and my boys was that it was very weird to have someone cut the top of the tree off when it's too tall instead of the bottom. Also the size of the tree didn't ...more
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