Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree
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Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  1,239 ratings  ·  141 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
34th out of 620 books — 801 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
36th out of 253 books — 363 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,961)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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...more
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...more
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!
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...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.
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...more
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
Patti
A favorite book from my childhood and a favorite today!!
Beth Nieman
I loved this circular story which ended up at the point of its beginning! The drawings are charming, too.

Mr. Willowby orders a Christmas tree, but has to chop a little off the top to make it fit. Someone else finds the discarded top, but . . . it's just a little too big, so that person snips off a little from the top, which is found by someone else . . . and so on, down to the tiniest mouse family living in a hole in Mr. Willowby's wall. Cheerful and fun holiday story.

The kids at preschool story...more
Laura
Great book. This is a wonderful rhyming book. As the little tree gets smaller and smaller there always seems to be one more family who can use the leftovers.
Peanut
MOMMY: I love this book. Mr. Willowby buys a tree and it's too big, so he cuts off the top and gives it someone else, who cuts off the top and it goes to someone else, who cuts off the top… OK you get it. I love the different characters and animals who enjoy their new christmas tree. I love the idea that the chain of Christmas cheer just keeps going. Great illustrations.

PEANUT: He thinks the book is so fun and so silly! It's a fairly lengthy book but the story is easy to listen to.
Adrienne
This would be a cute story if it was misleading about it being a Christmas story. It's a recycling story. It has nothing to do with Christmas or the Christmas spirit except there's a Christmas tree involved. Each person or animal, starting with Mr. Willowby, hacks off the top of the tree and throws it out. Someone smaller then comes along and uses it for his/her tree and on and on. The end. Fun times to be had by all. I don't get the appeal especially for Christmas.
Lisa
Such an adorable story about a Christmas tree that Mr. Willowby gets for his home, only to find out it is too tall. He cuts off the top, and from there the real story begins, as each person or animal takes the top of the tree for someone, and finds it too tall, and cuts off the top again. The tiny tip ends up with a family of mice that live in the livingroom where the original tree stands, and they are so happy to have a tree just like Mr. Willowby :).
Hilary
Everyone in Mr. Willowby's neighborhood, from the butler to the bunnies, enjoys his Christmas tree -- quite literally. Mr. W bought a too-tall tree; he snips off the top to help it fit the room. The butler snips the top off Mr. W's castoff so it fits in the servants' quarters, and so on and so on, until a tiny snippet fits in the last families' home.

Although it has been reissued in color, I prefer the original illustrations.
Paul Yamagata-madlon
I read this at least 50 times to my son over the past few months and I've never tired of it. The rhythm of the story so fun to read aloud, the illustrations are fabulous, and it is dear to my heart because I remember my mother reading this to me when I was little. I've tried to turn my son on to many books that I regard as classic, but several have turned out not to be as timeless as I expected. This was certainly an exception.
Rosalie
This is the story of a very tall Christmas tree that has to be trimmed to fit into Mr. Willowby's living room. When the top of the tree is lopped off and thrown in the trash a series of people and animals retrieves the remainder to put in their homes until there is nothing left but a teeny tiny tree for the little mice! It was origanlly in black and white and then republished later in color. Kids love it!
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