What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

UNSOLVED: One specific book > Children's Picture Book - Magical forest with glass leaves

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message 1: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Jensen | 1 comments The character was traveling through a magical forest and for at least part of the book the trees had glass leaves. They were shaped like elongated hexagons and chimed like windchimes. The leaves might have have changed throughout the book. At one point they may have been gold.

This book is from my childhood ; I was born in 1985.

Please help! Thanks in advance!

message 2: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie | 263 comments Found this in another forum:

T137: Trees with glass leaves
I remember only the beautiful drawings of the trees with glass leaves, and I can still hear them today! c. 1940

Any possibility this illustration could be associated with the fairy tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses? The princesses travel to a wondrous underground land each night to dance the huntsman following them in his invisiibility cape is fascinated by the trees with leaves of silver and gold, but maybe in some versions the leaves are crystal or glass.

The 12 Dancing Princesses. This could be one of the many, many versions of the fairytale "The 12 Dancing Princesses" where the girls have to sneak out because their father won't let them "date." They go (usually) through a tunnel in their bedroom floor through wondrous places to a ball where they dance all night. Their dancing slippers are always worn out every morning and the father cannot figure out why, since he locks them in their room at night. Anyhow, most versions have them going through areas full of trees with glass leaves, golden leaves, jewelled leaves, etc. to get to the ball. So this might be it, the challenge would be in finding the version that you remember the pictures from!

Henry Van Dyke, The Foolish Fir Tree. 1911. Alternatively, this poem (and variants I've seen online) also talk about a tree with glass leaves. "A Presbyterian Minister, Henry Van Dyke is perhaps best known for The Story of the Other Wise Man and for the Hymn of Joy ("Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, ..."). He was also a prolific poet, and the above poem can be found in: Van Dyke, Henry. The Poems of Henry Van Dyke. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911."

Watson, J. W., Twelve Dancing Princesses. Try this Golden Book it may be the one. The old soldier who follows the princesses through a jeweled forest snaps one of the leaves off, scaring the youngest princess. He ended up marrying the eldest. The illustrations are lovely.

J. W. Watson, The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It could be this -- a beautifully illustrated version, Golden Book.

Sounds like the Foolish Fir Tree to me, I do remember the various pictures of the tree with its various leaves. The glass ones got broken by rain, gold ones were stolen by a passerby, there may have been some kind of red leaf that also got ruined. Don't know if it was a poem or a story.

message 3: by Lobstergirl, au gratin (new)

Lobstergirl | 40677 comments Mod
Jamie, are you still looking for this or did you find it?

message 4: by Capn (last edited Nov 18, 2021 07:13AM) (new)

Capn | 1617 comments   Henry Van Dyke (1852-1933)
              THE FOOLISH FIR-TREE
              A tale that the poet Rückert told
              To German children, in days of old;
              Disguised in a random, rollicking rhyme
              Like a merry mummer of ancient time,
              And sent, in its English dress, to please
              The little folk of the Christmas trees.

    A LITTLE fir grew in the midst of the wood
    Contented and happy, as young trees should.
    His body was straight and his boughs were clean;
    And summer and winter the bountiful sheen
    Of his needles bedecked him, from top to root,
    In a beautiful, all-the-year, evergreen suit.
    But a trouble came into his heart one day,
    When he saw that the other trees were gay
    In the wonderful raiment that summer weaves
    Of manifold shapes and kinds of leaves:
    He looked at his needles so stiff and small,
    And thought that his dress was the poorest of all.
    Then jealousy clouded the little tree's mind,
    And he said to himself, "It was not very kind
    "To give such an ugly old dress to a tree!
    "If the fays of the forest would only ask me,
    "I'd tell them how I should like to be dressed,—
    "In a garment of gold, to bedazzle the rest!"
    So he fell asleep, but his dreams were bad.
    When he woke in the morning, his heart was glad;
    For every leaf that his boughs could hold
    Was made of the brightest beaten gold.
    I tell you, children, the tree was proud;
    He was something above the common crowd;
    And he tinkled his leaves, as if he would say
    To a pedlar who happened to pass that way,
    "Just look at me! don't you think I am fine?
    "And wouldn't you like such a dress as mine?"
    "Oh, yes!" said the man, "and I really guess
    I must fill my pack with your beautiful dress."
    So he picked the golden leaves with care,
    And left the little tree shivering there.
    "Oh, why did I wish for golden leaves?"
    The fir-tree said, "I forgot that thieves
    "Would be sure to rob me in passing by.
    "If the fairies would give me another try,
    "I'd wish for something that cost much less,
    "And be satisfied with glass for my dress!"
    Then he fell asleep; and, just as before,
    The fairies granted his wish once more.
    When the night was gone, and the sun rose clear,
    The tree was a crystal chandelier;
    And it seemed, as he stood in the morning light,
    That his branches were covered with jewels bright.
    "Aha!" said the tree. "This is something great!"
    And he held himself up, very proud and straight;
    But a rude young wind through the forest dashed,
    In a reckless temper, and quickly smashed
    The delicate leaves. With a clashing sound
    They broke into pieces and fell on the ground,
    Like a silvery, shimmering shower of hail,
    And the tree stood naked and bare to the gale.
    Then his heart was sad; and he cried, "Alas
    "For my beautiful leaves of shining glass!
    "Perhaps I have made another mistake
    "In choosing a dress so easy to break.
    "If the fairies only would hear me again
    "I'd ask them for something both pretty and plain:
    "It wouldn't cost much to grant my request,—
    "In leaves of green lettuce I'd like to be dressed!"
    By this time the fairies were laughing, I know;
    But they gave him his wish in a second; and so
    With leaves of green lettuce, all tender and sweet,
    The tree was arrayed, from his head to his feet.
    "I knew it!" he cried, "I was sure I could find
    "The sort of a suit that would be to my mind.
    "There's none of the trees has a prettier dress,
    "And none as attractive as I am, I guess."
    But a goat, who was taking an afternoon walk,
    By chance overheard the fir-tree's talk.
    So he came up close for a nearer view;—
    "My salad!" he bleated, "I think so too!
    "You're the most attractive kind of a tree,
    "And I want your leaves for my five-o'clock tea."
    So he ate them all without saying grace,
    And walked away with a grin on his face;
    While the little tree stood in the twilight dim,
    With never a leaf on a single limb.
    Then he sighed and groaned; but his voice was weak—
    He was so ashamed that he could not speak.
    He knew at last that he had been a fool,
    To think of breaking the forest rule,
    And choosing a dress himself to please,
    Because he envied the other trees.
    But it couldn't be helped, it was now too late,
    He must make up his mind to a leafless fate!
    So he let himself sink in a slumber deep,
    But he moaned and he tossed in his troubled sleep,
    Till the morning touched him with joyful beam,
    And he woke to find it was all a dream.
    For there in his evergreen dress he stood,
    A pointed fir in the midst of the wood!
    His branches were sweet with the balsam smell,
    His needles were green when the white snow fell.
    And always contented and happy was he,—
    The very best kind of a Christmas tree.
A Presbyterian Minister, Henry Van Dyke is perhaps best known for The Story of the Other Wise Man and for the Hymn of Joy ("Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, ..."). He was also a prolific poet, and the above poem can be found in:

Van Dyke, Henry. The Poems of Henry Van Dyke. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1911.
The German poet Friedrich Rückert lived from 1788 to 1866.

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