The Picture Book Buzz

The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

One thing I love about Christmas is the feeling of friendship and goodwill that often permeates the holiday. It's so universal, it can even pause a world war.

Okay, I agree that the Christmas hype, currently erupting in every store, seems to get earlier and earlier every year. It's barely Halloween and already the stores are displaying Christmas items. Never mind that Thanksgiving comes first. Or that avoiding Christmas music until after Thanksgiving becomes increasingly impossible each year.

HOWEVER, don't let any of this frustration keep you from looking at this amazing book. Annie and Paolo have created a wonderful addition to both your friendship and Christmas book collections.

The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains

Author: Annie Silvestro

Illustrator: Paola Zakimi

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishing (2018)

Ages: 4-8



Christmas, trains, and friendship.

Synopsis (from publisher):

A poignant Christmas tale about a tree who loved trains, and a little boy who loved them, too.

A pine tree grew in the farthest corner of the tree farm on a small patch of land that bordered the train track. The tree loved trains. She loved to watch them ZOOM by on the tracks beside the tree farm. Her branches would ripple in the wind as the trains roared past.

But one morning, when a little boy picks her to be his Christmas tree, she is uprooted and brought to a home far from the ZOOMING trains she loves…

Beautiful art from Paola Zakimi brings to life this lovely Christmastime tale from Annie Silvestro, perfect for readers who love The Giving Tree and The Velveteen Rabbit.

Opening Lines:

A pine tree grew in the farthest corner of the tree farm.

She sat alone on a small patch of land that bordered the train track.

The tree loved the trains--their speed, their click-clacking wheels, their powerful engines.

Why I Like this book:

It is a unique book, in that the story about a love of trains and friendship is told from the point of view of a little pine tree. A story about how sharing a love for something and being open to change can lead to discovering a friend, sometimes in an unlikely place.

Text © Annie Silvestro, 2018. Image © Paola Zakimi, 2018.

One day, when a boy and his father go hunting for their Christmas tree, the boy knows he finds the right one when they both enjoy the ZOOM and WHOOSH of a train speeding past. Their excitement radiates out of Paola's illustration without the need to anthropomorphize the tree.

Text © Annie Silvestro, 2018. Image © Paola Zakimi, 2018.

The tree is dug up, wrapped tenderly in burlap, and brought into the corner of a dark, cramped room. Although the family decorates the tree with lights and ornaments, she sadly dreams of trains. The next morning, holds a surprise for the boy and the tree - you guessed it, a train.

Text © Annie Silvestro, 2018. Image © Paola Zakimi, 2018.

The boy, the tree, and a friendly conductor bear spend days enjoying the train set and time together. Eventually, the ornaments and train are put away. "Don't worry," whispered the boy. "We've found the perfect spot for you." Having bonded over trains, the tree not only finds she loves her new location, but now has more than just trains to keep her company.

Paola's beautiful illustrations are bright and festive. Readers will enjoy spotting the little dog who pops up throughout the book. A tender, touching addition to Christmas and friendship book collections.


- visit Play Trains! blog and find lots of exciting ways to play with trains, including a "Pumpkin Patch Train" (perfect for Halloween) -;

- draw or write a story about your favorite Christmas tree or a trip to get a Christmas tree;

- make your own trains -; or

- draw or write a story about something special you and a friend enjoy doing.

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.

If you're in the area, check out these events:

- Storytime and signing at Barnes & Noble Monmouth Mall Sunday, November 4, 2018 1:30 PM 3:30 PM Please join Annie for a story time and signing of THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHO LOVED TRAINS at the Barnes & Noble at the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, NJ

NOTE: Author of THE BOOK TREE, Paul Czajak, will also be reading and signing! Don’t miss this special event!

-THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHO LOVED TRAINS - story time at Watchung Books! Saturday, December 1, 2018 10:30 AM 11:30 AM

Please join Annie for a special holiday story time at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, NJ on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 10:30am. She will be reading and signing copies of her latest book.

- THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHO LOVED TRAINS - story time & signing at the Holmdel, NJ B&N Wednesday, December 5, 2018 4:00 PM 6:00 PM Please join Annie for a story time and book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Holmdel, NJ on Wednesday, December 5th from 4pm - 6pm!

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© 2015 by Maria Marshall.  Proudly created with

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