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Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

Last updated Thursday, November 30, 2017

Author: Robert Barry
Date of Publication: 2000
ISBN: 0385327218
Grade Level: 1st    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2017

Synopsis: Christmas is here and Mr. Willowby's tree has arrived! There's just one big problem . . . the tree is too tall to fit in his parlor. He cuts off the top so it will fit, but little does he know that the top of that tree will travel clear across the countryside, bringing holiday cheer to the homes of bears, rabbits, mice, and more! In the end, the one tall tree has provided smaller Christmas trees for seven homes, from Mr. Willowby's mansion to the cozy mouse hole behind Mr. Willowby's chair, where three little mice dance around their tiny tree. This heartwarming story is the perfect way to start your yuletide season.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you like Christmas trees? If so, who decorates your Christmas tree at home? If not, do you decorate for the holidays? How?
•  What is your favorite thing about Christmas/the Holidays?
•  What is wrong with the Christmas tree on the cover of the book?


•  Glistening: To shine with light.
•  Dashed: To run.
•  Magnificent: Very beautiful.
•  Splendid: Very impressive.
•  Drowsily: Tired, ready to fall asleep.
•  Delighted: Made very happy.
•  Straightaway Quiclky, without delay.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Have you ever had a Christmas tree that was to big for your house?
•  What do you like to put on your tree for decorations?
•  How many people/animals got to have a Christmas tree from Mr. Willowby's tree?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a Christmas tree out of paper plates or construction paper.

•  Make a holiday ornament

•  Make a holiday card for your teacher

•  Check our craft ideas for on Pinterest!

Special activities:
•  Sing Christmas carols.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!