A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Gives kids a glimpse of a simpler life, where a mountain man chops down his own Christmas tree and his little girl strings berries to make a decorative chain and hangs acorns, feathers, bird's nests, and cocoons on the tree as ornaments.
Little Pyn never loses hope of getting a tree and decorating it "like the people in the village do," and she remains cheery, even when her gruff papa seems as if he won't budge. Her persistence and love are rewarded when he softens and decides to embrace Christmas traditions, have fun, and open his heart to her.
Positive Role Models
Pyn is a model of optimism and persistence. She doesn't take no for an answer, gently persuading her papa to let them have a Christmas tree and promising to make all the decorations herself. Papa shows that a grownup can have his heart melted and change for the better.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this gentle story of a little girl and her father shows that even the hardest heart can be melted by love and good cheer. In a subtle way, Papa's gruffness is shown to stem from his pain over the loss of Pyn's mother -- a revelation that may go over the heads of young kids, or may provoke some discussion.
Is It Any Good?
This gentle story by the author of Old Bear and His Cub (2010) shows the power of love and a child's optimistic spirit to heal the pain of loss and soften the hardest heart. The detailed text lets readers understand Pyn's private world, her hopes and dreams, and subtly reveals that the loss of her mother is what has made Papa so shut down. The spare pencil-and-gouache artwork effectively contrasts the snowy landscape with the stylized, disproportionate figures of giant Papa and tiny Pyn.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.