Mr. Willoby’s a very wealthy man and lives in a mansion. A humongous tree is delivered and is too tall for it bends as it touches the ceiling. The butler snips off the top and gives it to the upstairs maid. She puts it in her home where once again the tree is too tall, so she snips off the top and tosses it. Along comes Mr. Bear who finds the little “tree”. He brings it home to mama bear only to find it is too tall for their den. Once again the tippy top is snipped and tossed into the snow. This time a fox finds it. The story continues with various woodland creatures finding the tree top and snipping it ‘til it finally ends with a little mouse, who just happens to live in Mr. Willoby’s mansion! The mouse family uses the last snippit which is of course just perfect for their tiny home.
Why I Love It:
The ending is darling with the story coming full circle back to the mansion. My students enjoy the snipping aspect of the tree and how it’s just “perfect” for the next animal. The very first line: “Mr. Willoby’s Christmas tree, came by special delivery; full and fresh and glistening green, the biggest tree he’d ever seen.” had me hooked! I love the rhyme and cadence of the poem-story. The alliteration like full and fresh made the story come alive. The illustrations are adorable and very “English” looking to me. I shared the story with my adult daughter and she enjoyed it so much I bought her a copy. It’s that kind of “must have” book.
- I put a green construction paper Christmas tree into my dove pan and pull out a small 6 inch evergreen Christmas tree.
- I put a green construction paper Christmas tree with the number 20 on it, and pull out a 20 piece paper garland of Christmas trees with numbers 1-20 on them that my students count as I pull them out.
- 3-D Triangle Tree
Skill Sheets: Click here for skill sheets and art project
Story Telling Tips:
- Xerox off a picture of each of the animals that find the tree.
- Laminate them and put either a magnet or Velcro dot on the back.
- Pass them out to your students.
- When you get to that animal’s picture page in the story, have the child holding that animal pix put it on your flannel/white board.
- After the story, pass the animals out to different children and see if you can sequence the story from memory.
- I read the story in an English accent and cross off any H’s that are in the book so I remember not to pronounce them.
- I have a different voice that I use for each of the animal characters. I use a different colored highlighter to highlight the various animal voices so I know when to use them.
- I make a large construction paper Christmas tree so that whenever the book’s tree gets snipped, I also snip my tree.
- We do a math extension at the end and count how many snips we had and how many animals got trees.
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