Friday, December 17, 2010
Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray and illustrated by Barry Root was a happy library find last Christmas and I have looked forward to checking it out again this year. It's a story about Wilma, an older woman who is ready to graduate from sunflowers and petunias in her garden. After bringing in her Christmas tree, from her back hill she realizes that she should start a Christmas Tree Farm for all those who don't have a back hill of their own to get a Christmas tree from. She orders sixty two dozen balsam seedlings that are just 5 years old. She'll need help if she's going to plant and care for all these trees. And help she has, it's her 5 year old neighbor Parker who has always loved helping Wilma around her farm. The story continues through the years until the trees are ready to be Christmas trees and each year Parker grows too. It's an endearing story of friendship that spans effortlessly between generations.
It would be a fun book to do along with a math unit of study as there is multiplication of so many dozen trees, plus subtraction as each year trees perish to the weather or animals and are sold. Addition too as new ones grow back and are ordered. Think about setting up your own pretend 'Christmas tree farm' too. Work on pricing the trees vs cost of trees etc.