Monday, August 17, 2015

The Little Pine Tree

The Little Pine Tree, written by Mark E. Labriola Sr., is a story about the life of a pinecone. It starts with the seed being nurtured by snow and rain and then growing from a sapling to a sturdy pine. The pine tree longs for a carpenter to carve him into something beautiful so that his life will have purpose. A carpenter’s son befriends the tree, but as the boy grows, he visits less often.

Then one day, soldiers chop the tree down. As the pine is cut apart, it rejoices, wondering what wondrous purpose it will be used for. It is disappointed to realize it is being made into a cross for a dreadful crucifixion. Even worse, the person being nailed to it is the very carpenter’s son who loved him as a child: Jesus.

At the end of the story, Jesus returns to the cross to show that He is alive and to explain that His death was the only way to pay for mankind’s sin.

The story ends with a Scripture passage found in Galatians 6:14

The layout of the book is a series of two-page spreads with an illustration on one side and a full page of text on the other. The pictures are best described as simple line drawings that are fairly realistic and appear to be colored with watercolor or some other type of paint.

What I Like: This book offers a free audio book download. What a treat! It’s always fun to get free things. It is also appears to be a retelling of the last part of a familiar tale about three trees (read below). It would work as a nice supplement to the Easter story.

What I Dislike: This is a note. This story is very similar to the third part of a book called The Tale of Three Trees. In that tale, three trees growing on a hilltop dream of grandeur, just like this little pine tree. Then Woodcutters chop them down, and craft them into common things: a manger, a fishing boat, and the final one is cut into stout timbers. Just like this tree, the three trees are very disappointed until they realize that their dreams actually do come true. The manger holds the baby Jesus, the humble fishing boat carries Jesus and his followers, and the third becomes the cross that bore Jesus… just like the little pine tree in this story. Personally, I think the Tale of Three Trees is a much better told version of this idea of the cross, especially when you compare the prices and artwork. However, this is a decent rendering, so it’s a matter of preference.

Overall Rating: Good

Age Appeal: None is given, but I think it would work Kindergarten through second grade.

Publisher Info: Tate Publishing, 2014; ISBN:978-1630632328; Paperback or Kindle, 28 pgs., $9.99

This book is NOT available at
Buy it at for $9.99
OR Buy the Kindle version for $7.99.

Special Info: Other versions of this story include: The Tales of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt, The Three Trees by Elena Pasquali, The Legend Of The Three Trees - Picture Book by Catherine McCafferty, A Tale of Three Trees by Linda Nash, and The Legend of the Three Trees: The Classic Story of Following Your Dreams by Dahl Taylor.

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