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Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite
The Very Best Christmas Tree EVER by Mark Edgar Stephens is a heartwarming story with the Christmas season as its backdrop. Zoey is one of the smallest trees on the farm and she is hoping that this year she will be adopted by a family that will decorate her beautifully. She dreams of being the best Christmas tree ever and her constant companion, Betty Jean, tells her that it will soon happen. Clarice, one of the most beautiful trees on the farm, does not think so. Her friends are gone and it is only one more day till Christmas. Nobody in the tree farm has been told what will happen if they are not adopted? Will Zoey find a home?
The story captures the essence of the Christmas season and also conveys a beautiful message to young readers. The questions at the end of the story make it a good book for fun and interactive sessions in classrooms and school libraries, especially at Christmas. The concept of decorating the Christmas tree with handmade treasures is fascinating, thereby making Zoey feel how special she is to the family who has adopted her. She remembers what her friend, Betty Jean, told her: "What makes any tree into an extraordinary Christmas tree is the love it receives from those who adopt it. There is a special kind of magic that fills you up when you are loved. You will feel it through every branch and needle all of the way to your treetop." I like the way the author has given each tree a personality of their own, making them memorable to readers. It is a good book to give as a Christmas gift to children during the holiday season.