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Book Title: Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees by A. A. Cristi
Category: Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 56 pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Release date: November 2021
Formats Available for Review: print-hardback USA, e-book (PDF)
Tour dates: November 22 to December 10
Content Rating: G. Suitable for everyone.
Bruce the Spruce has Christmas all wrong.
Thanks to his fancy decorations and adoring admirers, this artificial spruce tree doesn’t just wear a star at Christmas, he IS the star. But when his longtime family gets a new tree, it sends Bruce on a holiday adventure through New York City.
From a party in Brooklyn, to a run-in with rats, to a revelatory visit to Rockefeller Center, Bruce the Spruce takes an unforgettable journey to discover the true meaning of Christmas trees!
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A.A. Cristi was born and raised in the world capital of Christmas trees and musicals - New York City. By no small miracle, she has managed to make a living writing about both topics. When she is not dreaming up fantastic adventures for inanimate objects, she is covering the Broadway industry as a journalist and editor at BroadwayWorld.com. Though writing is her calling, her true passion is playing mother to a neurotic wiener dog named Jack and Aunt Rah Rah to two truly remarkable kids.
Connect with the Author: Author's Website ~ Twitter~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Growing with the Christmas Tree: The Origin of Bruce the Spruce
By: A.A. Cristi
Like most people, I started decorating Christmas trees as a child. Each year, a seven-foot synthetic spruce tree along with a series of plastic Rubbermaid bins would be drug up from the basement, and myself, my sister, Kara, brother, Emilio, and our first cousin, Kristina were summoned to the living room by my mother and aunt to begin the yearly trimming.
In our house, the decorating of the Christmas tree was an art that resulted in a department store-worthy masterpiece. With aesthetically gifted forewomen at the helm, tree trimming was not so much a holiday activity as it was an opportunity for us to inherit their appreciation for beauty and for them to pass down their hard-won holiday wisdom.
As a group, we spent many happy hours assembling our tree and, though I didn’t know it at the time, creating the inspiration for my debut children’s book, Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees.
As the years wore on, things changed. We lost some of our tree trimmers to adolescence and my aunt sadly left us far too soon. From there, the decorating duties fell to my mother and me.
As I grew older, clocking these many changes, my relationship to the tree evolved. A child decorating a Christmas tree sees nothing but potential and a near-future full of fun and festivities. As an adult, however, the decorating ritual becomes an exercise in reflection. Each and everyornament holds new meaning and illuminates old memories as the years wear on. The medallion we picked up on a family trip to Disney World. Lenox crystal baby angels commemorating each of our births. A Yankees jersey for Dad. The Beatles for Mom.
With each passing holiday season, these items, as well as the tree itself, came to represent a monument of our life as a family.
That’s the thing about artificial Christmas trees, the times may change and with them so do we, but for families who celebrate around fake firs, pines, and spruces, they remain an annual source of comfort and joy. Over time, they begin to feel like a member of the family. More than any other kind of Christmas tree and in more ways than one, they give literal meaning to the term “evergreen.” Ever lush, ever verdant, ever steeped in ever-present memories of our ever-evolving lives, forevermore.
When it came time to replace our old tree, which had fallen into disrepair after so many years of exemplary service, each of us lamented the loss. It became clear to me that despite all that had changed, each of us held fast to memories of happy holidays and the traditions that went with them. Bruce’s story now stands as a monument to the tree that, for so many years, stood as a monument to us. We grew alongside it, celebrated with it, and basked in its glow year after year, all the while learning to find beauty in change and joy in evergreen memories.
Bruce the Spruce: A New York City Fairytale About the True Meaning of Christmas Trees is written by A. A. Cristi. I was super excited to read this Children’s picture book with my sons who are 8 and 10. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio we had a holiday tradition downtown. In Tower City they had the grandest holiday display. This includes, Mr. Jingaling and Bruce the talking spruce. This book took me back to my childhood. This book is aimed at readers who are 3-7. However, I feel this will be a great holiday edition to our library.
Bruce the Spruce has been the star tree for his family for twenty years. Suddenly the family gets a new tree and has to leave. Bruce is overcome with a variety of emotions. He’s sad, scared, and nervous. Bruce then goes on an adventure of a lifetime. He goes to a home for one day, then back out to the curb for the garbage collector. He then meets a famous Christmas tree, the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. Bruce then learns the true meaning of Christmas.
This is a beautiful written and illustrated children’s book. It’s a rhyming book which is perfect for early readers. My boys and I enjoyed it. My son wants to take it to school to share with his friends.
I received a copy of this book through the author and IRead Book tours all thoughts are my own.
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