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I Never Forgot That Little Tree

Author Interview

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree tells the story of a small tree who wants to bring holiday joy to a family but must persevere in order to find the right family for him. What was the inspiration for the setup of your children’s book?

It’s actually based upon a real-life experience.  When I was 14 a Christmas tree was delivered to our home by a business associate of my dad’s.  It was a small tree, a little scraggly, but not a bad specimen.  The problem was that we had already decorated a tree in the house.  We tried to find someone to take the extra tree, but couldn’t find anyone, so that little tree sat on the side of the house for the entire holiday period.  I felt so sorry for that little tree.  I always wondered what might have been.  It could have made someone very happy.  I never forgot that little tree, and for many, many years I wanted to write a story based on that experience.  Finally, I did.

The illustrations in this book are beautiful. What was the art collaboration process like with illustrator Sydni Kruger?

Frankly, I didn’t know it would be so hard to find a good illustrator.  I had over twenty illustrators do test drawings before I settled on Sydni Kruger.  Every one of them drew differently.  It was amazing, yet frustrating, as I had distinct ideas on what I wanted.  I did not want a cartoon-type book.  I wanted Needles to be a real tree, and the characters to look normal.  I also wanted rich colors.  Sydni started out with a darker complexion in the drawings due to the “forgotten” tone of the book.  I felt that as a children’s book, it should be brighter in nature and have a more positive feel.  This, I think, Sydni nailed, and I also think the illustrations capture the essence of the story in a somewhat elegant fashion. 

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

There are several teachable concepts.  First and foremost, in life one must persevere and never give up on dreams, hopes, and life itself.  Second, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Emily adores Needles.  Needles adores Emily.  Neither is perfect, but so what?  Life is not perfect, and we all have our own challenges.  Third, it is good to have dreams and positive thoughts about what you want in life.  However, it may take determination and steadfastness to get there.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I want to see how this book does before launching into a new story. So far, the reception for Needles has been wonderful. I could see more adventures for Needles, and I have other ideas that are history related for children. We’ll see.

Author Links: Amazon | GoodReads

The world is not always a perfect place. Needles, a scraggly little tree, must endure criticism, laughter, and setbacks to realize his goal of becoming a beautiful Christmas tree.This is a story of dreams, desires, hope, determination, and never giving up. It also offers the observation that what others think is beautiful may not really matter. Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder, and paired with the spirit of Christmas, maybe we can make the world just a little more perfect!

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree

Needles is a wispy little Christmas tree with high hopes for the holiday. He’s so eager to get to the Christmas tree lot to fulfill his dream of being a beautiful Christmas tree that brings joy to people. Unfortunately for Needles, no one wants a lean tree. Will Needles find the perfect family, one that will cherish him? Find out in Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree.

Author Richard Wagner has created a charming Christmas picture book that will inspire children to never give up hope. This is also a highly relatable story as well. I’m sure that many people have gone to the tree lot looking for a big beautiful tree, snickering or ignoring the small meager trees. This beautiful book sheds light on those lonely trees, and will certainly make you want to buy one for yourself.

The illustrations by Sydni Kruger are absolutely gorgeous. Each page is illustrated from edge to edge. Each piece looks like it could have been painted by Bob Ross. I was especially drawn to the scene where Emily finds Needles on the side of the road. The deep purples on this page really set the mood.

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree is an inspiring children’s book that is filled with vibrant illustrators that kids will be looking at long after the story is over. This is the perfect kid’s book for the holiday season, or for any parent or teacher who wants to educate young readers on the importance of perseverance.

Pages: 38 | ASIN: B0BNLWZP2T

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