Needles the Forgotten Christmas Tree


Disclosure: I was sent a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I am working with The Children's Book Review and Foreword Publicity and will receive a small stipend for this post. 

What kind of Christmas tree do you have? Is it real or fake? How big is it? Christmas trees are something I have been discussing this year with my sisters since we spend the holidays at our house on Cape Cod and none of us actually live there. My sister decided to get and decorate a tree there again this year since she plans to spend New Year's there as well. To learn more about the history of Christmas trees be sure to check out this post and to learn about our tree traditions read here. Today I am going to share a wonderful picture book about the small Christmas tree that feels forgotten. The book is Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree by Richard Wagner and illustrated by Sydni Kruger. This book is being released in March of 2023 so it will be for next Christmas! I am including a round-up of Christmas tree crafts and there is a giveaway at the end!

From the Publisher:

Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree | Written by Richard Wagner & Illustrated by Sydni Kruger

Ages 3+ | 38 Pages | Publisher: Mascot Kids | ISBN-13: 9781645437086

Publisher’s Synopsis: 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!

You can purchase it at:


Richard Wagner grew up in Southern California. When he was fourteen years old, a business friend of his father’s had a small Christmas tree delivered as a thank-you. Their family already had a large tree decorated in the house. Not being able to find anyone who needed a tree, that small Christmas tree stood outside by itself for the remainder of the Christmas holiday. Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree is a tribute to that little tree and what might have been, but more importantly, to all the beauty, goodness, and hope that Christmas brings to us all. Mr. Wagner continues to reside in Southern California with his wife and two children.

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From Me:

Let's pull out the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. This story is about a tiny, scrawny tree, named Needles, that dreams of being a Christmas tree for a family. It is such a sweet story. The reader feels for Needles and wants him to have his dreams come true. However, the other trees tell him he is too small, and people won't want him. He doesn't give up his hope. He doesn't give up his hope when he is the last tree on the lot. 

I love how Needles answers the dream of a young, sick girl and she answers his. His size is perfect for the girl since she is in a wheelchair, so she can reach all of his branches and the top to decorate him. It is truly a story that shares that there is someone/something for everyone and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is a perfect story to remind us that Christmas is not supposed to be so commercialized and so big and expensive. I hope you will check it out when it becomes available! 

Christmas Tree Craft Round-Up:

To go with this book, I thought I would share some Christmas tree crafts for the kids to make. I divided them into two groups--paper/cardboard crafts and everything else. Check these out.

1) Paper Accordion Fold Christmas Tree from A Pinch of Perfect

2) Easy Christmas Tree Craft from Lorena & Lennox Bilingual Beginnings

3) Rubber Stamp Christmas Tree

4) Christmas Tree Card Craft with Template from Simple Everyday Mom 

5) Christmas Tree Craft with Template from Taming Little Monsters

6) Christmas Tree Name Craft with Template from Simple Everyday Mom

7) As Cute as a Button Christmas Tree Craft from A Pinch of Perfect

8) Handprint Christmas Tree with Template from Homeschool of 1

9) Handprint Christmas Tree Craft from Mombrite

10) Family Handprint Christmas Tree Craft from Mama Smiles

11) Christmas Tree Papercraft with Template from That Kids Craft Site

12) Christmas Tree Art with Dyed Pumpkin Seeds from Fun-A-Day

13) Christmas Tree Tissue Paper Craft with Template from Simple Everyday Mom

14) Ball Painted Christmas Tree from 3 Boys and a Dog

15) Stamped Christmas Tree Ornaments from Little Bins for Little Hands

16) Pointillism Christmas Tree Craft from Coffee and Carpool

17) Fork Painted Christmas Tree Craft from Little Ladoo

18) Coffee Filter Christmas Tree Craft from Little Bins for Little Hands

1) Straw Christmas Tree

2) Perler Bead Christmas Tree Ornaments from Blue Bear Wood

3) Popsicle Stick & Button Christmas Tree

4) Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree from Taming Little Monsters

5) 3-D Contact Paper Christmas Tree Sensory Activity from Fun-a-Day

6) Lacing Christmas Tree Craft from Little Bins for Little Hands

7) Felt Christmas Tree Craft

8) Christmas Tree Felt Craft from Living Life and Learning

9) Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree Craft from Blue Bear Wood

10) Pom Pom Christmas Tree Ornament Craft from Mombrite

11) Pine Cones Trees from Growing Family

12) Pinecone Christmas Trees

13) Fringe Tree

14) Pasta Tree

15) Cereal Christmas Tree Ornament from That Kids Craft Site

16) Paper Cup Christmas Tree

17) Clothespin Christmas Tree Ornament Craft from Thrifty Jinxy

18) Glitter Christmas Tree Ornament

19) Fluffy Cone Christmas Tree Craft from Blue Bear Wood

20) Fruit Christmas Tree

21) Dollar Tree Christmas Tree (perfect for 18-inch dolls)

Also, some other Christmas tree books for you to check out!

1) The Christmas Eve Tree

2) Little Christmas Tree

3) Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree (with craft)

4) The Great Spruce

5) The Little Christmas Tree

6) Pick a Pine Tree

7) Pine and the Winter Sparrow (not a Christmas book but a great story about a pine tree)


Enter for a chance to win a copy of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree, autographed by Richard Wagner.

One (1) winner receives:
  • An autographed copy of Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree