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; Content Rating: G.
Publisher: Mascot; Release date: November 2021
Tour dates: November 22 to December 10
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!
Buy the Book: Mascot ~ Amazon ~ Barnes and Noble
BOOK REVIEW by LAWonder10:
Bruce the Spruce is a great story with a few good messages within it to encourage better attitude for all during this Christmas Season.
Bruce had become very comfortable each year, being admired by the family he lived with and their friends. Life was going to abruptly change for Bruce. During this very trying time, Bruce experiences some very devastating times, yet discovers some difficult lessons and learns a better way.
The book is done in very well-delivered rhyme. However the genera flow of the story feels slightly "choppy" and does not flow as smoothly as I would like it to. However, it is still a great story.
The watercolor illustrations done by Pablo Andreeta, are not my favorite style, but they are colorful and fun. I am certain very young children will love them. The quality of the cover and pages are of high grade and the book is bound well.
I offer a Four and a Half Stars rating.
*This book was gifted me with no pressure for a positive review. This is my honest review.
Pay Attention to Your Boredom: Finding Inspiration Everywhere By: A.A. Cristi
“Did you know that your mother is replacing the Christmas tree?” my father asked, with just a twinge of sadness in his voice. That year, after many happy Christmases, our longtime tree, a seven-foot synthetic spruce, had fallen into total disrepair and it had become clear that this holiday season would be its last with us.
For no less than 20 Christmases, it had been the heart of our holidays and the dutiful keeper of our most prized heirlooms. After so many years and happy times spent in its glow, the thought of parting with this wholly inanimate, yet nevertheless beloved, family member had touched something deep inside each of us.
“We’ve had a lot of good times with that tree. I’m sad to see it go,” he commented. He took a beat before continuing, “Wouldn’t that make a great story? The family Christmas tree that gets replaced. And you know what you could call him? Bruce the Spruce!” And with those words, the next chapter of my life and the beginning of Bruce’s began.
I had never aspired to writing children’s books, nor to poetry. Fiction, as a whole, was never really part of the plan. I was a theatre journalist and content to remain so. Yet in an instant, an idea that had sprung up in an offhand exchange suddenly consumed my thoughts. By the time we reached midtown, a spruce seed had planted in my mind and begun rapidly growing.
One of the most important and enduring lessons I learned in journalism school came in the form of five simple words: Pay attention to your boredom. In a journalistic sense, this means to keep one eye on your natural curiosities and cursory thoughts that would otherwise go unnoticed, as these can, and often do, become the basis for future projects.
As I grew older and the tree decorating duties fell to my mother and I, I had begun to take note of how my relationship to the Christmas tree had evolved. Over the years, my childlike adoration for this emblem of fun and festivities had shifted into something more meaningful, and I had begun to see it less as a landing place for gifts and more as a scrapbook of our life as a family. Each and every ornament held some special meaning and after so many years of celebrating in its glow, the tree itself was steeped in happy memories of people and times gone by.
Now here I was, this idle chatter about our retired Christmas tree, along with all of those fleeting ponderings I’d had while trimming it over the years, meeting in real time, and deciding my fate.
Moreover, facets of my personality that I’d never really valued suddenly came to the forefront of this mission. A talent for rhyming, usually reserved for writing silly poems for friend’s birthdays, suddenly became the medium through which I brought Bruce’s story to life. Just like that, my enduring obsession with Christmas, affinity for New York City, and tendency to sentimentalize mostly everything had morphed into the greatest possible tools at my disposal. Quicker than a blink, all of the disparate pieces of my personality that I had never found use for took shape in the form of a cartoon Christmas tree with a story to tell.
This philosophy has also extended itself to the promotional phase. Now that the book is complete, I am finding that so many other non-writing experiences I’ve had in my life have helped me learn how to be a better writer, marketer, and salesperson. Every survival job, tough boss, disappointment, hardship, andunrelated skill I’ve picked up throughout my professional life have all served in some way to prepare me for this moment.
Pay attention to your boredom. You never know where it will take you, on the page, or anywhere else.
Meet the Author:
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
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