The Halloween Tree

by Susan Montanari (Author) Teresa Martinez (Illustrator)

The Halloween Tree
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
A charming, funny, and warm-hearted picture book that will help to start a new tradition. Everyone knows most young saplings dream of becoming Christmas trees. But one grumpy, old tree who doesn't like lights, decorations, or people is determined to be different. Get ready to meet the Halloween Tree! The Halloween Tree is not your average holiday book and is sure to warm the hearts of kids and adults-alike as a gnarly tree finds his place in the world. This tale will have all youngsters shouting "Trick or tree!" with glee and decorating their own Halloween trees by the final page.
Select format:

Find books about:

Publishers Weekly

On a Christmas tree farm, a curmudgeonly needleless sapling grumbles that it dreads being uprooted: "I don't like lights, I don't like decorations, and I don't like people." After a housing development replaces the farm, the gnarled tree ends up on a family's lawn, where neighborhood kids turn its knotty branches into a pirate ship, a hideout, a spaceship, and a dragon. Martinez fills this 8×8 with vivid digital illustrations suggestive of animated cartoons, cleverly tweaking the tree's facial expressions to morph from grumpy (amid Christmas tree buyers) to tolerant (serving as the kids' playground) to forlorn (when winter keeps the children indoors) to chagrin (when the parents threaten to cut it down) to satisfied--if somewhat skeptical--when the youngsters decorate it for Halloween and exclaim, "Trick or tree!" A slight yet diverting holiday offering. Ages 3-7. (Aug.)

Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Just the thing for anyone with a Grinch-y tree of their own in the yard. " - Kirkus Reviews
Susan Montanari
SUSAN MONTANARI is the author of Who's the Grossest of Them All?, illustrated by Jake Parker, as well as My Dog's a Chicken, illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf, dubbed "a great addition to most picture book collections" by School Library Journal. She spent the majority of her life on the beach and near tidal creeks surrounding Savannah, where she currently resides with her husband and a cat named Tybee. Follow her on Twitter at @susanmontanari.

BRIAN PINKNEY received a Caldecott Honor for Duke Ellington by Andrea Davis Pinkney and for The Faithful Friend by Robert D. San Souci. He has illustrated many highly acclaimed books for children, including Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America by Andrea Davis Pinkney, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book; In the Time of the Drums by Kim L. Siegelson, a Coretta Scott King Award Winner; and most recently, Let's Clap, Jump, Sing & Shout; Dance, Spin & Turn It Out! by Patricia McKissack. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Andrea, with whom he often collaborates, and their two children. Learn more at
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication date
August 06, 2019
BISAC categories
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV017030 - Juvenile Fiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Halloween
Library of Congress categories
Picture books
Christmas trees

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!