Publication Date: July 20, 2016
Rating: out of 5
Themes: Believe in yourself, Bullying
Young and enthusiastic tree Rocky wants nothing more than to be chosen as the next Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City. However, being on the smaller side, his chances might be a bit on the slimmer side.
All the creatures in the forest and competing tree, Bruce Spruce, have no faith in Rocky becoming the next Rockefeller Christmas Tree. He’s too small and not as full as the other trees. However, with the help of a fairy, Rocky’s chances to fulfilling his dream might be a possibility.
The essence of the story is good. Staying strong and believing in yourself in order to achieve something in life is always a great message. However, the main issue I have with this storyline is that when Rocky was believing in himself in becoming the next Rockefeller Christmas Tree, his whole physical structure changed. Instead of a small, branch-filled tree, he changed to a bigger and fuller tree. The message this sends to children is yes, believe in yourself, and if you believe in yourself, you can physically change yourself to become a “more beautiful” you. When you achieve your “more beautiful” you, then achieving your dream becomes super easy. I feel it would have been better if Rocky was chosen without any changes, maybe the fact that he is confident stands out, to show that children can believe in themselves and nothing physical has to change in order to achieve their dreams.
I found the illustrations to be bright, but off. Most of the characters while talking to others in the story are staring right at you, as the reader. This gives an uncomfortable vibe that most characters aren’t really talking to each other.
Overall, the initial premise was a good one, but lacks in other areas, especially the message to children.