Family Trees – A Celebration of Children’s Literature

This morning, my kids and I went to a special holiday exhibit at the Concord Museum in Concord, Massachusetts. This is an annual exhibit I’ve wanted to see for several years, and I was glad to have a quiet morning during vacation week when we could go.

The exhibit is called “Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature.” Volunteer decorators – some of them the authors and illustrators themselves – use picture books as a theme to decorate Christmas trees around the museum. Each tree includes a copy of the book nearby so you can enjoy the stories.


This tree stood in the entryway – the centerpiece of the exhibit. It was decorated for Lola’s Fandango by Anna Witte, illustrated by Micha Archer, and decorated by the illustrator.

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I love how she used toothbrushes as the bodies.

My daughter had read Snowmen at Work by Caralyn Buehner before, but wanted to read it again when she saw this tree.


The author, Jane Kohuth, decorated a tree for her book Duck Sock Hop, illustrated by Jane Porter. It was next to another tree decorated with socks, for Dirty Joe, the Pirate by Bill Harley, illustrated by Jack E. Davis.


This one was for Red Wagon by Renata Liwska.


This was one of my favorites, for The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo. I loved the detail in the umbrellas.



A group of 5th graders and kindergarteners from a local school decorated this one for The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers.


The display included a coloring station where kids could decorate their own crayons.

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This beautiful little tree was decorated for Gem by Holly Hobbie. It’s a wordless book, so my daughter was able to read the story to herself.



I should mention that the exhibit was sponsored by Barefoot Books, which is located in Concord. What a cool thing for a publisher to do.

There’s only two more days for this exhibit so if you can, go. Or catch it next year. It will be on my holiday-season calendar, for sure.

18 thoughts on “Family Trees – A Celebration of Children’s Literature

  1. Romelle Broas says:

    I had so much fun viewing your pictures. What a great idea! I particularly liked the creative use of the toothbrush. That would be very fun to decorate our office tree with. (I’m a dental hygienist by day, writer by night)

  2. Jan Godown Annino says:

    Hello there Carrie,
    I am new subscriber to your mighty fine StoryPatch, via a writer in Virginia, Marcie Flinchum Atkins. Happy your family was able to visit this tree display & thank you for sharing these delicious photos. I have sent a link to your post about the event to the children’s art program coordinator at The Harn Museum here in Florida, in hopes that this site will want to think about sponsoring a similar event. They already put on an occassional lobby sale of regional/local picture book authors/illustrators.
    Llike you, I also attempt to write poetry for children. My picture book is She Sang Promise (2010)

  3. Heidi says:

    Hi, Carrie–
    I’m stopping in to let you know that I’m passing the Sunshine Award on to you. It’s supposed to be for blogging, which I see you do very well, but I thought of you just because of your sunshiny welcome and help for me at the Poets’ Garage and in Boston.

    Hope you have fun with it!

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