Reviews for Christmas Tugboat : How the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Came to New York City

Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #1
A girl joins her tugboat-captain dad (along with her mom) on a family trip as they tow a barge with a gigantic Christmas tree and some immense ornaments into New York City for the holiday display at Rockefeller Center. The unnamed girl narrates the longish story in first person, detailing how her dad operates the tugboat and how they eat and sleep during their special overnight trip. The tugboat pulls the barge around the tip of Manhattan and into New York Harbor, past a tour boat, police boats and a fireboat shooting jets of water to welcome the Christmas tree delivery. Ransome's polished illustrations are the best part of the book, capturing all the different boats and scenes of New York City with glowing backgrounds at sunrise or sunset. The story has unanswered questions, however, because the huge ornaments that were transported with the tree are not shown with the lighted Christmas tree at the end, as expected, and Rockefeller Center and the significance of the tree there are never explained. A map would have been helpful to track the progress of the tugboat. Children in New York City who have seen the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree will enjoy the atmospheric story; others may be puzzled by all the geographical references. (author's note, illustrator's note) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2

A girl wakes on a November morning at dawn to accompany her mother and father--a New York Harbor tugboat captain--on a special excursion: to pick up a tow ship carrying the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and deliver it to New York City. Ransome's smudgy acrylic scenes transition smoothly from panoramic views of the tug crossing in front of the Manhattan skyline to intimate moments, such as an image of the girl riding with her father in the inviting pilot house. Readers will be captivated by the vivid details of the journey (based on the authors' experiences with their daughter), which help form a radiant Christmas story. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

Gr 1-3--Early one morning, a girl wakes up at dawn to travel with her dad and mom up the Hudson River in a tugboat. Their mission? To bring the barge bearing the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree down the river to New York City. The somewhat lengthy text is full of information about the two-day journey, told from the girl's point of view ("The fastest we'll go…is about nine knots. That's like driving your car eleven miles an hour. Pretty slow!"). Ransome's full-page and full-spread acrylic paintings, highlighting big, gorgeous sunrises and sunsets above the Hudson River, are ravishing. More about tugboats than Christmas, but an attractive addition to the holiday shelf.--Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library

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