Sofia is looking forward to Christmas – and above all to decorating her tree which will be tall and beautiful with candles to form a halo of light. She is sure everyone will come to admire and enjoy it. However, when an angel takes her on a journey to a dark, cold hut where a family with a new-born baby are sheltering, Sofia realises that there is a better use for her candles
It is always a pleasure to have a new addition to the stock of Christmas books, especially one with a different voice to many. The Sofia Tree comes from Italy – sadly no translator is credited – but both illustrations and text place the story outside the real world. Rather this is the world of folk tradition –the world of the Presepio where woodcutters work the forest and candles are used. The soft textured artwork enhances and captures the warm, gentle tone of the narrative. While the story would be particularly welcome in church-based schools, it would not be out of place in more secular settings – caring, sharing and celebration are universal and are central to Sofia’s story.