"The Tree That's Meant To Be," by Yuval Zommer (Doubleday Books for Young Readers)
A little tree in a forest sadly watches as all the trees around him grow big and strong. He worries why he isn't like them, and he's devastated when, one snowy night, families arrive and choose trees to bring to their homes. Suddenly, he is all alone. But after calling out, "I-i-i-is anyone out there?" nearby animals respond: "And then, at dawn, foxes, deer, and birds. They had heard!" The animals decorate the little tree with items from the forest, and the tree seems to come alive with happiness. "Hello! Hello!" "Welcome, squirrel. Greetings, bear!" "Laughter filled the air. My clearing rang with Christmas cheer." The tree, now surrounded by friends, grows through the seasons and becomes a central meeting place. The story brims with heartfelt emotion, friendship and compassion, and it embraces the Christmas spirit.