Needles the Forgotten Christmas Tree by Richard Wagner - Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 32 pages

Book Details:

Book Title: Needles the Forgotten Christmas Tree by Richard Wagner
Category: Children's Fiction (ages 3 to 7), 32 pages
Genre: Children's Book
Publisher: Mascot
Release date: Mar 7, 2023
Content Rating: G. Suitable for everyone.


Book Description:

The world is not always perfect. A scraggly little tree named Needles must endure taunts, criticism, and setbacks to realize his goal of becoming a beautiful Christmas tree.

This is a story of hope, dreams, desires, determination, and never giving up. It also offers the observation that what others think is beautiful may not really matter. Beauty is truly in the eyes of the beholder . . . and paired with the spirit of Christmas, maybe we can make the world just a little more perfect!

Buy the Book:
(release date March 2023)
(pre-order now)

"Needles, the Forgotten Christmas Tree
by Richard Wagner

How did you write and publish this book?

It took almost 50 years from the time I had my initial thoughts of writing the Needles story to when I actually sat down and put words on paper. Life got in the way. I was busy. I had to go to college, swim workouts, then to work. Marriage intervened, and with it twins, youth sports, school plays, college (again), graduations, and more work. Finally, one day, with no one pulling me in any direction, I sat down, and this story poured forth in less than three hours. All the years I had thought about it made it easy to write.

The story is based upon a real-life experience when I was 14. A small Christmas tree was delivered to our home by a work associate of my father's. However, we already had a tree decorated in the house. Unable to find someone to take it, that little tree sat outside for the rest of the holidays, alone and forsaken. I remember feeling so awfully sorry for that little tree, and I never forgot it.

After writing the initial story, I refined it numerous times, reading, and re-reading it. I had others read it. I then began the process of trying to find a book publisher. It took a couple of years before I settled on Mascot Books, recommended to me by a friend who had published there. Once we had refined and edited the story further, we then set out to find an illustrator, which took about a year and a half. I had a concept in mind of how I wanted the drawings to look, which was more of an elegant look than a cartoon appearance. To me, Needles needed to look like a real tree, and I needed an illustrator who could show emotion without a face. After reviewing the work and trial drawings of over 20 illustrators, I settled on Sydni Kruger.

Sydni was able to capture the essence of Needles and his journey through the story. Upon completing the illustrations, we conducted a final edit, and went to printing. Supply chain issues being what they were, printing took longer than anticipated, and we have barely made it to the current holidays.

My hope is that, launching the book here in 2022 along with a determined marketing effort in 2023, Needles will become a classic delighting children for years to come.

Meet the Author:

Wagner grew up in Southern California. When he was 14-years old, a business friend of his father’s had a small Christmas tree delivered as a thank you. Their family already had a large tree decorated in the house. Not being able to find anyone who needed a tree, that small Christmas tree stood outside by itself for the remainder of the Christmas holiday.


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