Tess’s Tree by Jess M. Brallier, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Tess loves her tree. She loved to swing from its branches, play in its leaves, and read underneath it. But when a big storm blows through, the tree loses a few of its largest branches and becomes unsafe. The tree had to be taken down. Tess doesn’t take this well, she is immensely sad, angry, and forlorn. Then she decides that her tree needs a funeral, which allows everyone even some adults who loved the tree when they were children to come and celebrate it.
This book is a winning combination of treehugging (literally) green and understanding loss. Brallier’s very short text is inviting and clear. The book doesn’t linger on the death of the tree, but on the recovery afterwards and the feelings it creates. Reynolds has created clever and sweet illustrations for the book that give it a sense of lightness while never minimizing the loss that happened.
Great for young children grappling with any sort of loss in their lives, as it is made easier to understand and bear when it’s a tree. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from library copy.
Also reviewed at Great Kid Books.