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Tess's Tree Paperback – August 25, 2009

7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is the award-winning author and illustrator of The Dot, Ish, and The North Star. He also illustrated the bestselling Someday by Alison McGhee, Tess’s Tree by Jess M. Brallier, and the bestselling Judy Moody series by Megan McDonald. Peter is the founder of FableVision, a transmedia learning company, creating animated films, books, and software. He lives in Dedham, Massachusetts.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HarperColl (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061687529
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061687525
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.7 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,446,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard P. Mcdonough on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am a father, grandfather and great grandfather, and dealing with the D word with children has always been a bit problematic. I recently bought a book for the g-grandson for a little later that deals directly with the passing of an elderly relative, and though it is good it is probably a little too direct for a child below seven years. So I was very happy to see Tess's Tree deal with this subject "on the bias", as it were. Love, positive experiences, decline and loss and memory are dealt with very cleverly and satisfyingly through the tree that Tess so loves and enjoys. It is an admirable feat, one that I have been able to read to my 39 month old great grandson who really got it. He was sad with Tess, grieved with her, went through a period of recollection, and came to an understanding of the finiteness of a beloved tree and its place in the life of many. This is clearly a life lesson devoid of cudgel, affectionately parsed, beautifully illustrated, doing its job in preparing kids for the nature of life. Bravo
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Format: Paperback
Tess's Tree is a special little book that speaks to all of us who have ever lost something or someone we loved. It's especially well suited for helping a young child come to terms with death for the first time without having to face - with all the implications it involves - the deaths of individuals such as family members, friends, or the child himself/herself. It's a beautiful story to share with your child because it says so much in so few words and illustrations.

Tess loves her tree. From her window, she watches it change with the seasons, and she has spent many happy hours swinging from the tree, playing in patches of its fallen leaves, etc. She is therefore devastated when the tree must be cut down after an act of Mother Nature. Naturally, her first reaction is anger, and she takes that anger out on everyone and everything around her. In time, though, she comes to reflect more on what her tree meant to her, and that is when she decides to have a funeral for the tree. The whole neighborhood is invited to the service, and the end result is that Tess discovers a great sense of community and comes to realize how important her tree has been in the lives of others, some of whom she never even knew. Tess' tree was not really her tree at all, and the grief she feels for its loss is not hers to bear alone. That is a very comforting message, and it is delivered beautifully and simply in this wonderful little book.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Great Kid Books on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
While we want to protect our young children from grief, we need to find ways to help them deal with losing something or someone they love. Tess's Tree is a wonderful, beautiful new book that does just this is a sweet, gentle way.

Tess loved her tree with all her heart. She looked out at her tree from her bedroom window. She swung its sturdy branches and read stories in its shade. But after losing branches in a big storm, the tree had to be cut down. Oh, how Tess was angry. Sad. Despondent. She cried for a long time, but then she decided to have a funeral for her tree - to celebrate the life of her tree.

Brallier was inspired to write this story after a friend's daughter held a funeral for a tree. "I think it's difficult for kids to deal with loss," he says. "It can be scary and lonely. They watch trusted adults being sad. I thought a tree was a softer way to explore that." (Publisher's Weekly) Reynold's illustrations are perfect - bringing out all of Tess's emotions. I also love the multicultural community that she lives in - it helps us see ourselves in her story. This is a truly gentle book - it's one that will help children feel connected to the earth around us, and to people, pets and things they love.

My daughters have really liked Tess's Tree. My 5 year old listened with complete attention, with little smiles, frowns and sighs at the happy and sad places. The feelings came through so well in this book. My 8 year old said, "It's such a sweet book. But sad, too. It makes me think of Grandpa." She went on to talk about how she wished she could have gone to her grandfather's funeral (it was too far away) so she could have met some of the people who knew him when he was younger. It was a very touching moment, to have her recall her grandfather.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Beverly Martin on January 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Touching and heartwarming story. It was age appropriate. The characters well developed. It was a pleasure to read to my 3 year old granddaughter.
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