When I read today’s picture book, The Branch, something in the story reminded me of my childhood. (Anyone surprised by this?) Maybe it was the remembrance of sadness when a favorite toy broke. Maybe it was the relief of having a special somebody in my life (my dad) who could always make things better with his magical know-how for fixing any broken object I set before him–and not just toys… Dad surprised me when he mended my mother’s favorite floor vase that I sort of, kind of, unintentionally skateboarded into when I was ten. I vaguely remember him reassuring me that Mom would laugh about the incident in ten years. He was mistaken. On the bright side, my sister is able to recapture the desperation in my voice when I called out to her after the, umm… incident. Her uncanny imitation brings us both a smile.
In today’s Perfect Picture Book Friday review, the broken item that brings sadness isn’t a toy or a vase, the beloved item is a tree branch. With a measure of love, imagination, and knowhow from a kind-hearted neighbor, that branch becomes a marvelous, new treasure.
Title – The Branch
Author – Mireille Messier
Illustrator – Pierre Pratt
Published by – Kids Can Press – 2016
Suitable for ages – 4-8
Topics/Theme – loss, imagination, upcycling
Opening – It’s past my bedtime, but I can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because I’m too excited about the holidays. Maybe it’s because of the sound of the icy rain hitting my window. Tik! Tik! Tik Ti!k!
Amazon Review HERE — When an ice storm snaps a small girl’s favorite branch from a tree in her yard, she’s crestfallen. The girl’s mom says it’s just a branch. But not to her! That was the branch I sat on, jumped from, played under. It was my castle, my spy base, my ship… Luckily, her neighbor, Mr. Frank, understands. He says the branch has potential. “What’s potential?” she asks. It means it’s worth keeping. And so, with imagination and spirit, and Mr. Frank’s guidance and tools, The girl transforms the branch into something whole and new, giving it another purpose, and her, another place to treasure.
Learn more about Mireille Messier HERE.
Learn more about Pierre Pratt HERE.
Find some kid-friendly, upcycled, STEM craft ideas HERE.
Until next Friday!