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Children's Fiction Multigenerational

Branch, The

by (author) Mireille Messier

illustrated by Pierre Pratt

Kids Can Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2016
Multigenerational, Imagination & Play, Weather
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 3 to 7


When an ice storm snaps a small girl's favorite branch from the 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 broken branch into something whole and new, giving it another purpose, and her another place to treasure. In this endearing picture book, author Mireille Messier explores a young child's experience with loss and renewal. Though the little girl is heartbroken that her special perch in the tree is gone, the kindness and vision of her neighbor, combined with her own creativity and determination, help her recognize that it can have a new life in a different form. The charming intergenerational relationship adds depth and richness to the story, as it becomes clear they both offer something valuable to each other. The story is vividly and warmly illustrated by renowned, award-winning artist, Pierre Pratt. This book would work well for character education lessons on perseverance, teamwork and initiative. It also provides an excellent example of caring for the environment by reusing salvaged materials, making it a terrific pick for Maker Spaces and STEAM lessons.

About the authors

Mireille Messier est une auteure jeunesse n&eacutee&agrave Montr&eacuteal, qui a grandi &agrave Ottawa et qui habite maintenant &agrave Toronto. Elle a travaill&eacute dans les domaines de la radiodiffusion et du th&eacute&acirctre. Depuis le lancement de son premier livre en 2003, Mireille a publi&eacute plus de vingt livres, certains en fran&ccedilais, d’autres en anglais, destin&eacutes aux enfants de tous les &acircges. Ma branche pr&eacutef&eacuter&eacutee a &eacutet&eacute mise en nomination pour les prix Shining Willow, Blue Spruce et pour les Prix litt&eacuteraires du Gouverneur g&eacuten&eacuteral. Mireille vit avec son mari, deux merveilleuses adolescentes, trois chats pelucheux et une centaine de poissons rouges.

Mireille Messier's profile page

Pierre Pratt's profile page


  • Short-listed, Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association
  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards
  • Short-listed, 2017-2018 Chickadee Award, Maine's Children's Choice Picture Book Award
  • Winner, Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Short-listed, Picture Book of the Year Award, Surrey Schools
  • Winner, CCBC Choices List, Cooperative Children's Book Center
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award, Children's Illustration, Canada Council for the Arts
  • Winner, Best Picture Books of 2016, Kirkus Reviews

Editorial Reviews

The vibrantly coloured illustrations complement the story and the warm friendship that grows between the grandfatherly Mr. Frank and the girl.—Resource Links

... a story filled with hope.—CM Magazine

Brimming with personality and passion, this protagonist is a joy to know.—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

... a small but satisfying story of intergenerational friendship, cooperation, creativity, and the labor that goes into creating something worthwhile.—The Horn Book Magazine

... a gentle reminder that keeping an open mind can help turn problems into opportunities.—Publishers Weekly

... refreshing ...—New York Times

... a story of new life and the kindness of others.—Quill & Quire

What a marvellous writer Mireille Messier is! She introduces us to a most memorable character whose take on life is charming and refreshing.—Canadian Children's Book News

A quiet but powerful tale supported by a strong blend of words and pictures.—School Library Journal

Other titles by Mireille Messier

Other titles by Pierre Pratt

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