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.
Mireille Messier is a Montreal-born, Ottawa-raised and now Toronto-based children's writer with a background in broadcasting and theater. Since the launch of her first book in 2003, Mireille has published over twenty books. When she's not at her computer writing, she thinks up new stories while she walks, drives or sails her big old boat. Mireille lives in Toronto with her husband, two wonderful teenage daughters and two extremely fluffy cats.
Pierre Pratt is the internationally acclaimed, award-winning illustrator of over 50 books for children. He lives and works in Montreal, Quebec, and in Lisbon, Portugal.
... a gentle reminder that keeping an open mind can help turn problems into opportunities.
... a small but satisfying story of intergenerational friendship, cooperation, creativity, and the labor that goes into creating something worthwhile.
—The Horn Book Magazine
... a story of new life and the kindness of others.
—Quill & Quire
... refreshing ...
—New York Times
A quiet but powerful tale supported by a strong blend of words and pictures.
—School Library Journal
Brimming with personality and passion, this protagonist is a joy to know.
—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
The vibrantly coloured illustrations complement the story and the warm friendship that grows between the grandfatherly Mr. Frank and the girl.
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