“Let’s build a tree fort,” Russell says to his dad when they move into a house with a big maple tree in the backyard. His dad doesn’t know much about building, but he gamely follows Russell’s plan. Several trips to the lumber store later, the tree fort is done. There is no slide, balcony or skylight like Russell imagined, but it is perfect — right up until he notices another tree fort going up three houses over.
When Russell goes over to investigate, he meets Warren, whose bigger tree fort has castle turrets and working lights. Russell is in awe until it dawns on him that it’s not worth worrying about who has the better tree fort when he has a loving dad there to build one with him.
In this subtle, humorous story, Jessica Scott Kerrin explores the idea of keeping up with the Joneses — and what that means when you’re a kid with a tree fort. Qin Leng’s lighthearted watercolor illustrations show the unshakeable bond between a father and son, as well as the delightful details of two tree forts.
Jessica Scott Kerrin is the author of The Things Owen Wrote, The Spotted Dog Last Seen (finalist for the Canadian Library Association Book of the Year for Children Award and the John Spray Mystery Award) and The Missing Dog Is Spotted. She is also the author of the picture book, The Better Tree Fort (illustrated by Qin Leng), and is known for the Lobster Chronicles series and the bestselling Martin Bridge series. Her novels have been translated into French, Turkish, Russian and Slovenian.?
Born and raised in Alberta, Jessica now lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Qin Leng lives and works as a designer and illustrator in Toronto. She graduated from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and has received many awards for her animated short films and artwork. Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin, written by Chieri Uegaki, was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award and received the APALA Award for best picture book. Her recent books include The Better Tree Fort by Jessica Scott Kerrin, as well as Away by Emil Sher and A Family Is a Family Is a Family by Sara O’Leary, which were both selected for USBBY’s Outstanding International Books List.
Kerrin's story of father-son love is endearing and warm-spirited. - Kirkus
Its message of what matters most—including love and spending time together—is one many readers will welcome. - Booklist
Together, artist and author affectingly construct The Better Tree Fort that has little to do with its exterior, and everything to do with the love contained within. - Shelf Awareness, STARRED REVIEW
It's clear that the time Russell and his father spent together is their fort's greatest feature. Leng captures their loving relationship in a warm palette of watercolors and inks . . . Kerrin includes subtle moments of humor throughout the story line . . . - Horn Book
[A] delightful story about the genuine love between a father and son. - Canadian Children's Book News
[A] subtle, humorous picture book story in which author Jessica Scott Kerrin deftly explore the idea of 'keeping up with the Joneses' — and what that means when you're a kid with a tree fort. Of special note is how illustrator Qin Leng's lighthearted watercolor illustrations show the unshakeable bond between a father and son . . . - Midwest Book Review
Praise for The Better Tree Fort written by Jessica Scott Kerrin, illustrated by Qin Leng
"Jessica Scott Kerrin’s first foray into the world of picture books has yielded a gentle, beautiful story that is heartwarming and as perfect as Russell’s tree fort itself." — Atlantic Books Today
Praise for Away by Emil Sher, illustrated by Qin Leng:
“With intricate images to pore over, this enchanting and original title is ideal for one-on-one sharing and the perfect antidote for children dreading their first overnight trip. Superb.” School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"With an entertainingly offbeat storytelling format and fantastic artwork full of eye-catching details … this endearing picture book with an empowering message of bravery will surely resonate with little ones nervous about their own burgeoning independence." Booklist, STARRED REVIEW
“Leng’s breathy illustrations exude the easy energy of the characters while bringing their deceptively simple notes to full emotional life … Untrammeled and honest.” Kirkus, STARRED REVIEW
Praise for The Spotted Dog Last Seen by Jessica Scott Kerrin:
“Going far beyond mystery book conventions, Spotted Dog is also a well-told story of growth and self-forgiveness.” School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
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