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Parents' Guide to

Tess's Tree

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Sweet story of grief and healing is pitch perfect.

Tess's Tree Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 1 parent review

age 7+

Tess's Tree Parent Guide

Violence: A violent storm comes and kills a helpless tree. That makes Tess sad. Educational value: In this book, people can learn about how violent storms can cause horrible tragedies. People can also learn that during violent storms, plants, humans and animals get killed or get hurt. People can also learn that people can have great relationships with other species including plants. Humans are animals too. They are mammals in the primate category. When we say "animals", we mean the other species that are not plants or cells. Cells are organisms like bacteria, amoebas and other micro organisms that are not counted as animals or plants and reproduce asexually unlike plants and animals. Humans are the dominate species. We are civilized. But, just like the book teaches people, we can still have good relationships with other species. Tess always enjoyed playing under that old little tree. She loved it. This book is cute. This book might be too intense for kids under 7. Tess treats the tree's death like a human's death. This book has a good heart and morals. We also learn about emotions. Great messages. A must read! I still feel bad for the tree. Being civilized does not stop someone from having a good relationship with a living organism from another species.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This is author Jess M. Brallier’s first picture book, and he gets it right in every way. Originally published online, TESS'S TREE makes a deserved transition to a printed book worth treasuring. Both children and parents will appreciate Brallier's honest, comforting text. He provides a playbook for parents and children trying to sort out feelings of grief and loss and focus on joyful memories. Kids will readily empathize with Tess as she struggles with difficult feelings. There are light touches, too, such as Tess decorating the tree’s “children” for the service and the appearance of a couple who had long ago carved their names into the old tree.
Peter H. Reynolds, author-illustrator of The Dot, again offers delightful, sensitive illustrations. His Tess rampages fiercely after her tree is cut down, then collapses in a heartbroken heap on the stump. She’s simply drawn but wonderfully expressive.

Sensitively and beautifully drawn artwork reflects the warmth of the story.

Book Details

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