Books by Jess M. Brallier

TESS’S TREE by Jess M.  Brallier
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2009

In this tender tale of love and loss, readers meet Tess, who cherishes her beloved—but very old—tree. When her family cuts it down, Tess reacts angrily, then channels her grief by preparing a funeral in her tree's honor. Dozens of guests gather to pay their respects: Her teacher reads a Stevenson poem, a couple recalls their budding romance and an elderly woman describes her childhood memories of swinging under its branches. While Tess's behavior seems unusually innocent for a child her age, her sincere grief is sweetly portrayed; she wraps yellow ribbons around the surrounding seedlings, dressing the tree's children for the funeral. In the end, her resiliency brings speedy resolution: "She thought about all her tree had done for so many people. / A last tear dried. She was okay." Reynolds's soft watercolor vignettes extend the quiet story. Wispy lines portray a subtle vulnerability; washes of muted blue effectively provide emotional depth as Tess survives grief's powerful storm. (Picture book. 4-7)Read full book review >