Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

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
Recommended Age
3 to 7
Recommended Grade
p to 2
Recommended Reading age
3 to 7
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Download Teacher’s Guide

Where to buy it


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 autrice jeunesse née à Montréal, qui a grandi à Ottawa et qui habite maintenant à Toronto. Elle a travaillé dans les domaines de la radiodiffusion et du théâtre. Mireille a publié plus de trente livres en français ou en anglais destinés aux enfants de tous les âges, dont l’album Sergent Billy: La vraie histoire du chevreau devenu soldat. Son album Ma branche préférée a été mis en nomination pour les prix Shining Willow, Blue Spruce et pour les Prix littéraires du Gouverneur général du Canada. Avant de devenir autrice, Mireille a été animatrice à la télévision et à la radio, scénariste, critique littéraire — des domaines dans lesquels elle œuvre toujours de temps à autre. Mireille vit à Toronto avec cinq chats, deux oiseaux et plus d’une centaine de poissons rouges (mais pas de chevaux !).

Mireille Messier's profile page

Pierre Pratt's profile page


  • Short-listed, Shining Willow Award, Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice Awards
  • Short-listed, Blue Spruce Award, Ontario Library Association
  • 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
  • Winner, Best Picture Books of 2016, Kirkus Reviews
  • Short-listed, Governor General's Literary Award, Children's Illustration, Canada Council for the Arts

Editorial Reviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

... refreshing ...—New York Times

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

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

Other titles by

Other titles by

Related lists