Jen and the Great One


48 pages
ISBN 0-921827-19-9
DDC jC813'.54




Illustrations by Rhian Brynjolson

Margaret Bunel Edwards is a free-lance writer and author of several
children’s books.


Jen is a little Indian girl who loves the Christmassy smell of the Great
One, a huge pine tree standing alone in a valley amid rotting stumps.
When she sits on his roots and is very still, she can hear the wind
whispering and the tree talking to her. Great One tells her of bygone
days when the valley was home to hundreds of trees. But Business Man
came and all he heard was money talking. Politician heard the wind
speaking for the trees, but he listened to money too. Road Builder came
next and didn’t care that the birds and animals had no home. “So all
the trees are gone now and the air is polluted. We are doomed,” says
Great One. Jen cries and runs away.

Great One sadly waits but suddenly he hears singing. Jen is back with
her friends and they gather pine cones. “See, we will plant your seeds
in the valley. Small trees will grow and there will be a lovely forest
for the birds and animals again.” The children dance around Great One
and hug him. He says, “Ah, children of the World, you give me hope.”

This delightful story helps children understand the need to protect
nature for the benefit of all. The author uses lovely, simple language
to convey his message clearly. The illustrator has used soft colors to
give a feeling of space to the valley and of majesty to the Great One.
Altogether, a book to be read and discussed many times.


Eyvindson, Peter., “Jen and the Great One,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 23, 2024,