Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall
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Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall [Library Binding]

Leo Yerxa
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 1994 4 and up Preschool and up
Beautiful illustrations based on Native American themes and a lyrical text, which begins with a free-verse Creation tale, highlight the story of a parent and child who journey in their canoe in search of winter.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An unpunctuated prose-poem and leaf-like collage illustrations trace an almost archetypal wilderness journey. As a Native American parent and child travel with their canoe, they find themselves camping out on the night during which fall palpably turns to winter ("The night wind howled a warning/ The moon and stars were swallowed up by dark clouds/ The last leaf fell"). The echoes and rhythmic repetitions of the Canadian author-artist's text mirror nature's own repetitive cycles; however, their incantatory and often abstract quality demands special talents from those reading the work aloud. His tissue-paper collages-softly wrinkled, with gradual variegations of hue-cast a more successful spell: their dreaminess is more accessible, their power likelier to linger. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 2 Up-This poetic story begins with two pages of lengthy text telling of the time long ago when all the world was dark and the snow was born "...with a whisper/from the wind to the leaves/the leaves to the birds/startled, the birds flew south." The activities of other living creatures and humans are briefly listed, and then the tale segues into more modern times. Two unidentified but apparently native people journey in their canoe through the natural world, during the end of autumn and the arrival of winter. They walk through the forest, drift across the pond, and sleep under the clouds, observing squirrels, fish, and beavers. As they sleep, the last leaf falls, followed by the first snowflake. The evocative story and pictures are timeless. The sophisticated free verse is devoid of punctuation except for a few commas, and is arranged in lines so that the meaning is clear. But the book's strength is the striking, full-color collages. Created with dyed tissue paper, they add depth and texture to the natural world they depict. Varied perspectives and abstract images add interest, and skillful composition emphasizes the main elements from the text. An unusual selection for libraries with a high demand for both seasonal and native stories.
Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Library Binding: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (NY) (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531086747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531086742
  • Product Dimensions: 12.2 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,468,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stuning paper collages, balanced with thoughtful prose. November 25, 1998
By A Customer
This is a creation, years in the making. The story of a child and father in that soft moment as fall lets go to winter. One senses that the author has let go as well. Beautiful in it's tenderness.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite collage work from artist-author Leo Yerxa February 22, 2003
"Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall" offers up exquisite collage illustrations by Leo Yerxa. These consist of tissue paper dyed with acrylics, inks, and watercolors and help tell the story of a parent and child who travel through forests, down rivers, over lakes and ponds as they experience the primordial beauty of the world through which they are passing. The pictures and lyrical text create a dreamlike voyage that captures the moment when fall turns into winter. As a child on the Little Eagle Reserve near Fort Frances in northern Ontario, Yerxa spent a lot of time hunting and fishing with his father; certainly these experiences have informed "Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall." Readers of any age will be enthralled by these collages, but be warned that younger readers are going to want to try their hand at this particular art form. As someone who lives in a land where winter lasts from Halloween until Easter (i.e., half the year), this picture book does a wonderful job of capturing the period of transition from one season to the next.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful! November 10, 2010
By R. Sapp
Mr. Yerxa'a artwork is so beautiful! I borrowed a copy of Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall at the library to share with my daughter, and now plan to buy my own copy to treasure! Inspiring!
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