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The Little Yellow Leaf Hardcover – August 26, 2008

32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—The human capacity for volition and fear of the unknown is central to this tale. A lone yellow leaf clings to a giant oak tree and watches the unfolding drama of winter's approach, refusing to let go of his branch. A "riot of fiery leaves" swirls to the ground, apples grow "musky" and pumpkins ripen, geese fly south, and eventually snow flurries fill the air, but still the leaf holds fast. Finally, he spies a small scarlet leaf attached high above that invites him to let go. Together, they soar away and join in a dance with the wind. In Berger's eye-catching collage illustrations, pieced background papers in shades of yellow, green, blue, and beige show off stylized forms of naked tree branches, leaves, and sun created by clipping and pasting (sometimes tiny) segments of various papers—faded, lined ledger, and graph paper; colored and printed magazine pages—and adding touches of paint. It seems the message to be inferred from this slight anthropomorphic tale is that feelings of indecision can be overcome by heeding the encouragement of another. Some parents may be inclined to disagree.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, Ohio
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From Booklist

Berger’s latest picture book focuses on a single leaf that is just not ready to leave the branch of its great oak tree. While other leaves swirl down, this leaf keeps holding on as apples grew musky, pumpkins heavy, and flocks of geese took wing. Complementing her own concise, appealing text, Berger’s inventive collage-based illustrations range from a closeup of the leaf that reveals words and letters on it to an image of the sun that seems to have been formed from a mosaic of bricks. They give a sense of both close-up textures and the wider reach of the world. Eventually the season turns to blue-gray winter, and still the leaf holds on tight. It is not until the leaf spies a scarlet flash high up on an icy branch that it can contemplate the next step. Over the next three spreads—quirky, gorgeous landscapes that incorporate lined paper, graph paper, newspaper articles, and water bills—the two leaves soar through the skies, off and away and away and away, together. Preschool-Grade 2. --Abby Nolan
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061452238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061452239
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.2 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #130,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. The Little Yellow Leaf was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book. She is the creator of OK Go!, Not So True Stories & Unreasonable Rhymes and All Mixed Up, and the illustrator of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, by Jack Prelutsky, and Trailblazers, by Bobbi Katz. She won the Society of Illustrators Founder's Award in 2006. Carin Berger lives with her family in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Alice H. Beall on October 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Little Yellow Leaf is a book to be read over and over again. As an ex east coaster and visual artist, I am immediately swept into the beauty and desolation of fall which is exquisitly rendered by Carin Berger from the simplicity of the story to the complexity of understanding of her medium. Not having a young child in the house, I enjoy the book from the point of view of an adult and an artist and am so happy that it arrived in the fall.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Kris Waldherr on September 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
There is something about this book which brings tears to my eyes every time I read it to my daughter. It just works on so many levels: stunning art, poetic text, a gentle, philosophical message about transformation and trust. As for my daughter, she loves tracing the little yellow (and scarlet) leaves' journeys once they finally let go and jump into the wind. Highly recommended.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By carrie leeb on November 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
the little yellow leaf is touching and beautiful on many levelsl. it really captures the nostalgic feeling of fall and combines it with the fear of change, and the need to let go and trust that everything will be ok. visually, it's exquisite. thoughtfulness is alive in every aspect of the book, from the minute details iin each illustration, to the carefully selected words which perfectly convey the feelings of the little trepid leaf, to the encouraging and hopeful message that's conveyed. i love this book. it opens my heart.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Catherine W. Hughes on February 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As Autumn comes, one yellow leaf clings to the big oak tree. Red and yellow leaves swirl and dance through the air, but the little yellow leaf thinks, "I'm not ready...not yet." Autumn passes, and the apples and pumpkins start to turn, but the little yellow leaf is still not ready. A chill starts to fill the air. Flurries fall. But the little yellow leaf holds on, alone. And then, a scarlet leaf, still on the icy branches, too, asks the little yellow leaf, "Will you?" The little yellow leaf says, "I will," and together they let go of the tree and "soar" and "dance" off into the sky. This beautifully simple story of friendship, togetherness and of finding the courage to let go will be loved by children of three to six years. Simple yet elegant cut paper illustrations compliment the text.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Manhattan Daisy on October 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book the instant I saw the cover. The little yellow leaf . . . is so tender. The story is just as lovely. A real treasure. I was so excited to find out that Carin Berger had done another book--my kids and I just loved "Not so True" stories. And "All Mixed Up" is like a toy, only the most gorgeous toy ever. My only regret is that my kids are growing up . . . I'm so glad that this author was here for their small childhood.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pico Paco on July 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The amazing, colorful art captured my child's attention from the age of two months. By the age of four months, she would gasp and smile at the sound of the words being read aloud. Now at three years old, it is a comfort book, and we love tracing the "wind" as we make sounds together. The best part is, I read it for me! I absolutely love the story. Not to mention the pictures. This is a definite MUST HAVE for any child's library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By X Sloane on August 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for my 6 and 4 year old kids. They like the story, but I think the illustrations although beautiful are not very child friendly, they need more visual excitement to hook them to the book. The story is simple, maybe too simple, but nice and has a decent moral to it: Do not rush, do things when you feel ready.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. de RAMEL on December 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lovely story with excellent illustrations, however my four-year old grandson told me that the story is too short.
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