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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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