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The Leaf Men Paperback – June 5, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Series: Harper Trophy Books
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (June 5, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064438171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064438179
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

William Joyce's previous children's books, especially Dinosaur Bob and A Day With Wilbur Robinson, have delighted kid-kids and grown-up-kids alike with their strange, stylish illustrations and their slightly warped sensibility. In his latest book, The Leaf Men, things get even stranger, as the reader is plunged into the teeming mysterious world of an old woman's garden. When the old lady falls ill, and her garden falls into disorder, the mythical Leaf Men must be called upon to vanquish the evil Spider Queen and return things to order. Arachnid rights groups may quarrel with the choice of the spider as the villainess, but just about everyone else will marvel at Joyce's invention and his weird, detailed paintings. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A troop of tiny doodle bugs try to take on the evil Spider Queento save an elderly woman's garden and call on the Leaf Men tohelp. "Joyce's characteristically offbeat and occasionally eerieillustrations carry the day," wrote PW. Ages 3-8.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
38
4 star
11
3 star
1
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It's now one of her favorites.
wvamazonwarrior
William Joyce's modern-day epics capture your imagination in a way few books do.
M. Heiss
Illustrations are fantastic and the story line unique.
Danny Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Ann M. Huebner on July 5, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a quirky book, but a fun one. It's a mystical fairy tale with a garden setting (the main characters are bugs) and an Art Deco aesthetic. An old lady falls ill. Her garden falls ill, too, as there is no one to care for it. The garden's bugs rally together. They've heard stories of the magical, mystical Leaf Men who will come to a garden's aid if properly summoned. A proper summons requires a dangerous journey to the tree tops on a moonlit night. The brave doodle bugs go for it. The evil Spider Queen and her goblins try to thwart them. It's good stuff. There is also a sweet, sentimental subplot with an old toy. The book is recommended for the 4-8 year-old crowd, but my 2 1/2 year-old loves it. I had to edit some of the text at first, however, as it is on the long side for toddlers. I also edit the gruesome death of the Spider Queen. The story covers a lot of territory in a short amount of time, so the characters are rather one-dimensional and the story ends up with a few holes. Nevertheless, the story is told so stylishly and the illustrations are so unusual and dramatic that you forgive the short-comings. It's a great book to read when you want a fairy tale but are sick of fairy tales.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By JoJo on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a child, did you ever look for hidden treasures in your backyard? Well, this is a story about the magic of backyards and gardens. Two words describe this book--magical and mystical. My son loves this book because it combines his love of insects and superheroes. This is a wonderful story to read aloud to children and seems to really spark their imaginations. The illustrations are imaginative and unique. It is a favorite book at our house!
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Grimm on September 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Nevermind reading this to children: *I* read it. Here is a tale of mytheopic properties -- the Long-Lost Toy, the treasured rosebush grown sickly, the old woman, wound about, and bound to these treasured things of her youth, a precarious lifeline; and here too, those brave little bugs, the Doodle Guild, full of virtue and honour, who would give their very lives for a woman, and think nothing of it; and alas! too, the wicked Spider Queen, "enclosed in her own fat," who would devour her prey, and think not of it, and hath not mercy, nor kindness; and, when all is hopeless: the storm is stilled, the air is grown quiet, and lo! the Leaf Men of old, them whom Memory would forget.
This tale is at once set upon the mind, and there it will stay for quite some time after the book is set down. I highly recomend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
I think this book was awesome. An old woman is sick and her garden grows horribly and so doodle bugs try to climb to the tallest branch of a tree to call the leaf men to fix the garden. A queen spider thinks that no insect can do that. During the doodle bugs` journey the queen and ants attack the doodle bugs, but the doodle bugs call the leaf men and the leaf men save the doodle bugs and the garden. Then the old woman gets better. I recommend this book to anyone.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tess on February 21, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I am 45 yrs old and have been reading this and many other Willam Joyce titles to my children. The illustrations are facinating to children and adults alike. This is my favorite Willam Joyce book. I still read it and laugh and cry. Oh those doodle bugs are so brave. There is so much to ponder while reading this book, it will open your imagination to a whole new look at the garden, ageing, and being the smallest one in the class. It will make you feel.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Emily Dickinson on February 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
If many modern picture books seem formulaic and vanilla, here is something refreshingly different. The Leafmen has more: more words! more INTERESTING words, more depth and complexity, odd choices of main characters, point-of-view and setting. If this sounds "gimmicky,"it actually works well. A fragment of the mysterious adult world is revealed through a child's eyes. The situation involves a failing old lady, her neglected garden, her early memories, a confusing jumble of elements that her grandchildren are too young to comprehend. This is exactly the typical child's position as he tries to unravel the mysteries with limited knowledge and the occasional hint. He must fill in the gaps with magical thinking (brave doodle bugs, evil spider queen) in his quest to understand. The Leafmen does not blend into the mass of bland and forgettable children's books. It is open to various interpretations and leaves much to be pondered. It is a bit unsettling. Its solutions, though steeped in magic and mystery, seem right and true from a chid's perspective.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bethany Elise on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice book, I liked it a lot. You can tell that it's some of his earlier stuff. The illustrations are simpler but still quite lovely. The story also seems more simplistic and less involved than some of his later books, but I think it leans more towards a true picture book, where less words can be more. Most of his newer books have a much more detailed story line, but this tells a nice good vs evil story effectively with a small word count.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Gunn on December 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was divorced a few years ago, and desperately trying to be a good dad...my daughter and I developed a strong connection, and this book became something very special to us. We get it out every now and then, and read it together...it never grows old or tired. It is a wondrous work, a marriage of images and moving story. Simple, yes, but tapping into something very deep. I am very grateful to William Joyce for this book.
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More About the Author

A true luminary and creative spirit, William Joyce has put his personal stamp on children's media in every direction. His picture books include George Shrinks, Dinosaur Bob and Santa Calls; he's won three Emmy awards for his Rolie Polie Olie animated series; developed character concepts for Toy Story and A Bug's Life; and his films include Robots and Meet the Robinsons. He's currently co-directing The Guardians for DREAMWORKS, and is producing The Leaf Men, based on his picturebook. He lives in Shreveport, LA, and is the founder of Moonbot Studios.

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