47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
What fun! So much to see!,
This review is from: Leaf Man (Hardcover)
This book is getting good reviews for good reason. Lois Ehlert uses images of actual autumn leaves to tell a simple story. And yet, it's not that simple. In each colorful double-page spread, the leaves are arranged in order to form figures: a man, barnyard animals, farm crops, etc., whatever supports the text. As we advance through the story, we realize something different about the book. The top edges of the pages aren't cut straight; they swoop to become horizon lines that change with each page turn, simulating the colorful rolling hills of autumn. What a wonderful surprise! Who would have thought of that technique? It's perfect for the story. The leaves are close at hand, and yet your eye catches the distant landscape, just as it might in real life.
What I like most about this book is that it is educational in a subtle way. It doesn't scream, "Here are leaf projects for you to try!" It merely tells a story using leaves, and lets the readers become inspired to gather up and create leaf creatures of their own. In other words, teaching and leading by example. On the end-sheet of the front and back covers, sample leaves are each identified by tree name -- again, with subtlety. If you want to know the names of the trees they came from, fine, there they are. If you are too young (or too old!) to care, then the words do not intrude on your view of the leaves or the enjoyment of the book. I can see that reading this book to a group of observant youngsters would take quite a while. There's so much to see, and you might not catch it all the first time through. "Leaf Man" requires multiple readings.
This is a beautiful, educational picture book that will appeal to all ages. It should be mandatory for nature center libraries and elementary school libraries.
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Initial post: Oct 30, 2012 9:53:23 AM PDT
I appreciate your thoughtful comments and am buying the book, largely because of them. Thank you.
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