- Grade Level: 4 - 6
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 22, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 145630092X
- ISBN-13: 978-1456300920
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,534,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Leaf & the Sky of Fire (Twig Stories Book 2) Paperback – March 22, 2011
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"Leaf and the Sky of Fire approaches the issue of global warming and the changes that occur from it on a very readable basis for tween and YA readers. While the story is fantasy, the problems are very real world. An excellent book for middle-grade readers."
- San Francisco Book Review
"This story was as awesome as the first book...I like that this is a great adventure book with excitement and danger, but it is totally appropriate for younger kids. The book also teaches about environmental issues (like bark beetles) that kids should know about.
Five out of five book worms!"
- Erik, This Kid Reviews Books
"The environmental messages contained in this highly entertaining series of stories are certainly important and are told in a way that will engage children everywhere."
- Dr. David Edwards, BC Wildlife Park
"This book is a wonderful read. The story and artwork are impeccably crafted and weave a fascinating tale that will help introduce children to the magic and majesty of the natural world ..."
- Dr. Diana Six, University of Montana
"In Leaf and the Sky of Fire, the threat is bark beetles given power by the strength of global warming and climate change. As an educator, I look forward to keeping a copy of this delightful book in my classroom library as an inspiration to future stewards of our planet."
- Rose Sudmeier, Sixth Grade Teacher, Snohomish, Washington
From the Author
I hope young readers enjoy Twig Stories and are encouraged to investigate novel solutions for climate change impacts for even the smallest creatures help protect our natural world.
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Leaf is a young Twig living in the Old Seeder, an enormous cedar tree, so big it looked out over the rest of the forest like a giant sentinel.
The day the tooler bird landed with the old Twig, Mook, changed the lives of the South forest Twigs in ways they could never have imagined.
The idea of delving in and looking through the eyes of creatures that exist in the insect realm of the forest was fantastic. The story is both engaging and the trials and tribulations encountered are ones that will hopefully entice all readers of this book to think about the forest and all of its many inhabitants in a new way.
The setting for this book is breathtaking. It features small stick-like critters called Twigs which live in a northern forest that's so beautifully depicted you can almost smell the pine needles. It therefore lends itself quite naturally to some strong ecological themes, which I have mixed feelings about, but more on that later.
Leaf is a young Twig who lives in the southern part of the forest, which is lush and green. But an old, sick Twig lands on his doorstep with a story of destruction. The northern part of the forest is under attack, and a handful of orphaned young Twigs need to be rescued. Leaf takes it upon himself to help them, and this is the tale of his adventure.
Twig Stories is a series aimed at a young audience. I would probably place it at a third to fourth grade reading level, but I think fourth grade is the top of the age group to which the books would most strongly appeal. The content is very mild--Leaf mostly faces wild animals and natural disasters--so it would work well as a read-aloud for little guys as young as kindergarten, but first to third grade is probably the ideal range. And this is a great age to teach kids about conservation and stewardship, which the book strongly promotes.
Okay, now it's time for my more scientific opinions. Having just returned from a vacation in the Smokey Mountains, I hugely appreciate the efforts undertaken to preserve and protect our natural resources. There's nothing like wild forests and mountains to help a body refocus. But I also feel that ecology has become a sacred religion in this country, one I don't totally buy into. I might lose some friends over this statement, but if the earth really is warming, who cares? It's undergone climate change before. There's evidence that the earth has been much more tropical in the past as well as much cooler, yet people, plants and animals have all survived. Our genetics are created to adapt, and adapt we will. However, this book didn't throw out too many of those dire, wearisome predictions. It's lauded by those who do in a series of endorsements included among the front material, but the story focuses more on invasive species and maintaining healthy forests, which I can rally behind.
That aside, how'd I like the story? It's cute, but I did do a lot of skimming. There's loads of description, and not the snappy kind. It's very serious in tone, and some parts are a bit sappy sweet. But the characters are endearing and the illustrations by David Murray are drop dead gorgeous. It's a bit slow for my tastes, but well-suited for little eyes and ears. I truly appreciate the pains Ms. Marshall took to maintain that innocence for them.
I recieved a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
The Northern Forest is under attack! Bark Beetles (barkbiters) have killed the trees in the forest and now the Twigs are in hiding. When Leaf (a Twig from the Old Seedar) hears about their problems, he goes to help but he is unaware of the evil barkbiters! When he gets to the twigs, Leaf accidentally started a fire on the dry wood, so now, they are running from millions of barkbiters and a huge forest fire! Can one little Twig save the forest and his fellow Twigs?!?
This story was as awesome as the first book in the series, Leaf and the Rushing Waters - read my review HERE. Leaf and the Sky of FIre, was exciting and fun to read. The illustrations through the book are fabulous. Mr. Murray really drew great representations of the Twigs and they really helped me picture the story in my mind. I like that this is a great adventure book with excitement and danger, but it is totally appropriate for younger kids. The book also teaches about environmental issues (like bark beetles) that kids should know about. I thought a couple of characters could have been described a bit better in the text (like Veil - I was surprised to figure out he was a chameleon) but overall the world that Ms. Marshall created with the Twigs is just awesome! I think kids and adults will love Twig stories!