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Leaves Hardcover – August 16, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Stein's (Cowboy Ned and Andy) pen-and-ink illustrations conjure a place readers will wish they could visit, a tiny island that pokes up out of a bay. Drawn in mossy greens and golds, the island is home to a very young bear—so young that when the leaves start falling in the autumn, he's a little shocked: He tried to catch them and put them back on... but it was not the same. The bear doesn't despair; he grows sleepy, goes off to hibernate and wakes in the spring. This set of events is depicted in a series of panels trained on the entrance to the bear's den; the single tree above it loses its leaves, is blanketed by snow, and receives visits first by a rabbit and then by a pair of cardinals.) Eventually the bear sticks his head back out to greet the spring sunshine and spies the tiny buds on the trees. 'Welcome!' he cried. And, he thought, the leaves welcomed him. Many things contribute to the success of Stein's tale: the joyously colored panels that hang on the pages like paintings—more intimate, somehow, than double-page spreads—the island's eight trees and their leaves, which seem lively and animate and entirely worthy of friendship; the innocence of the bear; and Stein's willingness to let the story assume its own haiku-like shape. His autumnal pictures seem to glow, while the bear himself has the irresistible appeal of a well-loved toy. All ages. (Aug.)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* To Bear, in his first year, everything is new. He lives on a tiny island with a few trees, flowers, berries, and butterflies, and he dances with joy — until he sees a leaf fall to the ground. He wonders, "Are you okay?" More leaves fall. "He tried to catch them and put them back on . . . but it was not the same." As he watches the leaves fall and blanket the ground, he grows sleepy, finds a cave-like hole, fills it with leaves, and burrows into it to sleep away the winter. In spring, he joyfully welcomes the tiny leaves unfolding on the trees. The narrative works seamlessly with the freewheeling, expressive artwork. Created with bamboo pen, the energetic, sensitive drawings are tinted with subtle shades of color. Just as Stein uses white space effectively in the art, he uses "white space" well in the spare, precise text, leaving some details for children to notice in the pictures alone, such as how the leaves have been stuck back on the trees by spearing them onto the living twigs. Teachers will find this picture book a natural for curriculum units on leaves or hibernation, and children will enjoy seeing fall anew through the eyes of a big-hearted character more innocent than themselves. Wonderfully simple and simply wonderful for sharing with children. Phelan, Carolyn
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 2 - 5 years
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (August 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399246363
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399246364
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 0.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #488,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By V. C. Callan on September 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Through the eyes of a young bear, David Ezra Stein captures the bittersweet feelings of autumn. With the heart and vocabulary that a toddler will understand, the bear expresses wonder and concern for the falling leaves. It is a simple story, beautifully written and illustrated, that my 3 year old begs to hear over and over.
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Format: Hardcover
I Love this book, and wish I could give it a hundred stars. The illustrations capture the rich colors of autumn and the emotions of a new little bear who has never seen the leaves fall. Best of all it was so true to childhood and a little boy I once knew who wanted to put the leaves back on the trees and was joyful when he discovered that the leaves came back. To read this book is to experience the wonder of childhood the way a child does. Take a bow, David Ezra Stein.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
After having this out from the library continuously for...well, a really long time...we finally purchased a copy for our youngest child. It's short, simple, and sweet story with endearing colored sketches. All three children (ages 5, 2, and 8m) gather round when we read it. The 5 year old can also read it to her siblings, and it makes a satisfying early reader since it is familiar to her, yet without the contrived simplicity of many early readers.
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I bought this book to read to my son for fall.
The reviews were pretty positive, but I find it pretty boring.
He is also absolutely not impressed, he is not interested in this story.
He is 2,5 yrs.
Maybe nice to read it at the library instead of buying it.
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Format: Board book Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my niece's first birthday because, like her, it is the bear's first year and he is discovering all things wonderful about his own little world! He loves the leaves so much, he even tries to put them back on the tree! It's a wonderful example of how a great story does not need a lot of words to be told. The pictures are fabulous.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book in which a young bear cub frolics through his first year of life, but then notices -- the leaves are beginning to fall! He tries sticking them back on the tree, but that's not satisfying. He ponders what else to do, but as he ponders he grows sleepy, so he gathers up the leaves, carries them into a cave, and goes to sleep. When he awakes, the now-bigger bear sees leaf buds on the trees. He welcomes them and feels they welcome him. A very short text with beautiful illustrations and a powerful message: there is a cycle to life, and satisfaction comes from living in tune with nature.
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By Darkdazeys on March 24, 2015
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
My son enjoyed Hop by Ezra Stein so much, that I decided to purchase this book for him. He absolutely loves it (it helps that he loves bears in the first place). It's also a quick read and is easy for him to understand.
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My 2.5 year old enjoys this book, though it isn't one of her top favorites. It's a very sweet story with beautiful illustrations, however there are not very many word on each page so it falls on the reader to keep a toddler engaged. We enjoy finding the animals on each page and counting leaves.
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