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No skill is more crucial to the future of a child, or to a democratic and prosperous society, than literacy.
Summary: As autumn is quickly turning to winter, a leaf reflects on his life as a vibrant green leaf. To his surprise, he discovers that he has worth in his "later days," too. This is an allegory about living life to its fullest and accepting the surprises along the way.
Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 7 to 10
Interest Level: 4 to 12
Age of Child: Started reading with 3½-year-old child.
Young Reader Reaction: S/He was taken by the squirrel and the faces on the leaf. Our preschooler focused more on the activities than the more subtle theme about how life works.
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun read, but will be particularly great come fall, when it will be easy to bring the book to life. It is a nice reminder that we are only limited by the perceptions we create for ourselves.
Pros: The illustrations are both beautiful and whimsical (the squirrel's expressions are priceless).
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a great book to share or to keep in a special place for those days when you just need a reminder that each day has its own reward.
Educational Themes: The book offers several layers of learning, depending on the child's age: what happens in the fall, how life changes, and self-esteem. It wouldn't take much to draw lessons about aging parents/grandparents from the story, too.
Literary Categories: fiction - nature, poetry
Date(s) Reviewed: May 2005
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