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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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