Monday, September 29, 2008

Autumn Book Bunch: Leaves, Leaves, Leaves!


OLIVER FINDS HIS WAY
Written by Phyllis Root
Illustrated by
Christopher Denise
Candlewick Press, 2002

Oliver Finds His Way is an exceptional picture book for students in preschool and kindergarten. Phyllis Root’s simple storyline about a little bear who finds himself lost near the edge of the woods, panics, and then thinks of a way to solve his problem, will resonate with young children. Christopher Denise’s illustrations, done in pastels and charcoal, provide a soft autumnal backdrop for Root’s spare text. They capture the flavor of the season and closeness of this loving “bear” family.

One fall day, while his parents are doing chores outside, Oliver chases an autumn leaf that is blown by the wind. He follows the big yellow leaf…

down the hill,
around a clumpy bush,
under a tree,
and all the way
to the end of the woods.


Soon enough, Oliver discovers that he is lost. He tries to find his way back home--but the tree he runs to is not the twisty one he had passed before and the bush he runs to is not the clumpy bush he had seen earlier. Oliver’s afraid. He begins to cry…and cry….and cry. But he soon realizes that he’s still lost. He rubs his nose and thinks until he gets an idea. Then he roars and roars and roars--louder and louder and louder--until he hears Mama and Papa roaring back. Oliver is then able to listen to their roars and find his way home.

Note: When I was an elementary librarian, I used the art in Oliver Finds His Way to introduce my youngest students to the concept of setting in picture books. The children could tell just from looking at the endpapers that the story was set out in the country in autumn. Click here to view an illustration from the book.



FLETCHER AND THE FALLING LEAVES
Written by Julia Rawlinson
Illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Greenwillow, 2006


It’s autumn. Fletcher, a young fox, notices that the world around him is changing. Every morning things seem “just a little bit different.”

The rich green of the forest was turning to a dusty gold, and the soft, swishing
sound of summer was fading to a crinkly whisper.

Fletcher becomes worried when his favorite tree begins to look dry and brown. He thinks the tree is sick and expresses concern to his mother. His mother explains that it’s “only autumn” and not to worry. Fletcher runs outside, pats his tree, and tells it that it will feel better soon.

Of course, the leaves on the tree continue to turn brown and fall from the branches. Fletcher catches a falling leaf and reattaches it to his tree--but the wind shakes the leaf loose again.

The next day, a strong wind blows through the forest, and the tree’s leaves are set flying. Fletcher’s upset when he sees a squirrel taking leaves for its nest and a porcupine using the fallen leaves to keep itself warm. Try as he might, Fletcher cannot save his tree from the inevitable. Finally, he clutches the last leaf as it flutters from the tree and takes it home--where he tucks it into a little bed of its own.

The following morning, Fletcher is awed by the sight of his tree, which is now hung with thousands of icicles shimmering in the early morning light. He wonders, though, if the tree is okay and asks: “But are you all right?” Fletcher is relieved when a breeze shivers the branches and the tree makes “a sound like laughter…” The little fox then hugs his tree and returns to his den for a “nice, warm breakfast.”

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves has a longer, more lyrical text than Oliver Finds His Way. Beeke’s soft-edged pastel illustrations capture the tone and setting of this comforting story and deftly convey the change of seasons as autumn turns to winter.


THE LITTLE YELLOW LEAF
Written & illustrated by Carin Berger
Greenwillow, 2008


Carin Berger, who did the “bold” and brilliant collage illustrations for Jack Prelutsky’s Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, hits a high note again with her art in The Little Yellow Leaf. Her illustrations in this book are inventive and striking. Berger even used composition and graph paper as the backdrop for some of her pictures. Her spare illustrations with changing perspectives and her lovely lyrical text partner well in this tale about finding strength in friendship.

The main character of this little allegory is a “Little Yellow Leaf.” It’s autumn. The LYL clings to a branch of “a great oak tree.” I’m not ready yet, thought the Little Yellow Leaf as a riot of fiery leaves chased and swirled round the tree.” No, the leaf isn’t ready to leave its home in the tree--even as the afternoon sun beckons--even…

as apples grew musky,
pumpkins heavy,
and flocks of geese
took wing.


Even when LYL sees that the other leaves have “gathered into heaps, crackly dry, where children played,” it isn’t willing to join them. And it still it isn’t ready to leave its home when a harvest moon blooms in an “amber” sky.

LYL holds fast to its branch through a long, cold night when snow falls. It holds fast as days pass. It looks and looks at the tree--but sees only the “shimmer of snow.” LYL is all alone. At least that’s what it thinks…until one day it spies a “scarlet flash” high up in the tree. It has a comrade! Both had been hesitant to cast off for the unknown. The Little Yellow Leaf and the Scarlet Leaf take courage in each other…set themselves free and soar.

Into the waiting wind they danced…
off and away and away and away.
Together.

I highly recommend these three titles, which will make fine autumn read-alouds.


4 comments:

Terry said...

Hi Elaine, Thanks for adding these books to our post. I can't believe I forgot Oliver Finds His Way. That was a favorite when CJ was a preschooler.

Jules at 7-Imp said...

Oh I just love you, 'cause I've seen those first two books and adore them, but Carin's is new to me and now it's on hold at the library. It looks great. Thanks!

Elaine Magliaro said...

Terry,

OLIVER FINDS HIS WAY is one of my favorite picture books. I love the text and the art.

Jules,

I think you'll like THE LITTLE YELLOW LEAF. The book came highly recommended to me by my friend who owns a children's book shop. She was formerly a children's librarian. I think Berger's art is really interesting.

said...

借錢,黃金,黃金回收,黃金價格,黃金買賣,當舖

A片,A片,成人網站,成人影片,色情,情色網,情色,AV,AV女優,成人影城,成人,色情A片,日本AV,免費成人影片,成人影片,SEX,免費A片,A片下載,免費A片下載,做愛,情色A片,色情影片,H漫,A漫,18成人

a片,色情影片,情色電影,a片,色情,情色網,情色,av,av女優,成人影城,成人,色情a片,日本av,免費成人影片,成人影片,情色a片,sex,免費a片,a片下載,免費a片下載,成人網站,做愛,自拍

情趣用品,情趣,A片,AIO,AV,AV女優,A漫,免費A片,AIO交友愛情館,愛情公寓,情色,情色貼圖,色情小說,情色小說,情色文學,色情,寄情築園小遊戲,色情遊戲,嘟嘟情人色網,一葉情貼圖片區,情色論壇,色情影片,微風成人,嘟嘟成人網,成人,18成人,成人影城,成人圖片區,成人圖片,成人貼圖,UT聊天室,聊天室,豆豆聊天室,哈啦聊天室,尋夢園聊天室,聊天室尋夢園,視訊聊天室,視訊聊天

麻將,台灣彩卷,六合彩開獎號碼,運動彩卷,六合彩,線上遊戲,矽谷麻將,明星3缺一,橘子町,麻將大悶鍋,台客麻將,公博,game,,中華職棒,麗的線上小遊戲,國士無雙麻將,麻將館,賭博遊戲,威力彩,威力彩開獎號碼,龍龍運動網,史萊姆,史萊姆好玩遊戲,史萊姆第一個家,史萊姆好玩遊戲區,樂透彩開獎號碼,遊戲天堂,好玩遊戲,遊戲基地,無料遊戲王,好玩遊戲區,麻將遊戲,好玩遊戲區,小遊戲,遊戲區,電玩快打,cs online