Leaves

By the same author as Interrupting Chicken, David Ezra Stein‘s Leaves is a short, simple paen to fall. Publishers Weekly: “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.” Giggle factor: not applicable. Adult enjoyment: likely. Illustrations: four jelly jars.

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~ by kaychubbuck on December 5, 2011.

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