This is a sweet little book called Leaves, by David Ezra Stein. My copy is a small board book, which I particularly love for this story. The book is very simple, with sparse text, and is very enjoyable to read and admire. I find myself reaching for this one often as I read to our young daughter.
Summary: The main character is a young bear who is experiencing the world anew. Everything is great, until the first leaf falls.
Poor bear is distraught by the change that comes but quickly discovers his part in the changing of the seasons. He slumbers and then greets the world all over again come spring.
Thoughts: I’m particularly drawn to this book because it is short and sweet, and is accompanied by vibrant images that definitely feel like fall.
The discussion of the changing of the seasons is subtle, which I feel reflects the understanding of this book’s intended audience. Fall comes in softly, surprises us with color and a changing landscape, and it helps us settle in for a warm winter only to be awakened and refreshed for spring.
The images are delightful, rendered in what I assume to be pen and ink with a watercolor wash. There is a lot of movement among the lack of detail. I just want to hug that sweet little bear!
Notes about the book: It was published in 2007 by Putnam and looks to be available in different formats. Amazon notes it as being appropriate for ages 1 and up, but I think all ages will appreciate it on different levels. My baby loves to look at it and sits through the short story quite well.
About the creator(s): The author/illustrator, David Ezra Stein, I’m not very familiar with, except for his 2011 Caldecott Honor winner, Interrupting Chicken (here’s the book trailer). I’ll definitely be looking for more of his books as this one has become so endearing to me already.
Cuddle up with Leaves and welcome in this lovely season!