Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson, pictures by Tiphanie Beeke.
This autumnal title is quite charming. Fletcher is a fox who has a favorite tree. But he is very worried about it because the leaves are turning brown and starting to fall off. He tries his best to reattache leaves, but they just keep on being taken off by the wind. A flock of birds even helps him, but to no avail. When the last leaf finally falls off into Fletcher’s hand, he is distraught and takes the leaf home to keep warm and safe. The next very cold morning Fletcher heads out to the tree and discovers that it has become even more lovely.
The text of the book changes from narrative to poetic and flowing in places, easing the reader through the magic of the season. It is the illustrations that make the book really sing from the deep autumn colors to the swirling wind and finally the icicles on the tree. It is a visual journey through a changing season that is emotional and evocative.
Add this one to your fall storytimes as well as any tree or plant themed ones. It also makes a great home-read for a preschooler as you snuggle together under the covers.
Nothing to Do by Douglas Wood, illustrated by Wendy Anderson Halperin.
This is a book all about how great it is to have absolutely nothing to do. Get away from children who use the word BORED far too much and instead treat them to a new way of viewing free time. As freedom itself. The text by Wood is lovely, open-ended and freeing, offering so many ways to spend time that are expansive and imaginative. My favorite page is: “Or building a fort, a secret place where no one can see you because you can’t see them. And surviving for hours on peanut-butter sandwiches and lemonade.” Brings back all sorts of lovely summer afternoons spent in the tall grass behind the house.
The illustrations lend themselves to the subject with dreamy but deep colors that evoke all sorts of memories. Based on different patterns found in nature, the pictures are in panels offering all sorts of ideas of special ways to spend these found moments of time.
This is exactly the book that rushed children need. Shut off those video games, turn off the TV, and just dream.
Beyond the Blackstump is one of the sites I visit to discover new places online. It is an Australian directory of sites. So imagine my surprise as I read the updates for September 3rd and discovered that they included this blog! What a treat to see it listed and recommended. I just love these little web shocks as I surf around.