Leaves

Leaves by David Ezra Stein.

There are so many lovely fall books, but this one should be added to your collection.  A bear is enjoying his first year.  He is loving everything until the leaves begin to fall.  He tries to put them back, but it isn’t the same.  So he sits and watches the leaves fall until he grows sleepy and goes to hibernate in a hole filled with dry leaves.  When he comes back out in spring, he sees the buds of leaves on the trees and once again is filled with joy at the world.

The language here is so very simple but powerful.  Words are used in ways that allow you to feel their resonance, yet stay welcoming for children.  In fact, the language is so simple and brief that toddlers will enjoy the book, but I would also share it with four and five year olds.  The illustrations add to the power of the book with some illustrations left without words so that they stand on their own, underlining the silence of winter as well as the glory of the falling leaves.  I especially appreciate the use of color as the seasons change so that the oranges and yellows of autumn become the whiteness of winter and then the green of spring.  The illustrations echo the words because they too are simple but powerful.

If you are looking for a great fall book, try this one.  Perfect for days in October when the leaves are blowing around, children are treasuring the ones with bright colors, and the touch of winter is felt.