Monday, March 26, 2018

Leaf

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      When new books come in to the library, there is a moment when several staff members begin to ooh and aah about the beautiful picture books. Then they bring them to my desk. Leaf is one of those books. Author/ illustrator Sandra Dieckmann has produced a work of incredible artistry that embraces the power of story and the magic of the animal world, along with a message about disappearing ice caps and the effect of global warming on living things.
       A polar bear has arrived in a place far away from home, called the wild woods. The animals who live there are fearful of this large white creature covered with leaves, and so they name him LEAF. The name also contains the suggestion: they want him to leave. Eventually, as in many animal tales, the animals gather to decide what to do with him, The crows suggest talking to him, but none of the animals agree.  It is only after Leaf bounds out of a cave and jumps into the ocean, getting thrown by waves onto the beach, that the crows insist everyone must hear his story. He is lost, having floated far away from his home where the ice was melting.The good crows decide to join forces and fly him home, and the others promise to tell Leaf's story " to anyone who would listen, so that no polar bear would ever get lost again."
        This is a classic teaching story for today's children, with images that pulse with color and shapes. This is Sandra Dieckmann's only book in our catalog. I strongly recommend this for families with children of preschool and early elementary ages and for any person who loves art and animal fables.

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