A Leaf Can Be . . .

A Leaf Can Be . . .

5.0 2
by Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija

A leaf can be a . . .
Shade spiller
Mouth filler
Tree topper
Rain stopper

Find out about the many roles leaves play in this poetic exploration of leaves throughout the year.See more details below

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A leaf can be a . . .
Shade spiller
Mouth filler
Tree topper
Rain stopper

Find out about the many roles leaves play in this poetic exploration of leaves throughout the year.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Salas explores the many functions a leaf can serve with simple grace. “A leaf is a leaf—/ a bit of a tree./ But when cool days come chasing,/ it can also be a... Lake glider/ Wind rider/ Pile grower/ Hill glow-er/ Frost catcher/ Moth matcher.” Dabija bathes her mixed-media scenes in a fuzzy glow, creating a welcoming environment in every spread. Leaves serve as a “Bat shelter” in a rainforest enclave, and as a “Ground warmer” in a snowy, mint green clearing. Appended notes elaborate upon the poetic descriptions, providing more insight into the integral roles that leaves play in life cycles. Ages 5�8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Mary Quattlebaum
In this lyrical paean to leaves, author Laura Purdie Salas uses the imagery, rhyme and rhythm of poetry to describe, with complete yet whimsical accuracy, the many functions of a leaf. As the seasons change, a leaf changes from the "soft cradle" and "water ladle" of spring to the "wind rider" and "lake glider" of fall. Beautiful paintings by Violetta Dabija capture the energy and color of the seasons, from the tender exuberance of spring to the brown and orange hues of autumn to the quiet frost-speckled sepia tones of winter. Salas extends her minimal text with back matter that includes additional information about leaves and a list of resources. This book is sure to open a child's eyes to the wonder of the natural world. Reviewer: Mary Quattlebaum
Kirkus Reviews
A leaf's various purposes are contemplated in this gentle celebration of nature. Fresh leaves burst forth in Salas' opening stanza, followed by two- to four-word couplets listing a leaf's many functions. This pattern continues for fall and winter, allowing her rhymed verse to reinforce the cyclical nature of the seasons. What pours forth in free-association–like fashion is sometimes poetic ("Wind rider / Lake glider"), oftentimes purposeful ("Air cleaner / Earth greener") and mostly playful ("Frost catcher / "Moth matcher"). Dabija's soft, ethereal illustrations lend a warmth and vibrancy to the text. Her palette, dictated by the weather, is full of lush greens, sultry browns, golden yellows and dusky blues. Through heavy use of the computer, she layers textures into varied patterns and shapes, giving each illustration an organic feel. While this effect is skillfully used on the backgrounds, it is less effective on the primary objects, leaving people and animals to appear pasted in, rather than integrated into the artwork. Compositionally, the images are nicely designed, but since one does not visually lead to the next, they are more like tableaux than a continuous visual narrative. An addendum explaining the author's word choices (what does she mean by "mouth filler"?) is included, as well as a suggested reading list and glossary. Simple and pleasing, with classroom-discussion and read-aloud appeal. (Picture book. 5-8)
Pamela Paul
Dabija…saturates her pictures with lush color. Of course, there is lots of green but also dusty orange, misty lavender and deep mustard, in what is as much an exploration of the variation of color as it is of nature's changeability.
—The New York Times

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Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.50(d)
AD170L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 90 poetry and nonfiction books for kids. Her titles include Bookspeak!: Poems about Books and Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School. Laura knows leaves can be many things. She has turned them into umbrellas, Barbie clothes, love notes, tiaras, fans, and artwork. She lives with her family in Minnesota and watches the leaves change throughout the seasons.

Violeta Dabija has illustrated more than 25 children's books. She enjoys combining traditional and digital techniques to create delicate and atmospheric illustrations. She lives in Chisinau, Moldova—a beautiful city where springtime is more enchanting than anywhere else. Violeta draws her inspiration from the sound of the breeze through the green branches, the smell of the warm spring rain, and the birds singing on blossoming trees.

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