The Little Yellow Leaf

( 7 )

Overview

As all the other leaves float off and fly past, Little Yellow Leaf thinks, I'm not ready yet.

As the seasons change all around, Little Yellow Leaf holds on to the tree. Still not ready.

Will Little Yellow Leaf ever be ready?

This is a story for anyone who has ever been afraid of facing the unknown—and a celebration of the friends who help us take the leap.

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Overview

As all the other leaves float off and fly past, Little Yellow Leaf thinks, I'm not ready yet.

As the seasons change all around, Little Yellow Leaf holds on to the tree. Still not ready.

Will Little Yellow Leaf ever be ready?

This is a story for anyone who has ever been afraid of facing the unknown—and a celebration of the friends who help us take the leap.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

David Barringer
Carin Berger, the author and illustrator, allows the raw materials of her collages to show through, including the lines of graph paper and the type of newspapers and old books. Notebook paper brings schoolwork to mind, but with scissors Berger transforms the stuff of homework into art. Adults will note with satisfaction the snipping-up of receipts and water-meter readings. The creases and stains and faded edges suggest a nice parallel between aging paper and aging leaves. Berger's technique is a great relief compared with the glossy slickness of computer illustration: Readers will understand that it's O.K. to let imperfections show. The visibly hand-crafted look should inspire kids to race to the art room and say, "I can do this."
—The New York Times
Children's Literature - Debra Lampert-Rudman
A beautiful tribute to those special friends who stand by our side when we are finally ready to leap into something new, Carin Berger's latest picture book leaves the reader feeling like she has gently fallen into a fresh pile of leaves. Elegant collages comprised of scraps of ephemera, used catalogs, and even ticket stubs create a warm, woodsy feel complementing the book's spare text. "Not ready" the Little Yellow Leaf muses while autumn leaves drop all around him. "Not ready" he thinks as snow falls and he is left all alone. Or so he thinks until he notices a soul mate, a Little Scarlet Leaf who has also held on tightly high up in the tree. Finally, they decide together to leap into the great unknown, creating beautiful script "L" patterns in the sky above a human pair of skating friends. Easily enjoyed by both children and adults, the youngest listeners/readers will enjoy the "not ready" refrain and the luminous colors, while adults will appreciate the sophisticated illustrations and perhaps recognize themselves in the leaves' hopeful journey. Reviewer: Debra Lampert-Rudman
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 2

The human capacity for volition and fear of the unknown is central to this tale. A lone yellow leaf clings to a giant oak tree and watches the unfolding drama of winter's approach, refusing to let go of his branch. A "riot of fiery leaves" swirls to the ground, apples grow "musky" and pumpkins ripen, geese fly south, and eventually snow flurries fill the air, but still the leaf holds fast. Finally, he spies a small scarlet leaf attached high above that invites him to let go. Together, they soar away and join in a dance with the wind. In Berger's eye-catching collage illustrations, pieced background papers in shades of yellow, green, blue, and beige show off stylized forms of naked tree branches, leaves, and sun created by clipping and pasting (sometimes tiny) segments of various papers-faded, lined ledger, and graph paper; colored and printed magazine pages-and adding touches of paint. It seems the message to be inferred from this slight anthropomorphic tale is that feelings of indecision can be overcome by heeding the encouragement of another. Some parents may be inclined to disagree.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, Ohio

Kirkus Reviews
Beautifully designed and executed, this modest fable anthropomorphizes a leaf who hangs onto his oak branch far into the winter. When he discovers another late-lingering leaf on his tree, both agree to let go at once and dance away in the wind together. The brief text has a modestly elegant beauty and patterning that makes it a delight to read aloud (with one unfortunate adverbial faux pas: "the / sun / sank / slow"). The handsomely designed collage compositions are showstoppers in a palette of earth and sky, sometimes on a subtle background of paint over graph or notebook paper. They take full advantage of the visual bounty of autumn, which will be a delight in many preschool storytimes. However, the implicit moral of taking courage from a friend may be over some children's heads. They might wonder, as well, what exactly happens to the brave little leaves after they drift out of sight into the cold winter sky. (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061452239
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/26/2008
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 163,653
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 11.30 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. Her cut-paper collages are made using ephemera, such as catalogues, old books, receipts, letters, and ticket stubs. In a starred review, Kirkus said of her Forever Friends, "Sophisticated, sensitive, and accessible, this picture book will offer new insights and pleasures with each season." The Little Yellow Leaf was a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books selection, and in a starred review, Publishers Weekly called her A Perfect Day "lovely." She is also the illustrator of the acclaimed Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, both by Jack Prelutsky, among other books. She lives with her family in New York City.

Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. Her cut-paper collages are made using ephemera, such as catalogues, old books, receipts, letters, and ticket stubs. In a starred review, Kirkus said of her Forever Friends, "Sophisticated, sensitive, and accessible, this picture book will offer new insights and pleasures with each season." The Little Yellow Leaf was a 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books selection, and in a starred review, Publishers Weekly called her A Perfect Day "lovely." She is also the illustrator of the acclaimed Stardines Swim High Across the Sky and Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, both by Jack Prelutsky, among other books. She lives with her family in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 22, 2010

    simple art work, but i really liked it

    too simple for my kids

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    touching and beautiful on many levels

    the little yellow leaf is touching and beautiful on many levels. it really captures the nostalgic feeling of fall and combines it with the fear of change, and the need to let go and trust that everything will be ok. visually, it¿s exquisite. thoughtfulness is alive in every aspect of the book, from the minute details iin each illustration, to the carefully selected words which perfectly convey the feelings of the little trepid leaf, to the encouraging and hopeful message that¿s conveyed. i love this book. it opens my heart.

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    Posted May 6, 2010

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    Posted November 28, 2008

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    Posted November 8, 2008

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