A Leaf Can Be... (Library Binding)

By Laura Purdie Salas, Violeta Dabija (Illustrator)

Millbrook Press (Tm), 9780761362036, 32pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2012

List Price: 17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


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.

Praise For A Leaf Can Be...

Publishers Weekly (01/09/2012):

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.) Copyright 2012 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews (01/15/2012):

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) COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

School Library Journal (03/01/2012):

K-Gr 2--In a simple rhyming text, Salas examines the ways that leaves play a part in our world's ecosystem. They can softly cradle moths, act as a water ladle for animals, shade people and creatures, shelter from the rainfall, provide meals, clean the air, warm the ground, etc. The rhyme is a bit forced at times, but the acrylic-and-ink folk-art-like illustrations are charming and help to balance out that shortcoming. Dabija uses greens and oranges with a smattering of other colors that complement her palette. With a spare text and full-page illustrations, the book has a layout that can be successfully used in storytime presentations. A lovely observation about nature, suitable for a variety of science units or individual sharing.--"Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA" Copyright 2012 Reed Business Information.