Lois Ehlert's Leaf Man
Children's book review by Sarah Denslow
I woke up this morning to find that the temperature had dropped about twenty degrees overnight. With this sudden arrival of fall, I’m reminded of Lois Ehlert’s beautifully illustrated celebration of Autumn.
In Leaf Man, Ehlert uses her classic collage style to create images out of leaves. Initially, the leaves form the shape of a man in the narrator’s yard. (Webmaster's note: Take a close look at the cover image!) However, a man made of leaves has to go where the wind blows, and soon the leaf man flies out of the yard.
The following pages consist of possible locations the leaves man may be. Maybe he blew over the chicken coop...
Or into the river. Or through a forest. The fun comes in seeing what creatures and scenes the leaves form on each page. When the leaf fellow might be blowing over the chicken coop, the leaves are shaped like hens. In the river, they’re shaped like fish.
Leaf Man is a book that is full of surprises, and it’s worth taking time over the pictures to catch all the details. The first time I read the book, I read through it far too quickly and actually got through the entire book without noticing that the leaves were more than just leaves – but it serves me right for just looking at the words and not the pictures.
The back of the book shows different leaves and identifies what trees they come from. I’ve always found this book to be the perfect companion to fall nature walks and collages for my preschool students. However, even if there aren’t many fall leaves where you live, Leaf Man is an entertaining and beautiful book to share with children.
More books about the seasons.
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