Leaves by David Ezra Stein is a simple but absolutely adorable book about a little bear who lives happily on a small island--"a place readers will wish they could visit" (Publisher's Weekly) --but during his first autumn season, he sees leaves falling from the trees and is confused. He asks the trees "Are you okay?" and even tries to put the leaves back on, but it's not working. As he ponders the situation, he grows increasingly sleepy and before long he's hibernating through winter. When he awakens, he is delighted to see new spring leaves unfolding on the trees.
Stein's illustrations are so charming and endearing that we guarantee that children (and adults) will take to this book on the first reading!
"Teachers will find this book a natural for units on
leaves or hibernation, and children will enjoy seeing fall anew through
the eyes of a big- hearted character more innocent than themselves." (Booklist, starred review)
Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 2
DRA Level: 12
Lexile Measure: AD180L
Guided Reading Level: G
Read-Aloud vs. Individual Reading:
For kids in preschool, Kindergarten, and most of first grade, this book will need to be a read-aloud rather than for individual reading, as children generally do not read on the reading level (difficulty level) of this book until the middle of first grade. The majority of second graders should be able to read this book independently.
Below are sample spreads from inside this cute book. "Created with bamboo pen, the energetic, sensitive drawings are tinted
with subtle shades of color. Just as Stein uses white space effectively
in the art, he uses "white space" well in the spare, precise text,
leaving some details for children to notice in the pictures alone, such
as how the leaves have been stuck back on the trees by spearing them
onto the living twigs." (Booklist, starred review)
This book is such a fun lead-in for so many great autumn art and/or writing projects. Since we live somewhere that has LOTS of colorful autumn foliage, we read this book each year before we do an art project with actual fall leaves. But, you don't need real leaves to do a fun fall art project. Most teachers and parents know about tissue paper fall crafts, but that doesn't mean it's "old news" for kids. It's new to them, and they LOVE it! It's such a
fun activity to do after reading this cute, simple story about fall. Here's one write up of that activity (in case you are unfamiliar with it).: Leaves by David Ezra Stein activity