LEAF MAN

Ehlert’s vision and invention do not fail in this clever look at leaves in all their fall glory. “A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows” is the refrain, beginning with a recumbent figure made of leaves, with acorns for eyes and a sweet-gum mouth. Ehlert makes all of these marvelous pictures with color photocopies of leaves: the chickens, the fields of pumpkins and squash, the cows and the fish in the lakes that Leaf Man passes over. She further enhances the textured-and-painted-paper background by die-cut edges on the tops of most of the oversized double-paged spreads featuring scalloped rolling hills, pinked sheared meadows and curved rivers. Leaf Man makes his journey, ending in a tumble of leaves with potential for another figure. Beguiled young readers and listeners will be further entranced by the endpapers where Ehlert names the leaves (different on front and back) and the dust jacket where she identifies unknown leaves by place of origin. Excellent to read aloud and to look at many times over. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-15-205304-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2005

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JOHNNY APPLESEED

Though she never says outright that he was a real person, Kurtz introduces newly emergent readers to the historical John Chapman, walking along the Ohio, planting apple seeds, and bartering seedlings to settlers for food and clothing. Haverfield supplies the legendary portions of his tale, with views of a smiling, stylishly ragged, clean-shaven young man, pot on head, wildlife on shoulder or trailing along behind. Kurtz caps her short, rhythmic text with an invitation to “Clap your hands for Johnny Chapman. / Clap your hands for Johnny Appleseed!” An appealing way to open discussions of our country’s historical or legendary past. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 5-6)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2004

ISBN: 0-689-85958-9

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2004

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UNDER THE SNOW

A snow-covered countryside may look barren of life, but Stewart’s quiet text takes readers under the blanket of white to “a hidden world” where ladybugs sleep en masse and voles tunnel from tree to tree, where a wood frog freezes safely solid and bluegills and waterboatmen share frigid waters, where a turtle lies buried in mud and “even on the coldest winter days, red-spotted newts dodge and dart, whiz and whirl just below the ice.” Bergum’s equally quiet watercolors spread across the pages in panels that offer cross-sections and magnified details to give readers glimpses of the world beneath the snow. Their precision lends a dignity and beauty even to a sleeping centipede and a barbeled carp. Readers will come away with an appreciation for the adaptability and endurance of the animal world. (Informational picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-1-56145-493-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2009

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