Little Tree loves his leaves so much that he refuses to let them go.
In the cool autumn breezes, all the trees’ leaves turn beautiful colors and then begin to drop. But Little Tree can’t imagine living without his leaves and hugs them tight even when they turn brown and winter arrives. The fox, deer, dove, and the other animals are puzzled by Little Tree’s odd behavior. They are kind and sympathetic and try to encourage him, but he can’t bring himself to let go. He is not defiant or overtly determined not to grow up, but as the seasons pass, he remains fearful of dropping his leaves. His reluctance messes with his growth cycle and leaves him stunted and brown while all the surrounding trees grow tall and majestic. Little Tree finally realizes that he has been left behind and lets go of the leaves, allowing him to grow and accept change in order to reach his destiny. Long is sparing with the text, keeping it simple and beautifully descriptive. Little Tree is allowed to make his own decisions without any hint of disapproval or judgment. Brilliantly colored illustrations done in acrylic, ink, and pencil stand out on bright white pages, with Little Tree taking the center position in each double-page spread.
Tender and gentle and altogether lovely. (Picture book. 4-8)