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I had great expectations after reading the reviews but was so disappointed I actually returned it (the first time I’ve ever returned a book). The text is uninspiring and didn’t hold my children’s attention for a single page. It’s also very American, which makes it a poor fit for children learning about British nature and seasonal changes. The pictures are attractive but very similar throughout the book (changes to the colour of the leaves, which I appreciated far more than my children!). I really feel that this book is massively overrated.
As a book from 2005 I was a bit surprised that it was still only available in hardback and thought that it was fairly expensive for a child's book, but this book is amazing and definitely value for money. It is so much more than yet another Autumn story. It is a simple tale that captures the imaginations of the young and old, initially everyone wanted to know what happens next and turning the pages that are cut into the scenery is fun and eye catching, but it is the incredible illustrations that make this book a must read. Lois Ehlert has really shown that you can use any media to create a picture (my favourite by far is the leaf cow), the colours, the patterns and the shapes are so clear they almost jump out of the book at you. By the end of it you really do want to go out and play in the leaves and make your own characters. The book is set in America but the theme carries across the Atlantic nicely, making it an ideal teaching tool for an early years class, key stage 1 children or any forest school or outdoor setting. It can also be enjoyed by older children and grandparents too. It is also worth remembering that this was written before Julia Donaldson's Stickman as the themes do overlap, and I would highly recommend both books as they nicely compliment each other.
I ordered this book along with many others to fit in with an Autumn theme at school and it is such a beautiful book. My daughter now can't wait until Autumn so she can find her own 'leaf man' - I hope my pupils will feel the same!
Ideal for all ages of children (my class are 4 to 5 year olds, my daughter is 10) as the way it is written can be interpreted at different levels.
Lovely book and the children in school have loved looking at the different pictures. There isn't much of a story line but then pictures are so beautiful and allow children to use their imagination. The cover of my book was slightly ripped hence the lower star rating.