Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Leaf Can Be

Sniff sniff sniff tiny stifled sob.

I know.  It’s very sad that this is the last Perfect Picture Book Friday until September 7.  I’m going to miss it, too, but I think we will all find the break refreshing (and hopefully it will give me time to catch up and improve!)

And to make you feel a little better, I made this delicious summer strawberry shortcake just for you

(and yes you can have as many slices as you like!)  In addition, I’m sharing a lovely summery book (well, it can be any season, really, but it looks so green and summery that I’m sticking with summery :))

A Leaf Can Be
Written By: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrated By: Violetta Dabija
Millbrook Press, February 2012, Fiction based on fact

Suitable For: ages 3-8

Themes/Topics: nature, seasons, poetry

Opening:  “A leaf is a leaf
It bursts out each spring
when sunny days linger
and orioles sing.
A leaf can be a…
soft cradle
water ladle
Sun taker
Food maker…”

Brief Synopsis: a simple rhyming story that shows all the many things a leaf can be.

Links To Resources: the back of the book has lots of facts about leaves, showing how they can be all the things mentioned in the book.  There is also a small glossary.  Take a walk and see how many different kinds of leaves you can find.  What could your leaves be used for?  Leaf Activities.  What else can you look at in different ways?

Why I Like This Book:  The quietness of this book encourages children to really think about all the different things leaves can be and in turn encourages children to stretch their imaginations about how other everyday objects might be used in different ways.  The poetry is gentle with pretty images.  The information in the back adds a lot to the learning potential of the book.  And the art in this book is absolutely luminous.  It just glows.  It is the perfect art for the text making for an altogether magical reading experience.

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

For the next 2 Fridays before Summer Short & Sweets begins, we will be having a miniseries (and when I say mini I mean mini because 2 is about as mini as you can go and still call it a series :)) on self-publishing.  Self-pubishing is becoming a more viable and more attractive option, so I thought you might find it interesting to hear from a couple folks who have chosen it.  I find what they have to say very enlightening and I hope you will too!

Now, I know you’re probably going to fall off your chairs, and I’m probably forgetting something and I’ll have to amend this hastily, but I don’t have anything else to add today.  Just goes to show that sometimes even the long-winded can be… well… short-winded, I guess 🙂

PPB bloggers, please add your post-specific links below, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Happy Father’s Day to the dads in our group!  And tune in Monday for a special treat – a guest post from the one and only Joanna Marple all about the process of working with uTales!!!

69 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Leaf Can Be

  1. Clarike Bowman-Jahn says:

    Thanks for the cream cake! It looks delicious! I took two pieces since there aren't any calories in digital food. I had that and my chocolate cream pie. 🙂

    “A Leaf Can Be” sounds perfect for long summer eves when the kids can read story after story before bed.

    Looking forward to your mini series on self publishing. There are a lot of folks going this route. 🙂

  2. Robyn Campbell says:

    *nom nom* I think that's the best *nom nom* cake ever!

    Er, you're not sick, I hope?? I mean. That's all you had to say?? *wink*

    This book looks beautiful! Perfect for trying to stretch the little ones imaginations. Great leaf activities.

    The self-publishing route is NOT for me, but I know so many who are. Never say never??


  3. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Mmm! Strawberry shortcake and chocolate cream pie would complement each other beautifully 🙂 Glad you like the sound of the book – it's lovely. And I agree that the world of self-publishing is really opening up, so I'm excited to share these upcoming posts.

  4. Heather Newman says:

    That is a luscious green book cover. Beautiful! I'm looking forward to Monday's post with Joanna, she has me mightily intrigued about uTales.

  5. Erik The Great says:

    I like the idea of this book. Such creativity! I can't wait to read your mini mini series and get an idea of what Summer Short & Sweets is. Have fun on your college tour! 🙂

  6. Angela Brown says:

    That strawberry shortcake looks divine. And virtually tasting it just added five pounds to my hips.

    All worth it 🙂

    What a very beautiful PPBF choice. And like a leaf, PPBF bows out gracefully, ready to return when things for it begin again.

  7. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the cake and the book 🙂 And thanks for your concern – not sick, just very busy (planning and executing a summer of college visits on top of all the normal activities of everyday life in a large family) and I confess I was tired last night when I wrote this post! 🙂 I never thought self-publishing was for me either, but I think it's important to keep an open mind. You never know…

  8. Stina Lindenblatt says:

    Um, you lost me with the picture of the cake. *goes off to find cake for breakfast*

    That book looks so pretty. Makes me wish I was an illustrator.

  9. TracyBermeo says:

    That strawberry shortcake was so much better than the yogurt I was going to have! Thanks for sharing such a wonderful breakfast. I love leaves at any time of year other than spring when they make me sneeze and this looks like another great book. Thanks Susanna. I'm looking forward to the mini-series and all the other fabulousness you have planned for the summer.

  10. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Glad you like the book, Erik, and hope you'll enjoy the self-publishing interviews. I can't wait to find out what Short & Sweets is either 🙂 And I think the summer of college touring may bring us to PA this coming week – for the first of 2 or 3 times – there are a lot of good colleges in PA!

  11. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, I'm so glad you're coming! Cake is always better with a friend, and of course there is plenty left 🙂 Also, I would like to point out that Strawberry Shortcake constitutes a healthy breakfast since it has fruit (strawberries) and calcium and protein (whipped cream :))

  12. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know, isn't it? The whole book is just gorgeous. I had an interior shot I was going to put in the post and I forgot it. Sorry! Have a lovely Father's Day weekend – hope you found something good for your dad – I'm still working on it – nothing like getting right down to the wire 🙂

  13. patientdreamer says:

    YOU made that beautiful strawberry shortcake…. YOU!!? Wow!yum I just had to have a piece before I toodle off to bed…mmm…lol.
    The book you have chosen is very sweet and I was thinking as I read your post, it being winter now here, if I ran outside and along a couple of streets I could pick up many beautiful autumn coloured leaves off the ground from what is left of the autumn (fall as you call it) season. It would make a great book for all seasons… mmm..

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know, right? At least you're a photographer – I've got nothing in the visual area 🙂 On the important topic of cake, as I just pointed out to Iza, strawberry shortcake is totally a healthy breakfast – strawberries, calcium, protein – we're covering the nutritional bases 🙂

  15. Miranda Paul says:

    Thanks for the cake! Now come on over and eat some of my hummus pizza…and a new kind of pizza every wednesday. You can have as many slices as you want, too!

    Great book, by the way!!

    I am also sad about PPBF, though I'll still be posting a book along with my pizza every Wednesday for the Summer of Pizza (around the world).

    Oh – and a complete side note – I met Phyllis's cousin, Betty, at our local wildlife sanctuary last week on a school field trip. 🙂 Photos are on FB.

  16. Beth Stilborn says:

    A leaf can be — a very lovely sounding book. Thank you for this gentle ending to the PPBF season and beginning of the summer season.

    The strawberry shortcake looks luscious! Thank you!

    I have enjoyed PPBF so much. Although it will refresh us all to have a break, it will be so good to get back to it in the fall. Thank you, Susanna, for all you do!

  17. Kirsten Larson says:

    I'm going to miss PPBF, but will welcome the break. And I'm sure my local librarian will appreciate the fact that I won't have 30 books on hold for a while. I love the simple poetry of your book recommendation, Susanna. What a great story for inspiring creativity and imagination.

  18. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    What a lovely book, Susanna! Children love leaves…I've used them for lessons on diversity and kids can really “get it” when they observe that leaves are all unique…beautiful…just like people.:)
    I'm looking forward to the mini-series on self-publishing…so many more people are doing it (Show Me How was self-published), and there are so many mistakes you don't have to make if you have good info.
    I don't know how you will “improve”, Susanna…you are already providing us with a stellar blog!

  19. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I was over to sample your pizza hours ago and posted what looked like the first comment of the day – probably completely incoherent pre coffee 🙂 I must go see Betty! I didn't even know Phyllis HAD a cousin named Betty!

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    And thank YOU, Beth 🙂 Although it's a necessity to put PPBF on hiatus, I am sad to let it go, even for a couple months, and I truly hope everyone will still visit on Fridays or else I will miss you all so much! 🙂

  21. Tiltonph says:

    A beautiful, inviting book. I love the gentle rhyme. And, I can imagine how a parent could use it as a teaching moment. I want this one.

  22. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I sense that you are questioning my cooking skills (rightly so :)) but I actually can make strawberry shortcake after a fashion – I just cheat and use lady fingers for the cake part 🙂 Leaves are lovely and there are lots of fun and beautiful things you can do with them. I hope they have given you a PB idea 🙂 Night night 🙂

  23. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It won't take you long 🙂 It has about 4 words 🙂 (I'm exaggerating of course – it has more than 4 – but Laura is a master of telling the story in spare poetry – something I need to learn! :))

  24. bgruener says:

    No calories in cyberspace I suppose . . . the cake picture makes me hungry for fresh strawberries, which are in season up here in WI right now! Thanks for another intriguing book pick; like fresh berries, fresh new titles have a delicious appeal to me! And, though I hate that you have to “leaf” PPBF for a spell, it just makes me all that much more eager for September 7th. Thanks again for an amazing resource.


  25. Jackie says:

    My son loves A Leaf Can Be. Such a great book. Thanks for the cake! And also for all your work doing this blog and organizing PPBF! I've learned a lot from fellow bloggers, writers, teachers and parents. It's fun to find a community of people interested in the same things…writing for kids and great art. Cuz really, writers are artists!

  26. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You're too kind, Vivian! And I had no idea Show Me How was self-published – I will be emailing you at once! – someone missed the boat on that one! Love your idea about using leaves to celebrate diversity!!!

  27. Amy Dixon says:

    I have enjoyed being a part of PPBF so much! It has helped me develop a rhythm and pattern with my blogging that was much needed. It also has given me an outlet for talking about all of my favorite picture books, and what could be better than that? I have ambitions of actually writing a few PPBF posts over the summer and having them on hand for those weeks when things get crazy. We'll see! Thanks and have a wonderful break, Susanna…it is much-deserved!

  28. Beth Stilborn says:

    I am told that my grandmother used to make strawberry shortcake with scones/baking powder biscuits. I think they'd be delectable. In fact, practically any cake is improved upon with strawberries and whipped cream or ice cream…

  29. Beth Stilborn says:

    You couldn't keep us away if you tried! (I'll be away for a couple of weeks in July, but in terms of “real” distance, I'll be closer than ever to you… so close and yet so far.)

  30. Penny Klostermann says:

    Your book sounds great! I can't wait to look over the list, but am on a trip and paying for my Internet time. I did have to check in with all of you because I'm so sad that I didn't have time to contribute to today's PPBF! I just flat ran out of time! But I look forward to Summer Shorts and Sweets!

  31. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I will also be traveling in July! Maybe we will pass each other!

    Beth Stilborn (unregistered) wrote, in response to Susanna Leonard Hill:

    You couldn't keep us away if you tried! (I'll be away for a couple of weeks in July, but in terms of “real” distance, I'll be closer than ever to you… so close and yet so far.)

    User's website
    Link to comment

  32. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    There will certainly not be any time off! 🙂 And I will still be posting on Fridays – just not PPBF – the updating takes more time than I have this summer. I hope you'll still come by on Fridays and join us for Summer Short & Sweets 🙂

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