Perfect Picture Book Friday – Leaf Man

Wahoo!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Is there anything more fun for a picture book writer or illustrator, a parent, a teacher, or a child then the prospect of diving into a pile of great picture books?

I didn’t think so 🙂

Unless maybe it’s the prospect of diving into a pile of great picture books with a cup of hot chocolate near to hand (though not quite near enough to get kicked over during the diving :))

I have a gorgeous book to share with you today.  Get ready to have your breath taken away by this thing of beauty! 🙂

Title: Leaf Man
Written & Illustrated By: Lois Ehlert
Harcourt, September 2005, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: seasons (autumn), nature, imagination

Opening: “Leaf Man used to live near me, in a pile of leaves.  But yesterday the wind blew Leaf Man away.

Brief Synopsis: From the publisher: “Fall has come, the wind is gusting, and Leaf Man is on the move. Is he drifting east, over the marsh and ducks and geese? Or is he heading west, above the orchards, prairie meadows, and spotted cows? No one’s quite sure, but this much is certain: A Leaf Man’s got to go where the wind blows.”

Links To Resources: Teacher’s Guide (Harcourt); Lesson Plan (Scholastic);  the jacket flaps of the book are covered with “mystery leaves” – pictures of the leaves with a hint about where they come from so children can try to guess/identify them; the endpapers of the book show examples of many types of leaves, pictured and labeled; go on a leaf walk and collect leaves of your own – how many different kinds can you find? how many colors and shapes?; make a leaf collage, or a pencil rubbing of a leaf, or any kind of leaf art.

Why I Like This Book: If you’ve spent any time at all on Perfect Picture Books, you’ll know that 99.99 times out of 100, I choose books because I love the words or the story.  This is one time when I chose a perfect picture book for the art.  It also has a whimsical story :), but it’s the art that sells this book.  It’s simply gorgeous.  The illustrations are made from actual fall leaves.  The pages are cut and layered in the shapes of hills.  Each page pictures its subject made out of leaves, for example, on the page where perhaps Leaf Man flew over the turkey, there is a turkey crafted from fall leaves.   The colors are vibrant, and both the story and the art allow children to fancifully imagine all that a leaf might do as it blows before the wind.  The whole book sings autumn – it’s just lovely!

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

PPBF bloggers please be sure to leave your post-specific link in the list below so we can all come visit you!  I can’t wait to see your picks for this week!

With Thanksgiving coming along in less than a week, are you hosting or visiting?  Which do you prefer?  I’m hosting this year, but I’m really happy to do either… as long as I don’t have to travel too far 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!! 🙂

39 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Leaf Man

  1. Clarbojahn says:

    The illustrations are a thing of wonder. The cover is to die for. You pick well, Susanna, and I can't wait to feast me own eyes on this book.

    Thanks for introducing it to us. 🙂

  2. Angela Brown says:

    From the illustrations you share, I can see why you chose this PPB for it's art. Very creative. As for Thanksgiving, I believe we're going to a friend's house. Chipmunk insists that we prepare homemade loaded mashed potatoes. I'm pretty sure I'll give in lol!!!
    By the way, if you stop by Publishness today, there are a couple of interesting things 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend!

  3. sue heavenrich says:

    I love this book for its vivid colors. And really, is there anything better than snuggling on a couch with a kid or three, mugs of hot cocoa and a pile of great picture books for a middle-of-a-snowy-day readathon?

  4. Rhythm says:

    That Ms Ehlert is a true wonder. She can do magic with bits and pieces. Thanks for sharing Leaf Man!! And have a fun Thanksgiving Feast!!

  5. Jarmila V. Del Boccio says:

    I think today we were on the same wave length, Susanna! I need to look at this book more closely, just like I did with my choice for PPBF. I always host, but I don't mind. We have a small intimate family group this year, and our son is coming home from his first semester in college. I can tell he already has a new appreciation of home!!😉

  6. Tiffa says:

    What a fun book! We're practically swimming in leaves here. This would make a great afternoon of reading this book and then making our own leaf people. Thank you for the idea!

    Happy Thanksgiving! I hope yours is wonderful!

  7. Joanne Sher says:

    Oh, Susanna – this looks beautiful, and perfect for the season (if only the weather were agreeing with the season, of course LOL). Would love to jump in leaves, as Julia is planning – but ours are covered with snow (or still on the trees LOL).

    Hope to get a PPBF up yet today – have had a book sitting on my desk for at least a week and a half that I want to put up, but just haven't had time. Perhaps later today. 🙂

  8. Marty McCormick says:

    Susanna, love your choices each week. So many wonderful ideas and wonderful new (to me) books out there. Truly inspiring! Thanks, and happy hosting this year.

  9. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Yes, definitely hang onto your socks in this weather, Jilanne 🙂 And sing the Batman theme with gusto – it's so much fun. Duh-nuh nuh-nuh nuh-nuh nuh-nuh BATMAN! while you're looking at this gorgeous book 🙂

  10. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Now that I'm taking Mira Reisberg's Illustrating Children's Picture Books class, I'm looking at illustrations even more carefully. These are beautiful, Susanna…thanks for recommending this one. 😉
    It doesn't quite feel like autumn anymore though…it is COLD!!!!! I'm not looking forward to the snow that's eventually going to come.

  11. Cupcake says:

    Gah! I think Leaf Man came by my house today. The wind blew a HUGE leaf right onto my face and kept it there forever. I kept walking even though I couldn't see a thing. Mom said the word, “Seriously? This doesn't bother you??”

    Love and licks,

  12. bgruener says:

    Awesome pick; love the art aspect! We're officially on Thanksgiving break and will lay low for three days, then head to the TX Hill Country for our long-standing tradition of unplugging as a family for four days of hiking, fishing, antiquing and hanging out. Happy Thanksgiving; I count my PPBF friends among my many blessings.

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know! What is with this January weather in November? I am not a fan! No worries about PPBF – it's for fun, not an obligation 🙂 You can just as well enjoy what other people post (in the form of badgering your local librarian for those books :)) How nice that all of your husband's family os so close and that you get to spend holidays all together 🙂

  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    It's so pretty, isn't it, Angela? Enjoy your Thanksgiving – loaded mashed potatoes sound AWESOME! I am the mashed potato maker in our family too – but mine are pretty simple 🙂 I will rush right over to Publishness as soon as I finish commenting here. I'm behind schedule today…!

  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know! We're having January in November. What's up with that???!!! I am not artistically gifted 🙂 but I sometimes think if I could do anything it would be collage of some type, and looking at Lois's makes me want to!

  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh wow! That sounds absolutely heavenly, Barbara! I would love to unplug for 4 days. You have tempted/inspired me 🙂 Have a wonderful time! And I'm sure I speak for all of us when I say we count you as a blessing too! 🙂

  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Brave Cupcake! Noble Cupcake! Of COURSE you kept walking even though you were blinded by a leaf. That's just the kind of mettle you're made of! Maybe Mom could make a leaf dog for you and paste it on your front window 🙂

  18. Barb says:

    I've seen that book and you're right! It's gorgeous. Great pick!
    We've already had Thanksgiving and we visited:)
    Happy thanksgiving to you!

  19. JulieSwitzerland says:

    I haven't seen this book, but I really like Lois Ehlert Snowballs and the collage illustrations are always beautiful. Was up to my knees in leaves today, tidying the garden for winter…! Then a visit to the Christmas Market tonight! Wonderful. Enjoy all your pre -Thanksgiving celebrations this weekend.

  20. Jean James says:

    This book looks beautiful. I'm such a sucker for anything with leaves or tree branches in the pictures. I used to collect leaves with my kids when they were a bit younger, find the most beautiful shapes and colors, glue them to paper, and keep them until they were too dried up to save. Such fun. I'm double dipping this Thanksgiving, I've escaped the NY freeze for a Florida pre-Thanksgiving with the in-laws, then back to NY for Thanksgiving with the ultimate hostess…my mom! That's a lot of turkey and pie!!
    Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  21. Caryn Caldwell says:

    I hadn't heard of Perfect Picture Book Friday, but what a fantastic idea! I'm always looking for new books for my daughter and my students to enjoy. Leaf Man looks fabulous, too. Gorgeous illustrations! I'm like you — I'm usually drawn to a story because of the words, but when the pictures work, they REALLY work.

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