Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 220: Leaf Man

We've been in all-out leaf tackle mode here for the past few weeks, and have raked our entire yard no fewer than 5 times already.  As much as I love nature and the outdoors, I'll be honest -- I wouldn't mind if we lost a few of the oak trees in our yard.  The leaves are a great source of entertainment for my kids, of course, and they've had endless fun jumping in leaf piles, "helping" us rake, and racing around the tracks we rake amidst the blanket of leaves that cover the yard.  We've enjoyed collecting leaves of all kinds, as well, whether we set out to see how many vibrant colors we can find or simply go on a nature walk to see how many different types of leaves there are in our neighborhood.  The leaves are just about all down now, but our fun has continued this week after we found this fabulous book at the library!

Lois Ehlert's artwork is always colorful, engaging, and fun, and Leaf Man is no exception.  The story itself is simple -- a leaf man blows away, over marshes, fields, meadows, and mountains, going wherever the wind takes him -- but the die cut pages and clever artwork make for a great deal of creative fun.  All of Ehlert's images are composed of real leaves of various kinds, combined to make different shapes and creatures:  turtles, fish and ducks in a pond, squirrels with their acorns, butterflies, and even a garden of pumpkins and squash.  There is also a guide to the types of leaves featured on the book's cover pages, which I just love.  Each colorful page within is cut and sculpted across the top to make the background of the combined pages appear like rolling hills in the distance, and Ehlert's leaf creations are simply fabulous.  They are not always easy to see at first, which is what makes the book so fun to read.  My kids love looking at the illustrations to see what creatures are hiding among them, and I challenge child to read this book and not want to immediately run outside and collect leaves to make creations of his or her own.  My son made leaf creatures for over an hour yesterday afternoon after reading this book, and I had fun joining in the crafting, too.  I was pretty impressed by some of his creations, and, as so often happens when watching kids create, I loved the ease with which he went from one idea to the next.  He came up with creative designs so much faster and easily than I did!  Thanks, Lois Ehlert, for inspiring him to make some fun leaf art!  Here's a sample of some of the leaf creatures he made:

His first design, which he composed while my daughter and I were still out collecting leaves:  It's me, complete with the green scarf I was wearing yesterday

A deer

A bird

A hummingbird (my favorite!)

A poinsettia (I made the flower part at the top, he quickly added a stem and some leaves to make it even better)
The scene on my coffee table while we were creating

A giraffe

An aardvark

And of course, a Thanksgiving turkey

We hope that this book inspires as much fun for you and your little ones as it did for us!  Enjoy!


laurasalas said...

These are amazing! Wow.

Unknown said...

How clever. I like the idea of using nature to make something different. It really gets the child's imagination flowing.

Lauren said...

It was so much fun watching his little creative mind at work! Such a great fall activity -- definitely worth the big mess the dried, crumpled, dead leaves later left all over my carpet :)

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