The beauty and variety of leaves are the central showpiece of this highly visual book for young children. A very brief text introduces the idea of a “Leaf Man,” shown as an artful arrangement of fall leaves, with acorns for eyes and a sweet gum fruit mouth. Leaf Man is always on the move, as the wind blows him first toward the marsh and then over the farm fields, past orchards and through meadows. As Leaf Man travels at the wind’s whim, each new setting shows leaves arranged in collages recognizable as birds, butterflies, fish, turtles, and even a turkey and a cow. Ehlert’s design for this oversize book includes pages of varying trim sizes, with the top edge of each page cut in a different pattern. These range from shallow scallops to gentle swoops, small zigzags to sharp points, each one suggesting the edge of one or more leaves in nature. The end result is a wonderful layering effect that reveals a dynamic blend of color and texture on every page spread, while hinting at the landscape to come. Milwaukee artist and author Lois Ehlert relates her lifelong fascination with leaves in an author’s note. Her appreciation for her subject is evident throughout this tribute to the natural world, presented in a manner destined to capture young imaginations. ©2005 Cooperative Children’s Book Center
Illustrated by Lois Ehlert
Wisconsin author, Wisconsin illustrator
Lois Ehlert was born and raised in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. She graduated from Layton School of Art in Milwaukee (1957) and from UW-Milwaukee (1959). She lived in Milwaukee until her death in 2021.
Publish Year: 2005
CCBC Location: Picture Book, Ehlert