Leaf by Stephen Michael King
I stumbled across this book whilst I was shuffling through the K section of the picture books.
The green cover stood out (as I was looking for some more environmentally themed books) so I pulled it off the shelf and quietly read the story.
Stephen Michael King has written some fantastic books that children love and this one is another book for children to enjoy.
Leaf contains little language which is fantastic as it allows the reader to form their own version of the story.
It is wonderful to encourage young readers to let their imagination flow. Children love being given ownership of their own learning and ideas and graphic novels and picture books can allow this creativity to flow.
Leaf shows the love of nature that children can have when given the chance. It also shows the adult world and how everything needs to be neat, tidy and regimented. A sad story on adults behalf!
In this magical story a little boy grows his own seedling in his hair and loves it, cares for it and shares many adventures with it. He spends every waking minute finding the best way to care for his seedling.
Unfortunately it’s time for a haircut and the adult world tries to take his small tree away from him. However, his determination and resilience shines through and he continues to care for the tree as he grows older.
This is a beautifully drawn book which not only intrigues the reader but really hits the spot on how we need to take a step back and let the natural world become a part of our daily lives.
Take some time out to read this with a child (and by yourself) you will feel refreshed and inspired to make changes in your world.
This links in easily to the sustainability strand in the Australian curriculum.
English: Writing imaginative texts, Inferencing and reading books with limited writing.
Maths: Creative problem solving – how long could he have kept a tree on his head before it would have made his head lean to the side under the weight?
Create a short puppet play!
Read a ‘green’ script’ (See my post on Little Green Hood)
Work with students to learn how to write a script. (characters, taking turns, importance of italics for movement direction)
Read Leaf by Stephen Michael King & then create a script to perform this as a simple puppet show. You can make it as detailed as you like. (You can use sock puppets or paper plates to keep it simple)