A Leaf Can Be . . .

Are you excited about the unveiling of the Youth Awards at the Midwinter ALA? I can’t wait to see which books win, but I am also very excited about today’s book.

A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas would be almost guaranteed next year’s Caldecott if illustrator Violeta Dabija was an American. Alas, she is from the Republic of Moldova in eastern Europe. I guess there’s still the Sibert medal…

Yes, the mixed-media illustrations in this gorgeous picture book are of that caliber. Yes, the illustrations are definitely what draw you in. It is Laura Salas’ sublime poetry, however, that makes you want to read it again and again.

Salas reveals on her website that she was inspired to write the book by the adorable white Honduran tent bats that use large leaves for tent-like shelters each night. From that jumping off point, she researched many other uses for leaves. The leaf “jobs” she highlights are sure to lead to further discussions, ideas for activities, stories, and memories. Notes in the backmatter help fill in the details, but readers’ imaginations are likely to take it much further.

Take a look:

Poetry, science and gorgeous art all wrapped together. This book is sure to inspire and enthrall many young readers (and adults as well.)

A Leaf Can Be . . . is already getting a lot of well-deserved buzz, with a review today at Shelf-employed and another wonderful review by Jeff at NC Teacher Stuff. Although technically being released February 1, 2012, some retailers are already carrying it.

Edit: For leaf-related hands-on activities, see Growing With Science

Ages: 5-8
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Millbrook Pr Trade (February 1, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0761362037
ISBN-13: 978-0761362036

Review was based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher.

Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. We invite you to join us. For more information and a schedule, stop by Booktalking to see who is hosting each week.

This week’s round-up is at Shelf-employed.