Monday, September 7, 2020

Book Review: Leif and the Fall

Happy Labor Day! (Unless you aren't in the US, which of course it wouldn't be Labor Day for you, so happy Monday?) My kids have no school today so I'm not real sure what the plan is. Maybe we'll try to do something. Or maybe I'll try to read more because I have a few books to review for you this week! 

Oh you guys.... do you know how much I love children's literature? I love it so much. It isn't so much because I have kid of my own, but of course that is part of it, but also because sometimes they teach big things in the easiest, simplest ways and children just absorb it. Sometimes as adults we can't even grasp the concepts because we think of all the "what ifs" whereas kids just get it. I think that is one of the best things about being a kid, things are easier. Usually, of course. 

Leif and the Fall - Adam Grant * Allison Sweet Grant

Leif is a leaf. A worried leaf. It is autumn, and Leif is afraid to fall. "All leaves fall in the fall," say the other leaves. But Leif is determined to find a different way down, and with his friend Laurel, he uses the resources around him to create a net, a kite, a parachute in hopes of softening his landing. The clock is ticking, the wind is blowing. What will happen when a gust of wind pulls Leif from his branch? In a culture that prizes achievement, kids are often afraid to fail--failing to realize that some of the very ideas that don't work are steps along the path to ones that will.
I saw this book advertised on Goodreads, I think, and I added it to my shelf because I thought this would be a great fall read for Penelope and Lucy. Surprisingly, we don't have that many fall centered books but when I saw this is certainly fall centered but it has a deeper conversation to it? I need this. 

In this book we have Leif who is a leaf. He's a really nervous/worried leaf (which is kind of like my Penelope) and he's worried about falling from his tree and potentially getting hurt but also, its kind of scary to just fall from a tree. He has a friend (Laurel) who is really kind of starts brainstorming with him all of the ways he could prevent himself from falling from the tree. While each attempt fails, Leif starts to get discouraged and the other leaves taunt him and are basically saying there is no point in even trying, you won't succeed no matter way. Well, Leif does fall from the tree of course, but the ending isn't terrible and it turns out all of his failed ideas worked out in the end. 

I love that this book covers perseverance, the importance of creativity and ingenuity, it also shows what its like to be a good friend like Laurel, and how to ignore the bullies and people who put you down. I wasn't sure if Penelope and Lucy (ages five and four) would really pick out all of those pieces at their ages, but I was pleasantly surprised! Penelope said sometimes she feels like Leif (this was a big deal, she's never admitted to being shy/scared before so the fact she recognized the comparison was pretty great) but she also had thought of ways that maybe his ideas could have really worked for him. Lucy was more upset about the "mean leafs" (v's are a bit tricky for her still, haha!) and she wanted Laurel to tell them to be nice to him. 

All three of us really loved the illustrations by Merrilee Liddiard, and parents- I highly suggest you start pointing out the author and the illustrator when you read a book to kiddos! Penelope always asks me, "And who is the illustrator, mom?" if I forget (and I'm guilty of that sometimes). The illustrations are really pretty. If you are a teacher in the lower grades this would be a really fun classroom read that you could easily pair with some leaf sensory activities or maybe even have the supplies for them to try some of the ideas Leif have really see if they would work or not (and why). 

I really loved this one and Penelope said she'd give it "ten bajillion stars" but Goodreads doesn't work that way, so we're going to go with 5, this will definitely be a staple read in our home. 

Thank you to Penguin Random House and Dial Books for sending me a copy of Leif and the Fall for review, my mini reviewers were enthusiastic in their listening duties! Leif and the Fall goes on sale TOMORROW, so if your favorite book store doesn't carry it, ask them too! Mention it to your library, too!

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1 comment:

Why Girls Are Weird said...

This sounds super cute, I bet Hayden would love it!