4 out of 4 stars
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Analee is a young leaf who lives among the branches of a large maple tree. She is cheerful and optimistic, and she likes to see the beauty in the world around her. One morning, she is greeted by a wise, but cynical, owl who seems to have quite a pessimistic outlook on life. Hooty recounts to Analee the years he has spent watching as leaves would fall from the old tree and into a nearby gutter, never to be seen again. This leaves poor Analee feeling a bit confused, and even fearful, at the prospect of leaving her home and her friends.
Inevitably, though, change does happen. The air begins to grow colder, the colors of the leaves become brighter, and the wind gets stronger and stronger. What will happen to Analee when all other leaves have let go, and she becomes the only one left clinging to the tree’s branches? And, what will she find after becoming the last leaf to fall?
The Last Leaf To Fall is an illustrated children’s book that carefully approaches such issues as inevitable life changes, loss, and the fear of death and what’s to come. Author Amy M. Watson has beautifully crafted a story that can be shared between adults and the children in their lives. The characters are memorable and full of personality. The story itself is full of hope, beauty, as well as a touch of sadness. The illustrations are very well done and add to the overall appeal of the book.
I would have to say that my favorite aspects within The Last Leaf To Fall are the author’s timely use of well thought out metaphors and the vivid descriptions she uses throughout the story. There is truly nothing that I do not like about this book. It is a touching and therapeutic story with a timeless life lesson. I found no errors while reading this book, and whole-heartedly give the rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this emotional, yet inspirational, story to parents, teachers, and other adults who are trying to help a child deal with loss, as well as to children who are beginning to ask questions about death and the feelings associated with it, such as fear. This is a great book to add to your toolbox. When emotional situations arise, sometimes we do not have all the answers. Sometimes we cannot quite find the right words. This book can help start that all important conversation at the moment the talk is needed.
Although there are no specific audiences for which I would recommend against reading this book, I do suggest reading the book yourself first, before sharing it with your child. I personally find the conclusion to be hopeful and moving, but I do understand how personal a subject this is. You should always be comfortable with the information and messages you are sharing with those you care about.
The Last Leaf to Fall
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