Thursday, October 7, 2010

Autumn Leaves

On the first day that it actually felt cool and crisp, we went outside to pick up some of our falling leaves and brought them in to compare them to the pages in these two books.  Then a few days later, our neighbor came over with her granddaughter, suggesting that we collect leaves and make crayon rubbings to pass the time.  Well, the kids sat outside coloring and rubbing their collected leaves for 45 minutes.  This could be a record!  What I like about the following two books is that they're informative and educational without being wordy or overwhelming, making leaf identification an elementary adventure.

  • Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins ~ I have just two words to say: excellent photography.  You feel like you can pick up the leaf right off the page, making it easy to identify the leaves in your yard or neighborhood.  The publishers best described the book in the jacket cover: This sumptuous picture book is a primer on tree and leaf identification.  Close-up pictures reveal leaf details, a simple text provides easy clues for identifying trees, and notes in the back explain just how and why leaves change color in the fall.  Award-winning author/photographer Ken Robbins invites very young children to learn about thirteen different trees from all across the country in this glorious portrait of nature's most colorful season.  On our nature walk, we could identify 11 of the 13 leaves/trees.  Also, you may notice that I mentioned this same author in the apple book list for his title Apples.  I find this book the best of the two.

  • Leaf Jumpers by Carole Gerber ~ Gerber identifies eight different leaves through a rhyming story.  Leslie Evans' linoleum-cut illustrations helped us to quickly identify seven of the eight leaves on our neighborhood walk. 
Here's one of our leaf rubbings.

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