For children of ages 4 through 8, taking a big step can take some time. Carin Berger’s story about The Little Yellow Leaf is exactly that. As the seasons change and summer turns to fall, all the leaves on a tree and those around it change color and drift to the ground. But there is one yellow leaf that still clings to the tree. It says every time, “I’m not ready yet.” It refuses to let go, even as all the other leaves fall away and the seasons progress. Readers will begin to wonder when the time will come that the leaf decides it is ready and when it will finally drift to the forest floor with all the other leaves.
The Little Yellow Leaf is a quaint book using a tiny leaf as the protagonist, hanging onto its tree until it feels the time is right to make the jump. Carin Berger is the author and illustrator and uses some fun techniques to create the pictures. The collages are simple with muted colors and lay upon an interesting background that look rather curiously like graph paper and lined notebook paper. The shapes of real leaves surround the tree; ginkos and maples, while the one leaf hanging on is shaped like an oak tree leaf.
Adults and kids will celebrate when the leaf finally lets go, and kids may be able to take lesson of The Little Yellow Leaf to heart and be inspired to take their own jump into something they were worried about. Children’s books that offer such inspiration are worth their weight in gold.