One of my favorite things about the season of Fall is watching the leaves change color to create magnificent scenery all around me. I received this beautiful children’s book titled My Leaf Book by Monica Wellington a couple of weeks ago. I have to personally thank Monica for bringing My Leaf Book into my household because it prompted a keen interest in trees and plant life for both myself and my children.
I am a long time fan of Monica’s children’s books because she always approaches writing and illustrating from an artistic and educational point of view. Each book she has written is beautifully illustrated, well written and engaging for both younger children and school aged children. When I received My Leaf Book, I was immediately captivated by the illustration of the cover. Just looking at the Fall leaves made me want to get outside, start collecting leaves and baking pumpkin bread!
My Leaf Book takes the reader through the adventure of collecting leafs and learning about different trees. My Leaf Book not only gives interesting information about leaves, it also gives extra facts. For example when discussing oak leaves, the educational fact states “Some leaves have lobes. This leaf above has seven and the lobes are rounded. Other types of oaks have leaves with pointed lobes”. The main character in the story also uses a Tree Guide to help her identify trees. After reading this book several times to my own children, I grew more curious regarding trees and creating our own leaf book. I bought a book titled The Tree Book For Kids and Grown Ups and began learning about the trees in our backyard and surrounding area. When collecting leaves, my son found some acorns and chestnuts that had fallen from our trees outside. We discussed the difference between the acorn and chestnut and what made our chestnut tree in our yard so special.
In the back of the book, Monica lists ideas for various leaf projects including leaf rubbings and leaf print. Her ideas are easy and inventive. This book can be used both at home or in the classroom. It is geared towards ages 3-5 but I think it has the potential to be an educational experience for children up to 7-8 years old. When paired with a Tree Book or Guide, there are facts that I learned as an adult. Here are some simple tips to target language but the ideas are endless!
- Focus on expanding vocabulary (e.g. learning about specific leaves such as the “ginkgo leaf”
- Target the various colors of the leaves and how they are the same versus different
- Discuss the difference parts of the leaf and how each leaf varies even when on the same tree
- Target describing words (e.g.. “This ginkgo leaf is shaped like a fan”)
- Answering “wh” questions (e.g. “How many points are on a leaf from a sweet gum tree?”)
Do you want to read more of Monica’s books? Check out my review of Colors for Zena and her most recent app, Crepes for Suzette. To learn more about the author, Monica Wellington check out my interview with her here.
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