Leaf

Sandra Dieckmann. Flying Eye (Consortium, dist.), $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-911171-31-7
Dieckmann blends environmental peril with fable-like language and dashes of magic in her children’s book debut. “Crow saw it first,” she begins. “The strange white creature, carried upon the dark waves towards the shore.” Most readers will recognize the animal as a polar bear, but the crows, foxes, moose, and other forest animals have never seen anything like it. After the bear starts gathering leaves, they name him Leaf; already terrified of the creature, the animals are even more startled to see Leaf charge through the forest, covered in “hundred of beautiful leaves,” and leap off a cliff. Eventually, they learn that this is an attempt to fly and return to his family. Dieckmann’s mixed-media illustrations are dense with detail, her animals drawn with careful attention to their feathery wings, bright eyes, and furry bodies. The surrounding plants and flowers look comparatively whimsical, more aligned with the tale’s magical elements—and an ending that sees the polar bear carried home by crows. Beyond the environmental angle, Dieckmann’s story movingly shows a community coming together to help a stranger in need. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/21/2017
Release date: 10/01/2017
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 978-7-5560-8851-5
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