"Spinning, spiraling, tumbling... Circling, fluttering, falling." Using simple descriptive language and swirling scenery, Sandford depicts the windblown journey of a leaf from the branches of an oak tree to a resting place between the pages of a book. Perspectives tilt in a series of richly hued illustrations, reflecting the leaf's movement through a series of adventures—dodging the mouth of a fox, catching a gust of air from a passing train, drifting past a cattle farm, and passing maple trees, chilly lakes, lofty clouds, and soaring geese, until finally, the leaf pauses, then drops "down through clouds... Down to a colorful city below." The fantastical narrative serves as a framing device for Sandford's scenic illustrations. His impressionistic style and use of saturated, creamy tones effectively captures landscapes and animals, but style stumbles in the final spreads; the child who catches the fluid, interesting leaf feels awkwardly rendered in comparison, breaking the book's fragile spell. Ages 5–7. (Sept.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly Annex.Review by School Library Journal Reviews
PreS-Gr 2—Sandford's simple tale begins with the season advancing from summer to fall. "Autumn arrived quietly so no one would notice. But the trees knew." Oak Leaf changes color prior to detaching from its tree and taking off for an adventure before becoming a keepsake. Drifting on breezes and wind gusts, it encounters a family of foxes, a hurtling train, and, briefly, the nose of a calf in a farmyard, before continuing on its journey. Lush illustrations offer a variety of perspectives from close to the ground to high above a flock of migrating geese. The colors of fall—bright blue skies with fluffy white clouds and swirling leaves in red, yellow, and orange—fill the pages from margin to margin. VERDICT Pair this appealing title with Kenard Pak's Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn and Michael Hall's Wonderfall for a seasonal storytime.—Maryann H. Owen, Oak Creek Public Library WI Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.
An artistic picture book about an autumn leaf's journey that beautifully evokes the season A lone autumn leaf falls and flies away on a breeze. It travels up and over the world and down again'where it finally lands on the page of a little girl's open book and becomes a keepsake.