Dance like a leaf

A. J. Irving

Book - 2020

"As her grandmother's health declines, a young girl begins to take the lead in their cozy shared autumn traditions"--

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jE/Irving
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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Irving Due Aug 25, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Children's stories Pictorial works
Stories in rhyme
Picture books
Published
Cambridge, MA : Barefoot Books 2020.
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Audience
Ages 4-9.
Grades 2-3.
ISBN
9781646860579
1646860578
9781646860586
1646860586
Main Author
A. J. Irving (author)
Other Authors
Claudia Navarro (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

A young girl, brown skinned and ruddy cheeked, loves spending time outdoors with her abuelita, where they can be seen twirling among the autumn leaves. But as the months pass, the girl notices that Abuelita is forgetting things and growing weaker, until one day, Abuelita isn't there anymore. The girl's sadness is plain to see, but she chooses to focus on remembering the happy times with Abuelita and the special ways they'd enjoy the seasons together. At the story's end, the girl plays outside as the leaves dance around her in the shape of her abuelita. Beautiful full-page illustrations are alive with movement and the vibrant colors of fall, conferring a celebratory feel onto a sad subject. This lovely Spanish translation of Dance like a Leaf contains melodic language and high-level vocabulary that create a sophisticated, heart-tugging story about how our loved ones never truly leave us. Grades K-3. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 2—A paean to autumn, love, and loss. A young girl treasures the beginning of fall with her grandmother, drinking tea and dancing together among the colorful trees. As the days pass, the older woman, with tan skin and dark textured hair, grows more tired and forgetful. Irving's spare, poignant text pairs the season's changes with the grandmother's decline, previewing her passing with the cycle of the leaves. The young girl persists in sharing their favorite fall activities, adapting them for her grandmother's needs. Expressive acrylic paintings retain a vibrant palette throughout the story, punctuating the rich, autumnal colors with teals and purples. But the emotional weight of the impending loss emerges clearly in the two characters' body language; the grandmother grows more hunched and withdrawn, while the girl's posture signals increased anxiety, until the page where she sits on the bed, alone. By the following autumn, the girl goes out to dance in the trees, accompanied by a joyful image of her grandmother in the swooping leaves. Less specific than Jessie Oliveros's The Remember Balloons or Pat Mora's My Singing Nana, the book does not provide details about loss but highlights the girl's resilience. VERDICT This evocative pairing of story and art creates a tone poem and lesson, a lovely reflection on the seasons of life, and a gentle lead-in to discussion of death and renewal.—Robbin E. Friedman, Chappaqua Lib., NY Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

As her grandmother’s health declines, a young girl begins to lovingly take the lead in their cozy shared autumn traditions. Poetic prose paired with evocative illustrations by Mexican illustrator Claudia Navarro make for a beautiful celebration of life and a gentle introduction to the death of a loved one.