Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Leaf Can Be...” as Want to Read:
A Leaf Can Be...
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Leaf Can Be...

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  425 ratings  ·  120 reviews
A leaf can be a . . .
Shade spiller
Mouth filler
Tree topper
Rain stopper

Find out about the many roles leaves play in this poetic exploration of leaves throughout the year.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by Millbrook Press (first published January 1st 2012)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Leaf Can Be..., please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Leaf Can Be...

Tuesday Tucks Me In by Luis Carlos MontalvánI Want My Hat Back by Jon KlassenExtra Yarn by Mac BarnettFishing Into Potato Salad by Othen Donald Dale CummingsThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt
Favorite MODERN Picture Books
53rd out of 283 books — 80 voters
The Lorax by Dr. SeussThe Great Kapok Tree by Lynne CherryOwl Moon by Jane YolenThe Carrot Seed by Ruth KraussUno's Garden by Graeme Base
"Green" Picture Books
130th out of 140 books — 91 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 791)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Leaves are "sun takers" and "food makers", "air cleaners" and "Earth greeners". Laura Purdie Salas' delightful word choices and Violeta Dabija's round, joyful illustrations celebrate the many roles that leaves play in Nature. In the back, Saldas explains each phrase with additional information about leaves and includes a short glossary of scientific terms.
If you want to explore the nature, the book by Laura Purdie Salas is a must have starter. You will not only learn about the leaf, you will also learn about different animals while observing the leaf during different times of the year. And even though “a leaf is a leaf – a bit of a tree” might seem quite uninteresting focal point, it really is a great tool to introduce life and physical science topics.
Personally I love the digitally inspired illustrations that add to the magic to what “a leaf ca
In poetic language and simple rhyming text, the author extolls the many uses of a leaf. The words she chooses are delightful, imaginative, and downright fun to say; for instance, she describes a leaf as a "soft cradle" (unpaginated) paired with a "water ladle" (unpaginated), and a "frost catcher" paired with a "moth matcher" (unpaginated). While some of these creations are fairly obvious, others are quite original and will aid readers in seeing leaves differently. Backmatter includes explanation ...more
Sarah W
A Leaf Can Be is imaginative nonfiction at its best. By exploring the different jobs a leaf could have from mouth filler to ground warmer, rain stopper to nest warmer this book is a great discussion starter to use with children to see if they can think of other jobs leafs play in nature or as an jumping to board to create fiction based on one of these jobs. This book also lends itself well to studying the seasons as all four seasons are represented in this book as well.

Violetta Dabija has create
Nicole Doerr
This is a beautifully illustrated poem book. The pictures are dreamlike. It is intended for preschoolers and school age children. It describes the roles of leaves, from “sun takers” to “ food makers.” The words are filled with fun rhymes. The text is simple enough for a beginning reader and the back includes a glossary of unknown words. This is a very informative poem book which could be used to teach a lesson on nature. Even with it's two worded rhymes, it can be used for older children as well ...more
Paul  Hankins
Salas presents some of the things a leaf can be with delightful, whimsical illustrations by Violeta Dabija that present the "can be" elements on facing pages.

One of my favorite spreads depicts a child under a tree with the words, "shade spiller". The facing page shows a giraffe at twilight with the words, "mouth filler."

The back of the book offers non-fiction approaches to explanations of how a life can be that particular "thing."

Pair this one up with classic picture books like Lois Ehlert's
Andrea Gray
Grades K-3

A Leaf Can Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija is a delightful book explaining, in simple rhymes, all the different roles a leaf takes on. The rhythmic choice of words are catchy and make the reader say them in an almost a sing-songy voice. The words, although simple, are imaginative and creative with beautiful illustrations that go along with them. This book offers a couple of added bonuses. In the back there is a glossary of terms containing words that stude
So I was walking through the NCTE exhibition hall and someone from Millbrook publishing handed me this book (FREE!!) and said the author was signing. Okay--I don't pass up free books. What teacher does? I opened it and couldn't believe it. They were giving this book away??? How had I not heard of it?(I did get it signed, by the way, and Laura--the author--loves for her books to be used as mentors for student writers). Then, last session of NCTE when language arts awards were given out for nonfic ...more
Who knew how versatile a simple leaf could be? With beautiful illustrations and captivating language, Salas creates a story that children will enjoy while learning the science of leaves.
Ralf Urbach
Beautiful pictures to accompany a great teaching tool about the seasons. Another happy rhyming book that leaves you humming tunes to yourself. My daughter enjoyed this one immensely.
Mary Lee
See all those shelves I put this book on? First and foremost, it is poetic. But within the poetry is science. The illustrations are gorgeous and add to the total package. Great book!
Niki (Daydream Reader)
One of my students wanted me to read this as a read aloud. So glad I did! Great nonfiction picture book! I loved the pictures and word choice.
A Leaf Can Be... is a fabulous book about all the uses of a leaf. This book is similar to The Quiet Book in that it gets the reader thinking of all the ways one thing can be used. The spreads are gorgeous and can be used as an example in art. The reader of A Leaf Can Be... can easily notice that the lines on each page rhyme. This book is written in a poetic way which readers can use as a model when writing their own stories or poems. Readers can also use this book as a model in creating their ow ...more
Edward Sullivan
Lovely verse and illustrations.
A Leaf Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Violeta Dabija, is a poetic explanation of the many roles a leaf may fill.

Dabija's glowing, peaceful illustrations highlight the brief text, particularly the pages with rhyming couplets, such as soft craddle, leaf laddle, or air cleaner, earth greener. Some pages seem to have texture. My favorite images are soft craddle, tree topper, skin welter, shade spiller, earth greener, hill glow-er, frost catcher, and discover.

Salas' simple, whimsical
Vidya Tiru
A wonderful book that shows very simply and beautifully, in flowing rhymes with soft, whimsical, yet vibrant illustrations that a leaf is not just a leaf – it is and can be many different things – other than the obvious. It can, of course be, a sun-taker, and it can also be a moth-matcher!
The book takes us through the seasons to show the many faces of the leaf during the many phases of the year. Author Laura Purdie Salas and illustrator Violeta Dabija have blended their talents to bring together
Sue Morris
Rhyming text and illustrations explore some of the many things a leaf can be, from tree topper to rain stopper. Includes facts about leafs and a glossary.

A leaf is a leaf—
A bit of a tree.
But just try to guess
What else it can be!

This book, A Leaf Can Be . . . is a feast for your eyes. Astonishingly beautiful seen on a computer, I can only imagine what this book looks like in print. Told in rhyming text and illustrations that need each other to work as wonderfully as they do in A Leaf Can Be . . .
Sandi Rossman
I reviewed this book for the choice category (picture book assignment). The source was the Teachers' Choices 2013 Reading List.

A Leaf Can Be is a beautiful combination of poetry and science that both entertains the young reader with rhyming action while simultaneously teaching children about the many, diverse roles of leaves: making food, riding the wind, and concealing snakes. The rhyming action of the words propels the reader forward through the pages of the book just as the seasons move throu
Let us hope that A Leaf Can Be... and Water Can Be... written by Laura Purdie Salas with illustrations by Violeta Dabija are the first two of many collaborations. These books are breathtaking in word and pictures. Read them for the quiet pleasure they bring. Read them for the information they provide. Read them to see a leaf and water in a new light. Most of all, share them with everyone often!
My full review:
Meagan Myhren-bennett
Feb 05, 2012 Meagan Myhren-bennett rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Home Schoolers, Families, School Libraries, Public Libraries
A Leaf Can Be...
By Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrations by Violeta Dabija

In simple but descriptive language the various functions of leaves are shown.
The first section illustrations with one to two words name the various jobs of leaves in nature.
The second section describes the functions and purpose of the different jobs.
The final section is a glossary of the terms used in the book and suggestions for further reading on leaves.

The poetic rhythm and illustrations will capture the attention of young li
I like the concept of playfully exploring with all the functions a leaf can have - the list is pretty inventive and could take the reader on their own journey further - but for me the illustrations were a bit too cute and the concept never took off successfully.
Necia Ullberg
A leaf can be... Oh my what a wonderful book! This book really appealed to me because of its simplistic language and style, its creative illustrations and the fact that it can have so many uses in the classroom!! I love how every page only has a few words, but those words go with the illustrations in a perfect way. I love the rhyming within the story! I just LOVE this story.. My favorite page has to be the last, I think how it says, "A leaf is a leaf- a bit of a tree. Now go and discover what el ...more
Mrs. Knott
I love Salas' simple text, set in poetry, to educate and teach young students about a subject yet entertain with its beautiful words and illustrations.
Liz B
For me, this was not informative enough to be a nonfiction selection I enjoyed. Clever word choice, pretty illustrations. But kind of thin. I've read much more interesting nonfiction picture books, including for small children.
Love this book! Laura Purdie Salas did an exquisite job of turning a nonfiction book about leaves into beautiful picture book of poetry. This is a perfect example of creative nonfiction. In this book we learn about the different ways a leaf can be in simple, yet elegant text. "...Soft cradle, water ladle, sun taker, food maker..." Laura also explains the text in more detail with specific facts and a glossary in the back of the book.

Violeta Dabija's gorgeous artwork compliment the book very well
Green Bean

"Soft cradle. Water ladle. Sun taker. Food maker. Tree topper. Rain stopper. Skin welter. Bat shelter." What a wonderful rhyming rhapsody on leaves in their many varied glories! The book concludes with an in-depth look at each of a leaf's roles. "Soft cradle: Certain kinds of caterpillars spin cocoons around themselves and turn into moths. Some caterpillars spin their cocoon right on leaves. The leaf acts as a cradle, keeping the cocoon safe until the moth comes out." A brilliant book to bring a
Marissa Reyes
The book A Leaf Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas is a piece of writing that explains in the form of a rhyme how a leaf helps the cycle of life continue turning and how detrimental it would be if leaves no longer existed. Leaves may be small but they are very pertinent not only to humans but to the animals as well, as they work solo and can be a healer for the sick or work as a unison and be an air cleaner for the environment. My favorite part of the book was the illustrations, by Violeta Dabija, ...more
This is such a lovely picture book. The illustrations are glorious and the text is simple but evocative.
Very lovely illustrations in this book. So pretty. It was an enjoyable read.
Judy Desetti
Feb 24, 2013 Judy Desetti rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Judy by: Kim Patton? SLJ?
Great book for a read aloud to preschool thru 2nd grade. Each page tells a use of the leaf as a sun catcher, mouth filler, frost catcher, air cleaner, and much more.

"A leaf is a leaf- a bit of a tree. Now go and discover what else it can be!"

The notes at the end tell more about what each phrase means about the leaf. I wish though that the information was actually on the same page so you could read it once through without the background info and once through reading the background info to explai
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 26 27 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings
  • Step Gently Out
  • No Monkeys, No Chocolate
  • A Rock Is Lively
  • In the Sea
  • Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems
  • More
  • Helen's Big World: The Life of Helen Keller
  • Island: A Story of the Galápagos
  • Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas
  • The Cloud Spinner
  • Over and Under the Snow
  • The Beetle Book
  • Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature
  • A Strange Place to Call Home: The World's Most Dangerous Habitats & the Animals That Call Them Home
  • Here Come the Girl Scouts!: The Amazing All-True Story of  Juliette 'Daisy' Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure
  • Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle
  • Seed by Seed: The Legend and Legacy of John "Appleseed" Chapman
Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 120 books for kids and teens, including WATER CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2014), A LEAF CAN BE... (Millbrook, 2012), and BOOKSPEAK! POEMS ABOUT BOOKS (Clarion, 2011). She loves to introduce kids to poetry and help them find poems they can relate to, no matter what their age, mood, and personality.

Laura is a mentor for hire (, a cupcake an
More about Laura Purdie Salas...
BookSpeak!: Poems about Books Water Can Be... Stampede!: Poems to Celebrate the Wild Side of School Colors of Fall A Fuzzy-Fast Blur: Poems about Pets

Share This Book