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The Little Yellow Leaf

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  1,022 Ratings  ·  154 Reviews

As all the other leaves float off and fly past, Little Yellow Leaf thinks, I'm not ready yet.

As the seasons change all around, Little Yellow Leaf holds on to the tree. Still not ready.

Will Little Yellow Leaf ever be ready?

This is a story for anyone who has ever been afraid of facing the unknown—and a celebration of the friends who help us take the leap.



Book Details
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Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Greenwillow Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Kathryn
A visually beautiful book with a touching story. Little Yellow Leaf is not ready to fall from the tree--even though he watches other leaves swirling around through the autumn activities a fallen leaf might experience or see. He thinks he is all alone in his reluctance. But, then, he sees another leaf clinging far up the tree and they decide to "let go" together. The collage art is intriguing adds the finishing touches to this cozy and thoughtful autumn read.
Kate Hastings
Dec 18, 2008 Kate Hastings rated it it was amazing
Caldecott contender 09. A little yellow leaf isn't ready to leave-- and holds on until winter, all alone. When he discovers a red leaf at the top of the tree, they decide to let go... together. Beautiful.
Lisa Vegan
Oct 27, 2009 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those who are about to go through any rite of passage; those who enjoy autumn themed books
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
Hmm. I checked and this book was first published in 2008, but it feels like one of those touchy feely books that was so popular 40 years prior to that.

I loved the illustrations. They make this a beautiful book. Even the slightly unusual shape of the book makes it a stunner.

I think I was in too vile a mood to enjoy the story very much. I suppose this would make an appropriate gift for any child or adult about to embark on a new phase of life: new school, etc. While I’m sure the story means to co
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Gwen the Librarian
Oct 07, 2008 Gwen the Librarian rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
This is a graphically gorgeous and quiet fall story. It is autumn and a little yellow leaf is hanging from a tree in the forest. Other leaves start falling and flying away from their tree, but the little yellow leaf isn't ready yet. All through the autumn the leaf is not ready to leave the tree. Will the little leaf every fly away?
Kelly Woodward
Oct 15, 2013 Kelly Woodward rated it really liked it
Our library’s children’s room has a section for books featuring specific holidays or times of year. I found The Little Yellow Leaf in the autumn section and grabbed it because it had the least amount of text (meaning that my son could probably sit through it). We read it a couple of nights ago before bed, and he seemed interested but not enrapt. I, on the other hand, quite liked it. It’s the story of a single leaf that watches its fellow leaves falling but just isn’t ready to take the plunge yet ...more
Rose
Mar 03, 2009 Rose rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This picture books beautifully depicts a lone leaf's struggle to not let go - it doesn't want to embrace change (i.e. the changing of the seasons; it's fall from the tree). But when it discovers a like-minded leaf, or a friend, it feels able to take the leap into the unknown. The illustrations are stunning - rich yellows, reds and browns, set on a background of a variety of papers re: textures and styles. A must read for the topic of seasons and changing seasons, as well as the issue of facing t ...more
Kathryn
Aug 31, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
A little story about a leaf not ready to fall from the tree. The art work is very unique. I'm not sure what the style is called, but I'd never seen it before. Now everytime I see one last leaf or two on a tree in the fall I will think of this book.
Chris Callaway
Nov 08, 2008 Chris Callaway rated it really liked it
A beautiful picture-book, with unique artwork. The story is simple, and it deals with facing change despite one's fears. A great bedtime book for young children.
Anne
May 28, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
What a beautiful book!
Tracie
Dec 19, 2008 Tracie rated it it was amazing
These pictures are beautiful and calming and the story is sweet.
Tamara
Nov 17, 2008 Tamara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
How beautiful!

Favorite Quote:

I'm not ready yet, thought the Little Yellow Lead as a riot of fiery leaves chased and swirled round the tree.
Suzanne
Sep 02, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beautiful art and soothing, rythmic language will make this a fall favorite! Definite Caldecott contender.
Dawn
Sep 27, 2008 Dawn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This is a little book with a great big message about the power of friendship.
Alison
Aug 27, 2008 Alison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 5k
Picture books don't get any more beautiful than this. A new fall favorite!!
Kayne
Apr 06, 2009 Kayne rated it it was amazing
I wish I could have picked this for the Caldecott Winner! What creative, excellent Art! It is very exciting.
Joann
Dec 13, 2008 Joann rated it it was amazing
A perfect, quiet fall story. Fine for a fall story time. Beautiful art.
Cindi
Nov 11, 2008 Cindi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A perfect book for fall/winter. I just loved it!
Natalie
Oct 29, 2008 Natalie rated it really liked it
i would have this book on my wall.
Julie
Dec 18, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful story about letting go and flying free. :)
Kim
Sep 14, 2010 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The little yellow leaf is not ready to let go of the branch of a great oak tree. The leaf’s thoughts are indicated with italic type, and when the yellow leaf spies a scarlet leaf high across the tree, their dialogue of few words is shouted in larger font. The layout and wording of the text is poetic. The pages are filled with warm, autumn colors that shift to a few pages of cool winter blues as the setting changes. The illustrations were created using collage. It appears that several of the imag ...more
Maribeth Carreon
At first, searching for fantasy books and seeing this one was unusual because you wouldn't think it was fantasy at all judging by the cover. However, after having read the book it was imaginative and creative. The story follows a lone leaf through the seasons fall and winter. Following it while it still holds strong to its oak tree. Eventually, it grows out of its comfort zone and lets go with a little encouragement.

Judging by this book by its cover is necessarily true because it contains charac
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Lexi Beaver
Sep 13, 2016 Lexi Beaver rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rdng-350
This is a fantastic and beautiful book. It's illustrations are very unique, in that the words of the book follow along whatever the illustration may be, instead of vice versa, how it normally is set up. The illustrations make this book look like a scrapbook. The leaves look cut out and glued to the page, while the lines surrounding items look like they are cut out from a newspaper.
I enjoyed the story because it was obviously about the season of fall coming up, but it personified the leaves as i
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Brittany Rockhill
Nov 08, 2016 Brittany Rockhill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
The Little Yellow Leaf is a book that stretches and connects to all different ages and types of people. There are analogies that can be made to changes in life, feelings of loneliness, and making friends. The illustrations are modern, crisp, and creative. The illustrator used newspaper throughout each picture, involved texture in her pictures, and wrapped the text in creative ways. The story talks about a journey of two leaves and how they feel as they are left behind on the tree when every othe ...more
Shawn Thrasher
Oct 02, 2013 Shawn Thrasher rated it liked it
What an beautifully odd book. Autumn and falling leaves are metaphors for old age, death and dying - or at least to me. So is that what this book is about? And is the ending of this about assisted suicide then? (yes, I went there). Or is autumn and falling leaves like taking a new journey, and leaves at the end do this together... or maybe, to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a leaf is just a leaf. Regardless, a thoughtful picture book is a good thing, particularly for grown up readers. Wee folk can ...more
Heather
Oct 04, 2012 Heather rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Ages 5-8
Award: 2008 New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books selection

Carin Berger writes about the big decision that must be made by the Little Yellow Leaf. It must decide when to let go of the tree branch in the fall. The Leaf is hesitant to make this giant leap and hangs on as long as possible. Eventually, the Little Yellow Leaf spots the Little Scarlet Leaf who is also clinging to the tree. The two form a friendship and support each other through the journey they must take.

This book makes me
...more
Amanda Zell
Mar 05, 2010 Amanda Zell rated it liked it
Shelves: pbgs-2
This book had a very unique way of using color all around, but very few images per page.

This children's book appeared to have quite a bit of space around the pictures. While the space was filled with color, there were few images/elements per page. The texture appeared to be very smooth, but the pages did have some different patterning that was different than the other books that I was analyzing. The use of line was definitely very horizonal or vertical. In fact, many of the backgrounds of the pa
...more
Ina
Nov 05, 2012 Ina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: storytime-reads
This is a charming story about a little yellow leaf who does not react well to change. When all the other leaves are falling, this one holds on tight and states that he is not ready...even when snow falls and he is lonely and cold. Finally, he spots another hold out, a scarlet leaf, and together they let go and go soaring off into the sky. The simple illustrations are beautiful and bright and the text contains rich vocabulary - the afternoon sun "beckoned and teased" and "flocks of geese took wi ...more
Alyssa Teator
Nov 15, 2014 Alyssa Teator rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
Title: "The Little Yellow Leaf"
Author/Illustrator: Carin Berger
Published: August 26th 2008 by Greenwillow Books
Genre: Fiction
As the seasons are beginning to change, little yellow leaf watches how all of the other leaves fall off the tree and float away. Little yellow leaf, however, is not ready yet. This book relates to those who might be going through a change and think "I'm not ready yet". Towards the end of this changing and developing time, little yellow leaf finds a friend who is also strug
...more
Bekah
Sep 06, 2012 Bekah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
A little leaf hangs on to the branch, not willing to let go. Even when other leaves are falling, the leaf still refuses. However, after some encouragement and support from friends, the leaf finds excitement in letting go. The illustrations are natural-looking and seem to stand out from the page. I chose this book as part of my top-twenty because it teaches that, while letting go can be difficult, it can also be a great adventure. All children struggle with some type of fear, and they can easily ...more
Linda
A story about the reluctance to do something daring, to let go, but also would be a good beginning book to talk about autumn. One yellow leaf hangs on, when all the other things are changing, the pumpkins growing and deepening in color, the apples ripening, trees are nearly bare. No matter what, the leaf continues to stay the same, on the branch, even in a snowstorm. Excitement grows page by page as we wonder what will happen, and finally this leaf spies another, a red leaf way up high. It's alw ...more
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Carin Berger is an award-winning designer and illustrator. She is the creator of Not So True Stories & Unreasonable Rhymes and All Mixed Up, and the illustrator of Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant, by Jack Prelutsky. She won the Society of Illustrators Founder's Award in 2006, and Publishers Weekly called her "one to watch." Carin Berger lives with her family in New York City.
More about Carin Berger...

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