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A Leaf Can Be...

(Can Be . . . Books)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  953 ratings  ·  168 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 (Tm) (first published January 1st 2012)
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4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  953 ratings  ·  168 reviews

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Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Very few words + beautiful illustrations = big impact!

Every time i read the word of what a leaf could be it sparked a mini discussion from my 5yr old about the purpose the leaves were serving on each page. An excellent book! This is one we definitely enjoyed reading together! Highly recommend!
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.
Oct 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Feb 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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
Nicole Doerr
Mar 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
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
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book is attractive with its bright colors, its charming trees and its cartoonish people and/or animals. Just the title is a promise to explore something that most people don't consider as they pass by a tree. Just what is a leaf?

The book is most definitely a quick read and one that is full of prose as the page along with its opposite rhyme with each other. The reading gives one to a few words that describes a leaf in a way that logical adults don't think of but the illustrations help to e
Andrea Gray
Oct 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
The Styling Librarian
Jul 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Completely beautiful book that felt informative and lyrical at the same time. The peaceful illustrations pulled you through the book and the information provided at the end of the book was the cherry topping!
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.
Carrie Gelson
Such lovely images. Pokes the imagination fully awake.
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!
Edward Sullivan
Feb 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely verse and illustrations.
Ralf Urbach
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
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.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Paige Brown
A Leaf Can Be.. is a rather simple book, but I think it is so informational especially for children who are younger. The book is mainly pictures. Most pages only have two words on them explaining what a leaf can be. A child can be read to and just follow along by looking at the pictures, or they can attempt to read the few words on the page as well.
This book is great for introducing a topic, which is leaves, but also talking about seasons and change. The book talks about what leaves are and how
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: year-1
Good clear illustrations which enable the children to link the word/ phrases on the page to the illustrations if they need clarity. Also, they are simple yet some are so powerful to the eye that I think could be really thought-provoking for some children and could be used as a stimulus to start discussions. Each double page rhymes, eg. "shade spiller"/ "mouth filler". I think the ending pages could be used as a stimulus for a science lesson for a nature walk or creating leaf patterns in art. I t ...more
Sunah Chung
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A leaf can be many things to various critters.

With poetic verse, the author describes the diverse roles of a leaf to multiple creatures. A leaf can be a shade spiller which provides cool shade on a hot day. A leaf can be a food maker by means of photosynthesis. This book is classified as fiction, but at the end of the book, the author provides facts and the functions of leaves, a glossary, and an informant for further reading. The fact-based roles of a leaf were described with exquisite and f
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Leaf Can Be is a nonfiction, sparesly worded, mixed media illustrated book. It uses lots of rhythm and rhyme to keep the reader engaged with the fun yet educational text. The sparse text is placed perfectly within the big and colorful artwork on each page. It also encourages the reader to learn more about leaves at the end of the book thus furthering the educational aspect of this book.
Jo Oehrlein
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Nice rhyming text shows all sorts of different things that leaves do.

One line bothers me: "A leaf is a leaf, a bit of a tree". Some of the examples (especially in the back matter), include leaves of non-trees. Plants, flowers, and shrubs all have leaves. It's not just trees.

I particularly like that the back matter has an explanation for each 2 word phrase about leaves in the book.
A leaf has many jobs. This book simply identifies them. Back matter furher explains - such as soft cradle - leaves hold cocoons. Back matter also includes a glossary and further reading.
This might be a fun writing prompt.
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Who knew that leaves had so many uses for so many different creatures? The beautiful whimsical illustrations are a true highlight of this book, along with trying to guess how a leaf can be a 'ground warmer". A great book for a casual science lesson exploring the wonder of nature.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I want to rate this five stars, really, I do! As an adult, I love this book. The beautiful pictures and the simplicity of the words fill my heart with peace. But, this is a children’s book, and my four year old won’t sit still to read this.
Kelsey Yates
Jun 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Lovely, colorful illustrations. Most pages just have two words. Explanations and glossary in the back. Good for preschool and early grades science.
May 17, 2017 rated it liked it
I like the illustrations. Informational.
#Leaf #Tree #Seasons #life Delightful poem-prose #book that clarifies the purpose of leaf!
Nadine Poper
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply stunning and beautiful, both language and illustrations!
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, non-fiction
Beautiful, poetic, and thought provoking.
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Laura Purdie Salas is the author of more than 130 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 thinker, a cupcake and brownie addict, and an adve

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