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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  103 reviews
When a polar bear arrives unexpectedly in the woods, the animals fear and avoid him, suspecting him to be dangerous—and his habit of collecting leaves only adds to their distrust. Then one day, they watch as he attempts to fly over the water with wings made of colorful leaves, just trying to go home.

Maybe he needs some help?

Sandra Dieckmann is a UK-based artist best known
Hardcover, 28 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Flying Eye Books (first published 2017)
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Apr 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, arc
I was looking for something comforting and light to read when I couldn't fall asleep in the middle of the night, and then I see the completely stunning cover of this picture book and was instantly enchanted...

Leaf-- bookspoils
When a polar bear arrives unexpectedly in the woods, the animals fear and avoid him, suspecting him to be dangerous - and his habit of collecting leaves only adds to their distrust. Then one day, they watch as he attempts to fly over the water with wings made of colorful leaves...just tryi
Apr 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Is it just me or are pictures books becoming more and more beautiful these days. I've noticed it with a lot of the books we have coming into the library, and now this book, Leaf, is absolutely, strikingly gorgeous. And not just the illustrations but the story and message, too.

Set in the wild wood, the animals who call this rugged land their home are surprised and a little wary when a new animal arrives. He is big, white, and has lots of teeth. But stranger still is his habit of collecting leaves
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness. My son (3.5) and I both loved this story. The drawings are amazing. I wish I had prints of this on my wall! On top of that, crows? I love crows and so I loved that they saved this story. I'd love to see a sequel or more about these animals on both sides.

There is something so beautiful and sad about Leaf. My son kept asking why he was jumping off the cliff and I was all like "Uh, I think polar bears like to swim?" but then when we both realized he just wanted to go home...oh it k
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations in this picture book are so beautiful and the story's so sweet. It honestly almost made me cry. 5 stars.
Sophie Moran
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A heart warming story to let children know about the effect of global warming on animals.
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: illustration, kids
The story isn’t much of anything, but the artwork is absolutely stunning. I’d have any page on my wall.
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
One day, a polar bear washes up on the edge of the wild wood. Never seen such an animal, all the other animals of the wild wood run away from him. Eventually, the animals named the polar bear Leaf, because they want him to leave.

Leaf spends his days, alone in his dark cave. The animals are afraid of him and run away when they see him, they don’t talk to him but they talk about him.

Eventually, the other animals of the wildwood learn that Leaf just wants to go home. An icy place which is meltin
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: phoenix, indio
A gorgeous tale of sweet polar bear who is lost because his home is melting. Touches on climate change and bullying in a way that is accessible for every age.
Dec 05, 2017 added it
Shelves: picture-books
This picture book reminded me quite a bit of THE WILD ROBOT, a middle grade story about a robot who, like our polar bear Leaf here, becomes stranded in a place full of nature and life but without a single friend.

The animals are afraid of him and think he’s a monster. After all, they’ve never seen any animal like Leaf before – which is normal since polar bears do not belong in the forest. Not because they shouldn’t adventure there, but because that is not the kind of habitat they can thrive in.
Jenni McReddie
Such an important message within the book, judging someone without knowing anything about them and being unkind to them is entirely unnecessary. This would be a great book within PSHE lesson to show the children the importance of communicating and ensuring people are happy rather that judging people without speaking to them first.
Busy Mummy
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations that provides much thought provoking discussions about current issues about climate change, conservation and friendship. The important message in the story about supporting our neighbours human and animal, to help the endangered species such as Leaf the polar bear, can hopefully make a change if we work together. An enjoyable book to share.
Zoe Wood
Aug 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Leaf is a great book for PSHE, it teaches the importance of getting to know new people and not judging. It teaches that others have different skills and we can learn from each other. The beautiful illustrations could also be inspiration for an art project, or wall display. Furthermore, this introduced scope for discussion on global warming and habitats.
Emma Hamilton
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ks1
This book has a lovely tale about a polar bear who ends up in the wrong habitat and needs to get home.
The illustrations are very different and have lots of elements to them which children would enjoy looking at.

Rebecca Tracz
Sep 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A good book to introduce conversations about differences between people and also how isolating it may feel to be far from home. Demonstrates the importance of talking to each other before coming to misplaced conclusions.
Kristina Jean Lareau
Those colors and textures. The saturation.

Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, animals
Stunning illustrations, warm and full of colour! And the story gently reminds us to be nice to strangers, instead of fearing them. I will definitely be on the lookout for Dieckmann's next creation!
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
The pictures were absolutely amazing.
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann, a book for children and adults alike, explores some topical issues.
One day, the polar bear Leaf arrives at the coast of the temperate climate wilderness. The first reaction of the animals is fear and confusion, but eventually, they overcome their own fears, and they help Leaf. I really appreciate this, especially now with the refugee crisis. I think to be afraid of the unknown is a normal thing for humans, but often I see not the most helpful attitude towards this fear.
Baby Bookworm
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann, a clever yet poignant tale about fear of the unfamiliar.

The crows saw him first, drifting toward the shore one moonlit night on a raft of rapidly melting ice. He took shelter in the old empty cave that the other animals steered clear of, and the whispers started soon after. He looked so different from the other animals, and even from t
That One Librarian
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Sandra Dieckmann's debut picture book a stunningly illustrated tale of a polar bear lost in an unfamiliar world after the melting ice sweeps him away. Every day he covers himself in leaves and leaps off a cliff over the ocean, trying to fly home. While he does this, the forest animals are scared and intimidated by him, trying to decide how to handle this unexpected guest. While Dieckmann's illustrations are superb - a mix of watercolor and pencil work - the two very strong messages are somehow m ...more
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
When a strange creature arrives, the other animals are scared and won't go near him. Instead they watch from a safe distance as the creature gathers leaves together and then jumps off a cliff. Eventually the crows pick up enough courage to talk to the strange creature and so they learn the polar bear's sad story of melting ice and drifting away from home and family.

Sandra Dieckmann's background as an artist is obvious from the quality of the illustrations. They are the highlight of this book wi
Dieckmann's debut picturebook seeps itself into the form of a modern fable with myth-like magic. There is no doubt that is beautiful with her use of mixed media to capture a host of vivid and charming animals - the best of which is Leaf itself - a lone Polar Bear who has floated to this strange land on a shard of ice.
When Leaf arrives, there is a sense of distrust and quick hate from the animals apart from the crows. What will happen to Leaf in this new place and will anyone help him? A story t
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emma Andje
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
If anything, this book is worth reading just for the gorgeous illustrations. Oh my goodness, they are stunning! I could have easily spent an hour looking at all of the intricate details in this book.

The story is cute, but did not blow me away as much as the illustrations did. It reads similarly to a folk tale, with a hint of the whimsy of Jan Brett's books. A group of forest animals are shocked to see a polar bear wander in their woodsy habitat. The bear keeps doing bizarre things, and they pon
Daisy Chein
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Is it just me or are children's books getting 100x better?

What’s so great about this picture book is that despite how beautifully illustrated and intricately detailed the cover is, it’s still not enough to portray just how magnificent this book is. On surface level, Leaf is about a polar bear who washes up in the woods – striking fear in the resident animals’ hearts as they have never seen a beast quite like him. But all the bear wants to do is go home.

This is more than just a cute book with be
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Leaf by Sandra Dieckmann. What an incredible work of art! The illustrations are full of colour and movement, filled with all the animals of the wild wood. The story is a clever tale about the plight of the polar bears who are losing their habitats to climate change. Leaf is washed up on the shores of the wild wood. None of the other animals had never seen anything like him before. Unfortunately he is not well received. The animals are frightened and do not want to get to know and understand this ...more
"Every day they discussed the stranger, but no one was brave enough to talk to him."

A polar bear washes up onto the shore. "It was unlike anything the animals of the wild wood had ever seen before." It goes to live in a cave on the hill. All the animals are afraid to approach him. The animals named him Leaf because not only did the animal collect leaves every day, but also because they all wanted him to leave. Only the crows think that they should talk to Leaf and find out who he is and why he's
Aug 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
A polar bear gets washed up on a shore near foreign woods far from his icy home. The animals of the forest fear him because he's different. However, they are also in awe of the beautiful leafy wings he creates. They soon get the courage to approach him after he almost drowns trying to fly using his wings. They learn that hes just trying to find his way back home. The crows decide to band together and they fly him back to his cold wilderness.

Omg the illustrations! I want to supersize the cover a
Jessica Furtado
This might be the most beautifully illustrated book I have ever read. While the text didn't immediately grab me, it grew on me, and I appreciated that the theme encourages children not to be afraid of those who are different from us. This is a tale about not judging a book by its cover (though go ahead and judge this book in that way - because the cover and book's contents are equally stunning!) and about encouraging empathy. The ending provides a nice teaching opportunity to open up a discussio ...more
Austria Kovalenko
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one magical story! I can't believe I found this gem 😊
Drawn beautifully, I was able to read every pen line, brush stroke, and colour. Those eyes on Leaf, they make everything times 💯
Told magnificently ! difficult to find a book that is not only drawn well but told well too. This is one of those books, where the words were clearly in sync with the story and illustrations, the words flowed and blossomed!

perfect book.
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Sandra Dieckmann is an illustrator, author and maker. Her work is deeply inspired by all that's weird and wonderful in nature, drifting thoughts and dreams. She is best known for her colourful and patterned, often intricate renderings but works in a multitude of media from pencil and paint to digital and clay. A lot of her work is self initiated and sold online in her busy Etsy shop, as well as th ...more
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