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The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story Of Life For All Ages
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The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story Of Life For All Ages

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  1,257 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
As Freddie experiences the changing seasons along with his companion leaves, he learns about the delicate balance between life and death.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 15th 1982 by Slack (first published 1982)
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Rebecca McNutt
Got this book a few years back for reasons I'd rather not discuss. Anybody else besides me think that the title sounds more like a Godfatheresque film or something? "Freddie the Leaf, I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse!" But all joking aside, it's a beautiful story with wonderful, vivid illustrations, and a simple way to explain the concepts of grief and loss to younger readers.
Luisa Knight
You're best off not thinking of this as a children's story but as a humanistic sermon with a few non-enticing photos. I just don't see how kids would stay attentive (especially as it would be too over their heads), and I'm not sure that the parents I read for would embrace the message anyway.

If you're looking for a book to read to a child that addresses loss, please see my shelf "Children's Life Issues" for the books I highly recommend.

Ages: 4 -8

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detaile
ستارهدادن به این کتاب سخته. چون هم کامله هم نیست. واسه وقتایی که خیلی پُر مرگ و درد و بدبختیهاتی، التیامبخشه. اما نمیدونم... انگار نمیخوام اینطوری تموم شه. میخواستم فلسفهی پشت این کتابو بدونم. یه دیدگاهی هست یادم رفته اصن(یه مدت زیادیه که هیچی فلسفه نخوندم و حس میکنم خیلی چیزا هم یادم رفته!) ولی یه جور اعتقاد به جهانی شدنه. فیلسوفهای زیادی چنین نظری دارن. ینی میگن ما بخشی از یه جهانیم که هی تو این جهان متولد میشیم و هربار گسترسش میدیم. ینی مرگ رو زندگی جدید میدونه و در جهت رشد دنیا، در عین رشد ه ...more
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
absolutely beautiful allegory about the circle of life
Abby Pooch
May 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: bereavement, children
I am not the biggest fan of this book for several reasons.
1) Comparing human death to death in nature is often inappropriate because many plants go into hibernation in the fall and come back again in the spring. However, this book does present it in the most appropriate way possible, in that individual leaves are what dies on a tree. The individual leaves do not come back the next year.
2) The pages get too wordy trying to explain the story. The story line could have been explained in a much mo
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What did I think? I think sweet and wonderful. A very precious way to talk about life and death with children. With anybody, actually. I was supposed to read this together with one of my girlies, Mary Kate, but time got away from both of us, and I decided to go ahead and read it. We will have more times to read together.

This is a great book to share with your little ones, your big ones, your everybody. :)
May 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life for All Ages by Leo Buscaglia is not a children’s book per se; rather the book is “an inspiring allegory [that] illustrates the delicate balance between life and death,” in a way that transcends the category of age. Nature becomes a metaphor for community, identity and the life cycle for Leo Buscaglia, who has crafted a story that looks past the need for any specific ideological comfort or message to answer end-of-life questions. Rather, Freddie the ...more
Aug 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: recommendations
I read this when I lost someone very close to me, a a child. It was incredibly helpful, and I have used it to help my children deal with loss.
Tasneem  Zafer
Jan 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A deeply touching story of Freddie the leaf going through life's changes (the passing seasons) and finally falling to the ground!! He keeps asking questions about life and death. Daniel the loving friend helps him through with his delicately wonderful and wisely confident answers!
It's an amazing book that helps adults answer real deep questions such as, will we all die? why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die? And where will we go after we die?

One of my favorite quotes by Daniel,
Aug 31, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me cry. It is an excellent choice when teaching children about the end of life for someone they love. It makes death a natural celebration of peace after a struggle to hang on to something that is no longer important. It speaks of a higher purpose in the circle of all things. Kinda sad though.
Good for children. Sad and poignant.
Jennifer Miller
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the most beautiful book for children, or anyone dealing with the loss of a loved one.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Lovely photos, not so sure about the accompanying story. I've been looking for some good kids books about death/grieving, and this isn't quite what I'm looking for.
Brian Wilcox
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A superb introduction to death for children readers. As a Spiritual guide and Chaplain working with families in dying, death, grief process, I find this a helpful resource for adults and children.

I find this more helpful than the oft explanation that the loved one has gone somewhere else "up there." Such seems not to take death seriously enough as an ending, even if new beginning.

This resource provides analogy from nature the child can easily relate to in the here-and-now of his or her life. T
Julie Gunn
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was walking in the backyard yesterday and, I swear, I think I saw Freddie on the ground!
Quite depressing book.
But it's five ***** because it's the reality of life.
Christians will not like this because it screams 'atheism' &/or 'reincarnation'.
I'm an atheist, so I can handle it.
I think kids might like it.
The pictures could be improved. Not much imagination put into that.
Overall, I like it because it's a real view on how life is. We live, we die, and we have no idea what happens after that
Lola Volkova
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
The story is so simple that we don’t expect any surprises from the story itself. While writing such a story, It’s more about how to write it than what to write. Every turning point is smooth and comforting, especially at the point of death. Every little one of us is part of a bigger plan. A leaf can only see the whole tree at the moment of death. I like the idea that death is the preparation of new life.
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Then what has been the reason for all of this?" Freddie continued to question. "Why were we here at all if we only have to fall and die?"

Daniel answered in his matter-of-fact way, "It's been about the sun and the moon. It's been about happy times together. It's been about the shade and the old people and the children. It's been about colors in Fall. It's been about seasons. Isn't that enough?"
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written allegory about the cycle of life and death.
Laura Siegel
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
This was recommended to me as a book about death and grieving. But I don’t see it and I don’t believe children would draw the conclusion. Nice photos though.
Oct 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really good book about Life and death told as a conversation between two friends who happen to be leaves. Read aloud to Emily at UUCQC ‘death class’.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A wonderful story about the circle of life and the importance of each individual to the continuation of the whole creation.
Ending Well
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
A lovely book to read with children. It helps ground death in nature and its cycles, and reinforces the belief that through the natural universe nothing is ever lost.
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing

How to make sense of the death of a loved one? How to bring acceptance and closure of the heart's wounds while grieving? Without reference to Christianity or any other organized religion Buscaglia penned this gem from the depth of his tender soul. This book can be such a comfort when explaining to a child about the death of a loved one. How to make sense of cruel loss; how to recognize that we will never again see in person th
Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I used this book with a boy a worked with a few years ago. He was 9 at the time, and a close relative had died. Before a colleague showed me the book, I struggled to find the right words to comfort him with, to no avail. The experience was a first hand confrontation with the fact that our culture generally has a great deal of difficulty dealing with the issue of death. Of all the books I've read that attempt to help us deal with this problem, this one is the best.

This simple, poignant story abo
Aug 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I can't say enough good about this book. I read it with my children, ages 4, 6, 9 and 12, this morning, and all loved it. The youngest got a little from it, but it really struck the 12yo.

Freddie is a leaf on a tree in a public space. He tells us about himself and his friends, the other leaves. He tells us about the spring and summer, the winds, the people who come to enjoy the shade. Then he starts to change colors in the fall, and tells us about that. He questions his wise friend, Daniel, anot
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this while sitting shmira for a deceased friend this passed weekend. It was nice.
Elijah Adams
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Fall of Freddie the Leaf: A Story of Life For All Ages by Leo Buscaglia is about a leaf named Freddie and his friends. One of his friends, Daniel, is a very wise leaf who explains to Freddie and the others the facts of life. He explains to them what the sun is and the moon. He explains what is a purpose and finally as winter draws closer he explains to the other leaves about death. Freddie does not believe Daniel when he declares that everything dies, but slowly over time Freddie notices mor ...more
The motivational speaker, Leo "Dr. Love" Buscaglia made it his mission to explore human disconnectedness and the meaning of life. In the dedication of The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, Buscaglia says, "(The story is) dedicated to all children who have ever suffered a permanent loss, and to the grownups who could not find a way to explain it." Thus, he and a team of photographers set about capturing the life cycle of a leaf to share Freddie's life with children so that they see living and dying as a ...more
Sep 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was in Barnes and Noble the other day and this book caught my attention because of the vibrant colors. I stood there and read the whole thing. It wasn't long at all though, but it was a beautiful little book. About a leaf named Freddie who has friends on a tree and they are all leaves too. They learn about the seasons changing and how even though they are all on the same tree, they are different. They are positioned differently, catch shadows different, receive light differently, change differ ...more
Arin Williams
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book introduces the reader to Freddie, one of many leaves on a tree in a park. Freddie, his mentor Daniel, and the other leaves live through the seasons until it is fall, at which time Daniel explains that it is time for the leaves to fall to the ground and die. Freddie questions the purpose of this, and the meaning of his existence in general, which Daniel explains before letting go to fall to the ground. Freddie hangs on until winter, contemplating letting go until he accepts that his fal ...more
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Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia Ph.D. was a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California. He was a graduate of Theodore Roosevelt High School (Los Angeles).

Leo Buscaglia authored a number of New York Times bestselling inspirational books on love and human reticences on the subject, including The Fall of Freddie the Leaf, Bus 9 to Paradise, Living Loving a
More about Leo F. Buscaglia

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“Every moment spent in unhappiness is a moment of happiness lost.” 44 likes
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