A Leaf Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrations by Violeta Dabija
I am a big fan of Laura Purdie Salas’ poetry and “A Leaf Can Be” is no exception. We have several of Laura Purdie Salas’ books of more traditional poetry collections in our library, including “And Then There Were Eight,” “Always Got My Feet,” "Do Buses Eat Kids?," "Flashy, Clashy, and Oh So Splashy," and the one the students in my school are surely most familiar with; "Tiny Dreams Sprouting Tall: Poems About the United States" (we use several of these in regular rotation on our morning show, PRTV). I recently visited Laura Purdie Salas’ website to see if she had any new books of poetry out and found to my delight that she did. I requested “A Leaf Can Be” from our public library before it was posted to the CYBILS Nonfiction Picture Books Nominee list (love to be ahead of the game!). Though I am happy it is included in our list, I was also surprised it wasn’t, by contrast, a part of the poetry list. I have since found out that collections of poems are included in the poetry category, whereas a picture books told in poetry that also happens to be nonfiction, does fall into the NFPB category. Genre often blurs the lines when it comes to award selection like this, but any way you slice it, I’m honored to be able to share my thoughts on “A Leaf Can Be” with all of you.
Violeta Dabija’s illustrations help to…illustrate the definitions given for what a leaf can be. For example, “water ladle” is accompanied by a picture of an upturned leaf collecting water and a sheep drinking out of it. “Rain stopper” shows a pair of foxes (I think) underneath of a tree protected from rain. The text and illustrations lend themselves to introduce a unit of science, either on leaves themselves, the changing seasons, camoflauge, and more. In the section at the end, “More About Leaves,” each of the definitions is further explained with specific examples. Further, the Glossary defines several words for inquiring minds and a bibliography with further reading is included as well. I enjoy this opportunity for students to view poetry as a form of reflection on scientific observation and to do so beautifully as well.
A Leaf Can Be...
Published: 2012 by Millbrook Press
I borrowed this copy from the public library to read and review it.
I plan to add this book to our school library collection.