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Picture Book Thursday

Johnny Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth
Written by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Jim Burke
Harper Collins
Age Range 6-9 years

Little The Little Yellow Leaf

Written and illustrated by Carin Berger
Harper Collins
Age Range 3-9 years

Ellen_2 Ellen’s Apple Tree

Written and illustrated by Catarina Kruusval
Age Range 3-8 years

Hey folks.  It’s Picture Book Thursday and the excitement of fall is in the air.  I asked one of my students today, “Why are you stomping?”  His reply?  “It’s a matter of fact Mr. B, I just get so excited when we go outside!”  So I thought I’d review a couple of books for you to get excited about.

Johnny Appleseed: The Legend and the Truth
In this latest addition to the world of Johnny Appleseed, Jane Yolen offers up a fun book with history and facts featured on every page.  I found the background facts to be especially fascinating.  For example, “Because Father Nathaniel was not given the acres of land promised all colonial soldiers, some historians believe he was dismissed for stealing army supplies.”  Jim Burke’s paintings complement the text, and often make use of quilt patterns in unexpected ways.

The Little Yellow Leaf
What a beautifully designed book!  It should be no surprise, as author Carin Berger is also an award-winning designer and illustrator.  She makes use of the notebook-themed end papers to allude to a falling leaf with dotted swirl.  As the seasons change, we quickly learn that the yellow leaf is not ready to leave the tree.  I won’t give away the ending, but I will say this book is a visual treat, complete with a gorgeous collage of the sun.  Bits of newsprint are mixed into the illustrations in a subtle and fun fashion, enhancing the overall design.

Ellen’s Apple Tree
This book has been out for a few years, but to my delight, was just translated and made available by FSG.  It’s a great addition to any apple unit and a fine stand alone read.  In it we find Ellen and Ollie enjoying their apple tree through the various seasons.  After a winter storm, they’re in for a shock when their tree comes down.  But all is not lost as they wait for the seasons to change so they can plant a new favorite tree.  It’s great to see the interactions of this family as they prepare for the tree, digging the hole, shopping at the nursery and finally enjoying the new tree.

So that’s your dose of fall excitement for the day.  Let me know what you think about these titles.  See you tomorrow for the Kid Lit Round-Up.

Using Carin Berger’s sun illustration from The Little Yellow Leaf, provide children with old magazines, scissors and glue.  Have them cut out scraps of yellow paper to create a class art project, a collage of the sun.  Try other colors for other artwork: reds for an apple, greens for a frog, blues for a raindrop. 


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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Kid Lit Kit are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.