Friday, October 16, 2015

Fall Fun with "My Leaf Book" by Monica Wellington {A Review and Giveaway}

Through the years we have enjoyed quite a few books written by children's author/illustrator Monica Wellington. Her books are full of bright and cheerful illustrations which help to tell wonderful stories. Her latest book is no exception. I was thrilled when I received "My Leaf Book" right before our L:Leaf unit was to start.

In this story, a young girl heads to the arboretum with her puppy on a quest to find autumn leaves. Her goal is to start a leaf book. To aid her in this endeavor she has a spiral book titled "My Leaf Book" and a Tree Guide. Each time she finds a leaf, she looks for a match in her tree guide. She creates her book by making leaf rubbings, leaf prints, and by gluing leaves inside.

As we join the girl on her walk through the arboretum, we find that Ms. Wellington focuses on each newly discovered tree by devoting a full page to that tree. As you can see in the picture below, the illustration invites the reader to focus on the shape of the leaves both in the heart of the tree, and in the leaves on and under the tree.

As the story progresses, there is a feel of actually walking through the arboretum ourselves. Though Ms. Wellington continues to devote a full page to each new tree, the previous trees are included on the opposite page.

The story alternates the pages where the girl is among the trees, with informational pages. The illustrations here depict the girl adding the leaves to her book, while on the opposite page the reader is treated to life size pictures of the leaves.

I love that Ms. Wellington included illustrations that look like the real leaf along with leaf rubbings and leaf prints. These are the pages where the reader will find all the information about the leaves. This information is given to the reader through the girl's Leaf Book. She writes a description of the leaf along with the name of the tree it is from. The book itself has the feel of being an actual leaf book because the author has added little tabs along the side of the pages with the name of the tree. Additionally, there is an information box on the page with the life-size leaves that gives general leaf/tree information. Through these informational boxes the reader will discover several important facts about leaves, such as:
  • the shape of leaves helps us to identify them 
  • there are simple and compound leaves
  • some leaves have lobes, which can be rounded or pointy
  • leaves have veins which either radiate or look like a feather
  • leaf edges can be either smooth or toothed
The book concludes with a couple of ideas for Leaf Projects. Ms. Wellington has included detailed instructions for creating Leaf Rubbings and Leaf Prints. 

The children and I read "My Leaf Book" as a part of our L:Leaf unit with our curriculum. We headed over to the park to gather some leaves for different projects, one of which was to be their own "My Leaf Book." Before we could get a chance to complete them, they made one in their science class at our homeschool co-op. Their teacher took them on a nature hike around the camp where we meet. I was actually glad she took them and had them make this project. In the park behind our house, there are only a couple of different kinds of trees. However, the camp had a wide variety of trees for the children to identify with the help of their teacher. 

"My Leaf Book" is a wonderful book for young children to learn about different kinds of trees. I love the way Ms. Wellington focused on the shape of the leaves in her illustrations of the trees at the arboretum. The children aren't just given facts about the different leaves in a dry fashion. We are able to join with the girl in the creation of her leaf book which helps us to learn all about each leaf and tree shared in the book. The illustrations are gorgeous. I love Ms. Wellington's distinct way of illustrating her characters.

As a warning, there is a brief mention of millions of years in the information box on the Ginkgo leaf page. If you are like us and teach the young earth view of creation, it is simple enough to omit this line or read it and discuss it with your child(ren). This in no way lessened my positive impression of the book, but I do like to mention such things so others are aware.

This book is a great addition to our library. I loved being able to include it with our leaf unit. This book in and of itself is a great starting point for a study of leaves. I highly recommend it.

Now for some great news. I have been given the opportunity to offer a giveaway for 1 lucky person to win their very own copy of "My Leaf Book" by Monica Wellington.

All you need to do is enter in the Rafflecopter form below. 
There are only 2 simple mandatory entries, with the remainder of the entries being optional. 
Remember, you do not have to do the extra entries, but they will increase your odds of winning. 

This giveaway is open to US residents 18 and over. 
The giveaway runs October 16th through October 31st 2015.

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck!

 By entering the giveaway, you understand and agree that your contact information will be shared with the sponsor.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received "My Leaf Book" by Monica Wellington in hopes that I would read it to the children and write a review on my blog. I was also sent a copy to donate to my local library. No further compensation was given. This did not in any way influence my review. I only recommend products I use personally and feel will be a good products for my readers. 


  1. I love seeing all the colorful leaves; my daughter loves jumping in them, lol!

  2. We love shopping at the farmer's market during the autumn.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  3. this looks like a cute book! i'd love to win for my boyfriend's baby cousin Lorenzo!

  4. We love going to the pumpkin patch!

  5. Our favorite fall event is the hayride we do with our church. We go down to the river, roast hotdogs and smores over a fire. It is a fun fellowship time!

  6. We love to visit the apple orchard and then make homemade applesauce!

  7. This is a very beautiful book. My grandson is delighted by books and cannot get enough of them. I will enjoy reading this one to him!

  8. we enjoy jumping into a piles and piles of crunchy leaves

  9. We love to collect colorful leaves and acorns and visit the pupkin patch!

  10. We love to go outside and walk through the leaves, kicking them up as we go, and making big piles to jump in!

  11. We love doing fall crafts, looking for pinecones & acorns, eating candy corn & drinking apple cider, going to the pumpkin farm.

  12. We love to enjoy the Fall weather by decorating for the Holidays!!!
    Jennifer Rogers

  13. We like baking and making fall foods like caramel apples

  14. going for nature walks. thankyou, ken

  15. We love going to the pumpkin patch and taking walks through the park to enjoy the trees changing colors.

  16. We go out walking with our dogs because its not so hot outside

  17. I love to take them on nature walks,fall crafts & the truck & tractor event we have in our area.Oh!Almost forgot leaf jumping & collecting.Both my kids LOVE to do that too.

  18. We like to go for walks in the neighborhood and see the changing leaves. Thank you


  19. We like to sit in the backyard and watch the leaves fall.


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