My editor, Nancy Paulsen, just sent word that Kirkus Reviews has given LEAVES a starred review!
Here's the review in its entirety (from the July 15, 2007 issue):
*STAR* Stein, David Ezra. LEAVES. (Putnam 9780399246364)
A young bear observing his first autumn is captivated by the leaves as they change color from golden to amber. His exuberance and wonder change to worry and consternation when he is unable to replace the first leaf and those that follow to the bare branches. Instinct overtakes him as he gathers a paw full of leaves, finds and fills a hole and burrows in for the winter. When he awakens the following spring, he observes, to his relief, that the leaves have returned to the branches. Seasonal change and animal behavior are simply and freshly conveyed through a young child’s perspective with single-phrase captions and direct, vibrant watercolor illustrations. Bowed, listless branches echo little bear’s down-turned curved shoulders and eyes as he gives up his battle to replace the fallen leaves. Stein does not tread on ground where others often do in over explaining a complex concept. He understands and honors the young, curious mind and allows readers to share the joy of a discovery in text and illustration.
Woo hoo! Now I have to go out and hug some trees to thank them for their inspiration.
See ya in the woods,