Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall

by Leo Yerxa

A Woodland Indian child travels by canoe and on foot with a parent to an island campsite.... read more

A Woodland Indian child travels by canoe and on foot with a parent to an island campsite. During a day and a night, autumn becomes winter. Details of the familiar transition seem new within a wondrous, sophisticated account distinctive in design and voice. First, a lengthy poetic commentary on creation: "before seeing, before being / before valentines and wild flowers... snow was born" and then - a unique naturalistic first person narrative. Neither uses conventional punctuation. "The blanket of leaves that yesterday / covered the earth / was now covered with a blanket / of snow / to keep her warm during her long winter sleep / My blanket was also covered in snow / I brushed the snow away / Gone were the colors of yesterday / I arose from the earth / and walked into the light / of a new season." Stunning full-color collage assemblages sometimes fill double-page spreads and at other times decorate one corner of a full page of text. Illuminated letters and images of falling leaves assist in expressing the delicate instant when the season changes. (Age 10 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1994

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