Leaf

leaf

Ideas, sound effects and pictures by Stephen Michael King

Roaring Book Press, 2008

No running text in this small book, just the occasional sound effect — the snip, snip of a mother’s eager scissors, the pitter, patter, splot of  a trickling shower. But the gorgeously simple drawings do a fine job of telling the story.

A nameless (and shoeless) boy tries to evade his stylish mother’s desire to groom and cut his unkempt hair. While hiding out with his loyal pup, a bird happens to drop a seed onto the boy’s scalp — a seed which produces a leaf, a leaf which the boy takes tender care of. It outrages me that his mother lops off his hair anyway — I have assured both my children that if they choose to grow any plants on their heads, I will let them remain there as long as they wish — but I suppose without this insensitive mother, we wouldn’t get such a great story. The ending reminds me of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree – but without the misanthropy.

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