Saturday, November 17, 2012

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves, written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke, is a favorite Autumn book in our house.  In the story a tiny fox named Fletcher is extremely concerned about the leaves changing colors and falling off of his favorite tree.  So concerned, in fact, that he tries desperately to keep the leaves on the tree even though his mother keeps telling him "Don't worry.  It's only Autumn."  In order to keep the leaves on his favorite tree, Fletcher tries catching them, tying them to the tree and even holding on tight to the very last leaf, but nature wins and the last leaf dries up and pops off of the tree.  Fletcher mournfully carries this leaf home and takes it to bed with him.  The next morning the tree has a surprise waiting for has been covered with sparkling ice.  Fletcher is amazed and relieved!  Emmy and I love the ending of this story as Fletcher begins to understand that seasons come and go and with each comes such beauty.

When Emmy was three and a half, she experienced her first New England Autumn.  She loved watching the tree outside of her bedroom window change from bright green to a vibrant red.  Emmy liked to say that the tree was all dressed up and ready to go to the Ball. When she asked me how the leaves changed color, I could have told her the science behind the transformation, but instead told her that the fairies came during the night and painted the leaves all of these beautiful colors.  Her response was why didn't the fairies use pink paint!  Just like Fletcher, Emmy became sad when the leaves started to fall off of the tree.  She, too, thought of ideas to keep the leaves on the tree including tape and glue.

This year's Autumn performance was once again absolutely gorgeous.  Everything burst with its last beauty as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.  Now most of the leaves have fallen off of the trees and we have begun to see a very different landscape.  There are many things we have noticed in our urban neighborhood since the leaves have fallen such as, the bright blue dome of the Greek Orthodox Church two streets away and the calm, emptiness of the Merrimack River as the boats have been brought onto land.

Emmy and I welcome each season with such enthusiasm.  Most of the people around us are already complaining about the cold and the snow that will fall very soon.  There are no complaints from us. We are eager to wear our puffy coats and warm boots, drink hot cocoa under cozy blankets and see the snowflakes settle on the bare branches of the trees.

We hope all of you are enjoying Autumn wherever you may live.

"Spring passes and one remembers one's innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one's exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one's reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one's perseverance." 
--Yoko Ono

For a few more Autumn books check out our post about Apple Farmer Annie written in September 2009, our Favorite Autumn Books written in October 2009,   and our post about author Zoe Hall written in October 2010.