By Michelle Cox

Michelle author pic

In Leif and the Fall, by Allison Sweet Grant and Adam Grant, Leif is, well you guessed it, a fall leaf! Leif knows that all leaves fall from their trees in the fall, but is feeling worried about his journey. He can feel the cool autumn air and is determined to come up with a plan to ease the discomfort of falling.

Leif and the Fall

Other leaves mock, tell Leif he’s wasting his time, tease, and repeat the phrase, “All leaves fall in the fall.” Leif doesn’t let this stop him though. He enlists the help of his friend Laurel, and together they try every idea they can imagine. Sadly, nothing seems to work and Leif clings to his branch in frustration until he is finally forced by the winds to fall. Along the way, Leif is met with a wonderful surprise.

This darling story offers several teaching opportunities.

First, worry is a normal feeling that everyone experiences from time to time:

  • Even when it feels like you’re the only one worried, you are never alone.
  • When you do feel worried, you always have choices.
  • What did Leif do with his worry?

Second, our creative brains have a lot of great ideas:

  • Some work. Some don’t.
  • Keep on trying!

Third, everyone feels frustrated and discouraged just like Leif:

  • Sometimes our failures take us to where we need to be.
  • How did Leif’s failures help him?
  • How did Leif treat his friend when we was feeling sad and frustrated?

So many options! Here are a few more:

  • “What did you learn from Leif in his story?”
  • “What would you try if you were Leif?”
  • “Have you ever felt worried about something like Leif?”
  • “What did you try to help your worry?
  • “Have you ever been like the leaves saying, ‘All leaves fall…’?”
  • “How did that feel?” “How about the other person, how did they feel?”

Simple questions like these can open the door to an engaging child-led conversation. With or without any further conversation, this beautifully illustrated story is worth reading.


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