On a breezy fall day, while Papa is raking leaves and Mama is hanging the laundry to dry, "Oliver chases a big yellow leaf...down the hill, around a clumpy bush, under a twisty tree, and all the way to the edge of the woods." The little bear is so caught up in his pursuit that he is not aware how far he has gone--until he looks up and his house is nowhere in sight! After unsuccessfully trying to find the clumpy bush and twisty tree, Oliver realizes he is lost, and begins to cry. But then he has a brilliant idea: if he roars loudly enough, his Papa and Mama will hear him. And roar he does, until an answer from his parents enables him to follow the sound past the twisty tree and the clumpy bush and up the hill...all the way home.
Author Phyllis Root perfectly captures the mindset of a young child as he explores, and is fascinated by, the world around him. Her story pays tribute to the enthusiasm and also the ingenuity of preschoolers. Christopher Denise's pastel and charcoal illustrations are a real
treasure. The fall day comes to life in glorious color, and Oliver's facial expressions (especially his teary ones) want to make the reader give the little bear a big hug. This is a natural for story time, with listeners providing the sound effects as Oliver roars, and kids will enjoy
reading it on their own.
Reviewed by: Basya Karp, Librarian, New York, USA