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One Leaf Rides the Wind
One Leaf Rides the Wind
by Celeste Davidson Mannis
Illustration by Susan Kathleen Hartung & Celeste Mannis

A young girl makes her way slowly through a Japanese garden where she spots one leaf, two carved temple dogs, three miniature bonsai, and four startled birds. This counting book introduces the youngest readers to the beauty and hidden secrets of a Japanese garden. It also introduces haiku, with ten poems that are simple and straightforward. The rhythmic haiku appear in a context that will make perfect sense to young readers. Each page contains additional information about the scene shown, and with lush illustrations, the loveliness of the garden can't be ignored. This is a picture book that works on many levels.
Age: 4 Year-olds | Title: One Leaf Rides the Wind  |  Author: Celeste Davidson Mannis  |  Publisher: Viking Children's Books
A young girl makes her way slowly through a Japanese garden where she spots one leaf, two carved temple dogs, three miniature bonsai, and four startled birds. This counting book introduces the youngest readers to the beauty and hidden secrets of a Japanese garden. It also introduces haiku, with ten poems that are simple and straightforward. The rhythmic haiku appear in a context that will make perfect sense to young readers. Each page contains additional information about the scene shown, and with lush illustrations, the loveliness of the garden can't be ignored. This is a picture book that works on many levels.

This is book of staggering beauty. Very simply, it teaches counting, but it is rich with content and new lessons. The history of the Japanese Garden is explained, and the poetic form, haiku, is introduced. With lovely illustrations and interesting historical facts, this is an excellent story for your child.

Since the book is made up of haikus, the text on each page is kept to a minimum, so your child won't be overwhelmed. The illustrations are really the focus as they tell a story about the garden and its history. Since the book helps teach counting, you can point out the numbers as you and your child read together.

This book reminded me of an incredible children's theatre performance that I saw a few years ago. The Italian company created a Japanese Garden with lights and projected images that transformed a gymnasium into a beautiful garden. The rich colors and images of the garden in the performance were so vibrant that even the most impatient children couldn't help but be awed by the presentation. This book captures the same beauty and I’m sure will hold your child's attention as well.

--Eve

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