Now that summer’s here, how do you keep your kids learning, creating, and spending more time outdoors than in front of a screen? One way is with this inspiring little book, “Look What I Did with a Leaf!” by Morteza E. Sohi.
This is not so much a read-aloud type of book that you would share with a roomful of students, but rather a book to enjoy at home with your kids, or for young readers to be inspired by on their own.
When we see leaves on a tree, it’s normal for the sheer number of them to cause us to miss the intricate beauty of a single leaf. This book will encourage kids (and adults!) to ‘see like an artist’ as they begin to look for and notice the incredible variety of sizes, shapes, and colors of leaves. Just the diversity of greens, yellows, and browns alone are fascinating once you train your eye to notice them!
By layering contrasting leaves and combining them in a collage, you can create any animal or creature you can imagine, and even entire scenes. This book will open your eyes to the uniqueness of a single leaf as you look for the sizes, shapes, edge qualities, textures, and colors you need for your own designs.
In addition to plenty of inspiring examples, you’ll find helpful tips for:
- setting up and organizing your workspace
- how to collect, clean, and press leaves
- the best places to find reference material
- an illustrated life cycle of a leaf, and
- a field guide to identifying the leaves used in this book
The only thing I would add or change is the author’s suggestion to use rubber cement for gluing and contact paper for sealing and protecting your work. Instead of those, I would substitute YES! Paste for gluing (less toxic, easier to work with, and washable) and Mod Podge to seal and protect your designs. Mod Podge (matte) dries to a nice satin finish that enhances colors, highlights details, and prevents the cracking and breaking of brittle leaves, allowing you to successfully combine materials of varying thicknesses.
So get outside and experience a new appreciation for the natural world. Try combining your next nature walk or hike with science & art and make your own creative leaf collage!