Synopses & Reviews
It's autumn, and Fletcher's favorite tree is slowly changing colors and losing its leaves.
Fletcher is very worried.
He tells the tree he'll help. But when the very last leaf falls to the ground, Fletcher feels as though he's let down his friend . . .
. . . until the first day of winter, when Fletcher sees that his tree has turned into a shining, glittering surprise.
"Beeke's (The Stars Will Still Shine) attractive watercolors are a good match for British author Rawlinson's poetic tale of a small fox who tries to save a tree's autumn leaves. When 'the soft, swishing sound of summer fades to a crinkly whisper,' Fletcher worries about the brown leaves on his favorite tree. Beeke's illustrations show the shifting colors of the tree and Fletcher's poignant anxiety with equal deftness. When Fletcher finally wakes up to find his tree 'hung with a thousand icicles, shining silver in the early light,' the blue-toned, frosty tree is adorned with literal glitter on the page. Rawlinson liberally sprinkles the graceful text with child-friendly images, but the slight story seems too elaborate for the book's theme. Fletcher is appalled when various animals use the leaves for their winter nests, but his anguish sometimes seems too exaggerated: 'Help! Help! The wind, the squirrel, and the hedgehog are stealing our leaves,' he cries. The remainder of the book seems designed to fill out the book's pages rather than to provide scenes integral to the story. A 'flock of friendly birds' responds to Fletcher's plea and pokes the leaves back onto the tree's branches, while Fletcher climbs the tree and valiantly guards the last attached leaf. Oddly, while Fletcher's mother observes his grief, she doesn't provide an explanation of the change of seasons beyond telling him 'it's only autumn.' Nonetheless, the last image of the sparkling, snowy tree will likely surprise and delight young readers. Ages 3-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Julia Rawlinson grew up in London and graduated from Southampton University with a degree in geography. Though she has had a number of poems published in children's anthologies, she only started writing children's stories three years ago. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.