Literature-Inspired Art: The Leaf Man

A few weeks ago, I had written an entry on literature-based art using the storybooks, Where the Wild Things Are and It Looked Like Split Milk We’ve found that reading a book together is a really fun way to give your kids some inspiration and to spark their creativity.  And so as we approach winter’s delayed beginning here in California and the leaves finally fall to the ground, we decided to try this again with another book: The Leaf Man by Lois Elhert.

In my son’s kindergarten class, the teacher read this book aloud during story time.  But unlike many books in its genre, the images of fish, bugs, butterflies, and turtles in this story were composed of leaves.

After story time, S said he spent a majority of recess outside envisioning what he wanted to make with all the leaves: walruses, fish, or superheroes.  So, when we got home, S asked if we could try this project.  Let’s see: construction paper, leaves, glues, and the option of crayons and markers – low maintenance, creative, and fun – how could I say no?  While a friend was over for a playdate, we re-read the story and then headed outside to gather the leaves.

They ran back into the house and immediately got started on their creations without any guidance from me.  Soon, their leafy butterflies were flying within the living room, flowers were blooming on my dining room table, and trucks were zooming across the kitchen floor.  Once their pictures were done, we spent time playing with the crispy, wintry leaves, enjoying the crunching and crackling sounds.  Though we find tidbits of leaves every now and then on the living room floor, our literature-based art collection continues to grow larger and larger!

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