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this week's library book

Ever since we discovered Dinosaur Bob, I've kept my eye out for other books at the library by William Joyce. Last week we spotted this one, The Leaf Men about an old woman and her beautiful garden.

The old woman falls ill, and because no one is taking care of her garden, the flowers start to wilt and die. The garden insects and bugs are devastated.

Some one must summon the Leaf Men, mythical heroes who can save the garden. They can only be called by climbing to the tallest tree and calling out "Leaf Men, Leaf Men. We are in need!" The brave doodle bugs are up to the task.

The Leaf Men come to the rescue and destroy the evil Spider Queen. Working through the night, they bring the garden back to life, sewing leaves and petals back onto their stems.

The leaf men find an old toy that the sick woman had lost in the garden when she was a little girl. Carrying the toy on their backs, they return it to the old woman who soon recovers and the garden is saved!

I love William Joyce's illustrations, so detailed and carefully composed. And although we love the Leaf Men, my kids think the Doodle Bugs are the real heroes of this story. As they start their perilous journey to the top of the tallest tree they sing "Small in size, but brave of heart! We always finish what we start!" Not a bad lesson for my own little ones to learn.

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Reader Comments (23)

We just had this one out ourselves!
I love William Joyce. His illustrations are so dreamy.
The only unexpected thing that happened as a result of reading this book is that my 3-year-old went around saying "I shoot you through the heart!" which he learned from the battle between the leaf men and the Evil Spider Queen.

07.6.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjess

this was one of my favorite books when i was little
along with santa calls - william joyce
and i'm trying to remember the name of the other one but its the one about the little old lady (not crumpled over or anything little old lady type) that goes around and plants seeds everywhere
there we go i remembered
amazing amazing childhood book

if you guys haven't read it yet i suggest checking it out ^_^

07.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterThea

I love any story that includes lost, broken, rediscovered toys. Something so nostalgic about it, something that just brings back the sweetness and loss of childhood itself.



07.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterVivi

What an adorable story. I can't wait for my little one to be old enough to enjoy such stories. We are still learning to enjoy board books at our house. Thanks for the book review!

07.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

That also looks like a very good book. We need to get our babysat little ones all grown up enough for paper pages. Then we can start to enjoy such amazing wonders! : )

07.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRhiannonM

never heard of this! next time we make it to the library for a fun summer excursion we'll look him up. thanks for the intro!!

07.6.2009 | Unregistered Commenterkathryn

There is really nothing nicer than a great children's book with great illustrations. William Joyce is one of the best - such happy recollections with this one (thanks for posting!)

07.6.2009 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie Pazoo

I'm going to look for this book at our library. "George Shrinks" is one of our favorite William Joyce books - it's also a great gift to give for a birthday.

07.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterJill

This one sounds like a keeper!

We discovered dinosaur Bob and the Lazardo family a few years ago. It was ripped and well loved when we got it, and the pages have only gotten softer and more worn with the love from our family. An absolute favourite and I find the pictures so soothing. We love William Joyce in our family.

07.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

I love this week's library book its one of my favourite things about this blog, after star cupcakes, and fantastic gift ideas!

07.7.2009 | Unregistered CommenterSammi

i love how you take these photos with those sweet little hands in the pictures.

07.7.2009 | Unregistered Commentermadesweet

What a great little story for our 6 grandkids.....love your blog!

07.9.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRosemary Cromer

William Joyce is a fave author in my household, as well. I have to be sure you know he was the originator of the story behind the wonderful Disney movie "Meet The Robinsons".

The book "A Day with Wilbur Robinson" is a top-rate William Joyce book, and I cannot recommend it highly enough! For that matter, the movie is one of my personal all-time favorites.

If you have any interest in learning more about the author, he has a website:

I do enjoy how you share your current children's reads. Thank you!

07.9.2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Brown

My grandson just picked this out at the library and read it today. We loved it!

07.9.2009 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa

We called our son "little metal man" for so long.... Joyce has written a wonderful book about his childhood and inspiration, its called The World of William Joyce Scrapbook. My CJ loved thinking about his favorite illustrator and author as a child.

07.17.2009 | Unregistered Commenteraln

Ah, The Leaf Men is one of our favorite books. My son is now 11 and still really enjoys having this one read to him. Cool beans.

07.28.2009 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer

I was so excited to come across your post on William Joyce. He looks just as quirky as his illustrations. He's our local celebrity in Shreveport, LA and making great strides to preserve the arts.

The beauty of this book is it was actually turned into a play. Complete with men and women dressed up as ant goblins and doodle bugs! I'll have to see if I can round up my old photos. The idea was to turn into a movie or a traveling play but I am not sure what happened after that.

Glad to see Bill Joyce's books still popular and in circulation!

08.3.2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

I loved Miss Rumpius, she (and my grandmother) started my wish to one day become a little old lady. I was 6 or 7 and I have been working towards that goal since, one year at the time

09.16.2009 | Unregistered CommenterMiB

I was in Central Downtown LA library yesterday and stumbled upon their first floor gallery where they were exhibiting William Joyce Illustrations. A definite must see:) The show will be up til August 15, 2010.

Here is the link: http://www.lapl.org/events/joyce/index.html


05.9.2010 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

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