The Gold Leaf

The Gold Leaf


Written by Kirsten Hall
Illustrated by Matthew Forsythe

Winner of the 2018 Bull-Bransom Award

A gold leaf appears in the forest. As soon as the animals notice it, each wants it more than anything else in the world. But in their struggle for it, the leaf is destroyed. Heartbroken, the animals wonder: Will we ever again see such a leaf?

ISBN: 978-1-59270-187-2
8.5" (W) x 11.2" (H) • 48 pages • HC

Grade Level: 2
Interest Level: K-5
Lexile Level: 570
Guided Reading Level: M

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Winner of the 2018 Bull-Bransom Award
Selected for The Globe 100: The Globe and Mail's Best 100 Books of the Year 2017

"Hall’s understated writing reads like poetry, and Forsythe’s graphic, even geometric, paintings have the feel of animation stills." ―STARRED REVIEW, Publishers Weekly

"An enchanting modern fable about possessiveness redeemed by unselfish appreciation of life’s shared wonder." ―Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"The animals in Kirsten Hall’s picture book The Gold Leaf occupy a forest of shadows and dappled light, of 'jungle green, laurel green, moss green, mint green, pine green, avocado green, and, of course, sap green.' In Matthew Forsythe’s breathtaking illustrations, we see creatures respond with wonder and cupidity as autumn’s arrival reveals a single, gleaming gold leaf. 'Each wanted it more than anything in the world,' we read of a fox, deer, mouse and others. 'But who would get it first?' Though competition tears the leaf to fragments, this is not a fable of greed but of gratitude, with rich, mystical illustrations that will stir the young reader’s heart." ―Meghan Cox Gurdon, The Wall Street Journal

"At first glance The Gold Leaf by Kirsten Hall might be a classic picture book from the 1940s – a rediscovered Margaret Wise Brown. Montreal artist Matthew Forsythe’s paintings, with their mid-century modern shapes, could almost be by Leonard Weisgard. The thick black sans-serif type marching reliably across the bottom of each spread even has an echo of Little Golden Books. The theme, as well, feels comforting and retro, showing forest animals through the changing of four seasons." ―Quill and Quire

“Rich mixed-media illustrations layer color and texture, creating a quiet, glowing atmosphere. The titular gold leaf shines in its embossed glory. The simple, unassuming text adds to the magic of the forest. […] A beautifully illustrated selection for classroom or one-on-one sharing.” —Amy Seto Forrester, Denver Public Library, School Library Journal

"A book about wonder, patience and sharing, this picture book is particularly golden." ―Tasha Saecker, Waking Brain Cells

“With beautiful, rich language, Kirsten Hall tells a story set in the changing of seasons. […] Matt Forsythe’s use of color is intuitive, poetic and evokes an emotional response from the reader. His color stories are breathtaking and his page spreads are immersive and impossibly beautiful.” —Michelle Sterling, Avery and Augustine

“A truly breathtaking book.” —Miranda Rosbach, My Bookbloom

“You’ll look at this cover and immediately want to open it to see what treasures can be found inside. You’ll be captivated by the radiant illustrations that excite and calm at the same time. You’ll be charmed by Hall’s language, how she describes the animals, the forest and the colours that make it a place of wonder. And you’ll be impressed by the underlining message shared.” —Summer Te Ariki, Reading Is Our Thing

“Accompanied by [Kirsten Hall’s] poetic and vividly detailed prose, the richly layered and almost magically iridescent woodland scenes and creates by [Matt Forsythe] are a feast for the eyes…” —Eileen, Picture This Book

“This book is a like a Little Golden Book lovers dream, full of nostalgia. With illustrations that are rich yet soft and a story with a moral that even the smallest reader can understand.” —Kellie, Secret Society of Books

“A beyond stunning addition to the children’s literature world…” —The Reading Ninja

"The Gold Leaf is an unreservedly and enthusiastically recommended addition to family, preschool, elementary school, and community library collections." ―The Midwest Book Review

”The Gold Leaf
 is a visually stunning picture book with a beautiful message of kindness, cooperation and community spirit. […] Kirsten Hall and Matthew Forsythe, in The Gold Leaf, have created a magical world in which appreciation is valued higher than consumption. This is a timeless story and a wonderful lesson to share with your kids.” —Margaret Leonard of Dotters Books (Eau Claire, WI) for Northerly Magazine


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