Lawrence in the Fall
Written by Matthew Farina
Little Brown Books for Young Readers
April 9, 2019
When Lawrence Fox’s teacher announces that students will be presenting their collections at show-and-tell, Lawrence realizes he doesn’t have anything to share.
Luckily, Papa knows just what to do to help! Together, they venture into the woods. Lawrence is scared at first, but as he grows comfortable in the forest, he starts to recognize its magic, and how beautiful and unique each tree and leaf is, allowing him to gather a splendid, one-of-a-kind collection of his own.
“When Lawrence saw the chalkboard, he froze,” writes debut picture book author Farina, a terrific opening line that ushers readers into a subtly powerful story of agency and independence...Salati builds the visual arc and emotional landscape of the story with soft pencil lines, muted browns and blues, and sensitive characterizations, lingering just enough on anxious moments that Lawrence’s newfound confidence feels like a big reward. And the final image is a wonderful parting gift: Lawrence leads his peers on a leaf-finding expedition of their own." - Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"The immediate goal is for the child, Lawrence, to find things that he can collect for show-and-tell at school (the other animals have collections already, lucky things). But traversing the dark forest with his dad also allows Lawrence to test himself as he might not dare to do alone. When the two get separated, the young fox's fright gives way to courage and to the discovery of the varied beauty—and collectability—of falling leaves. A muted, autumnal palette and a guide to leaf shapes in the endpapers add appeal to this handsome excursion for readers ages 4-9. " - Meghan Cox Gurdon, excerpt from "Children's Books: Why They Love to Hop on Pop; Picture books that celebrate the tender, playful, capable modern father" - Wall Street Journal
"His spreads wonderfully capture the bond between Lawrence and his dad, the majesty of the autumnal forest, and the charming array of fallen leaves. This delightful seasonal story will inspire its young audience to do some leaf collecting of their own." - School Library Journal
An especially well-designed double-spread shows the class arrayed in a circle around Lawrence’s leaves. They, like the reader, are enjoying this visual ode to the beauty of nature. - Booklist
A 2019 Junior Library Guild Selection / 2020 Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor Book