Oliver Finds His Way by Phyllis Root is currently one of my daughter's favorite stories.The Plot:
While Mama hangs the wash out and Papa rakes the leaves, Oliver chases a big yellow leaf... all the way to the edge of the woods. Oliver stops. He looks around. Nothing is familiar. "Mama? Papa?" he calls. No answer. Oliver is lost! A small bear looks for -- and finds -- big courage and a way home. (Summary courtesy of the publisher)
There are so many reasons that I like this book. For starters, I liked that the story is actually based off a real-life incident from the author's own childhood. Although it's a story about a little boy bear, it's something that any child can identify with.
As for the text, Ms. Root's story is simple, but fun to read, even after the 20th time. The sentences are short and the words are simple, yet the story still contains depth and an interesting plot.
Mr. Denise's illustrations are another reason I like this book so much. They are perfect for this particular story and I just love the muted colors that he used to depict the fall colors of the leaves and bushes and also how adorably cute and roly-poly Oliver appears in his red plaid coat and denim overalls.
My daughter's favorite part of the story is when Oliver roars for his parents. Every time she has the book read to her she roars right along with Oliver. Then the other day I came upon her "reading" the book to herself; she was pointing out various things in the story and saying their name (i.e. yellow, mama, papa, baby, etc.) and roaring when she came to the pages where Oliver is calling for his parents.
Although Oliver Finds His Way was published for children aged 4-8 it makes for great read aloud for those as young as 2 (which is my daughter's age). And with the summer over and the leaves starting to change it's definitely the right season for a story about a boy chasing a yellow leaf. I found my copy in the children's section at my local library, but for those interested in adding to their children's library this might be a good book to consider.