HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Leaf and the Long Ice: Twig Stories, Volume 3
Author: Jo Marshall
Illustrator: D.W. Murray
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013
Related websites: http://www.twigstories.com (series), http://www.dwmurraybooks.com (illustrator), http://www.CreateSpace.com (publisher)
Language level: 2 (the word “butt” is used somewhat frequently with reference to the rear end)
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 8 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Marshall, Jo. Leaf and the Long Ice: Twig Stories, Volume 3 (published in 2013 by CreateSpace, 7290 Investment Dr., Suite B, North Charleston, SC 29418). What would Twigs be doing on a glacier? Twigs are tiny creatures made out of sticks and leaves and usually dwell in forests. Leaf is a Twig who lives with his family, including father Pappo, mother Mumma, sister Fern, and younger twin brothers Burba and Buddy, in an old forest at the foot of an ancient volcano, which is capped by a massive glacier called the Long Ice. Pappo, Mumma, and Fern are off on a trip, and Leaf is left to watch the twins. Leaf entertains his younger brothers with a story about Pappo’s experiences with the rare snow beasts that still survive on the Long Ice even though it shrinks more and more as the seasons grow hotter.
One afternoon, the two little boys run off while Leaf is asleep, hitch a ride on a giant moth (moonwing), fly away to play in the snow before it all melts, and promptly get lost. When Leaf discovers them missing, he catches a ride on a caribou (woodland ghost) to go and find them. Leaf enlists the help of the hermit Mantru, a Willow Twig who lives on the Long Ice, a pika named Winkers, and a snowshoe hare named Poppy, to help find Buddy and Burba, who have befriended a snowshoe babe named Puff, a horned lark named Flip, some mice (squeakers), and a mountain goat (ridgerunner) kid named Buck who has run off from his herd. Will Leaf locate his brothers? Will Burba and Buddy survive their ordeal? And what will happen when they are all chased by a wolverine (rover) named Musty, a fox (sniffer), and an eagle named Slayer?
This is book number three of the Twig Stories series. Most parents will have no problem with the fact that the word “butt” is used somewhat frequently with reference to the rear end, but some parents might want to know it ahead of time. Once toward the end it is said that Leaf “lied.” The story is meant to engage young readers in conversations about climate change research, which is a very controversial topic. Various scientists take different positions on its nature and effects. However, regardless of one’s view, we all need to be aware of potential problems with the earth’s environment, and anyone can still enjoy the exciting adventure of Leaf and his brothers. Also, royalties are shared with nonprofit organizations that are concerned with the protection of wildlife, nature conservancy, and the preservation of forests. Discounts, puzzles, reviews, and news are all available at the Twig Stories website.