Leaf and the Long Ice: Volume 3 of Twig Stories

Written by Jo Marshall

Illustrated by D.W. Murray

LeafandlongicepicThis book is volume three of the twig stories. Jo Marshall writes them to develop an understanding of the natural world. She successfully combines adventure storytelling with accurate science in an attempt to encourage an appreciation for the earth and preservation of our environment.. Her target audience is fourth grade through the elementary school years though adults will enjoy them just as much.

The twigs live in a forest at the base of an old volcano which is topped by a glacier. At the beginning of the story we meet Leaf who has been placed in charge of his younger twig brothers while his parents and older sister Fern are away.  The twins named Buddy and Burka plead for a story. Leaf tells them about one of their father’s adventures which inspires them to sneak away so that they can play in the snow. When Leaf  falls asleep, they make their break and the adventure begins.

Along the way the twins encounter many forest creatures, beaver, rabbits, goats, foxes, pike, insects, eagles and caribou among them. Some are friendly and supportive; others are natural predators. The moth provides a ride, while the eagle looks at them as a tasty meal. Leaf ventures after his brothers so the author is really describing two separate fantasy adventures. The twins  slip and slide, hide in caves, and  are attacked by natural enemies, while Leaf frets about them and experiences his own adventures. The author shows the harmony of nature and how the creatures of earth need to support and aid each other for mutual benefit.

At the end of the book, Marshall gives cameos of the types of wildlife that she features as her characters and sketches what their needs are and how they are endangered today. Murray, who has worked with Disney and Universal Studios as an illustrator and screenwriter, supplies beautiful hand drawn illustrations. Marshall donates a portion of sales to wildlife causes and provides additional learning materials on her website www.twigstories.com.

This series furnishes reading entertainment for children and adults as well as accurate scientific environmental information that teachers and parents will find valuable. Read this volume to get started.

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