Snap! You’re five again. Your best friend has moved away. You want to make new friends, but you’re scared. Your mom comes in and is angry because you’ve left your jacket on the floor. You know you did it to see if you could get away with it. You’re concerned that you’re going to make your dad angry because you got model airplane glue on your desk.
Seeking to escape, you pick up BRAVE NEW LEAF by Alan H. Jordan for the hundredth time and read about Buddy the Leaf, who is scared of opening before the killer frosts disappear. Buddy figures out the right time to unfurl and wins the First Leaf of Spring award. You resolve to be more like Buddy—to think things through before you do them. You feel better. This is going to be a wonderful day, maybe you’ll even do something so right that you’ll win an award.
I think of Brave New Leaf as a unique meld of the qualities of Tap the Magic Tree (cycles of life), Brave Squish Rabbit (conquering one’s fears) and Beekle (building friendships and willingness to take a chance.)
This story takes place in the Spring (on Earth Day) and is the first of four manuscripts that were inspired by Tap the Magic Tree. Here are the planned titles.
Spring – Brave New Leaf
Summer – Pumping it Out – Explores how Buddy the Leaf feels as he contributes to the well-being of his tree and the forest it is in, by “pumping out” energy.
Fall – Feeling Brown – Buddy the Leaf’s is afraid of dying until he realizes a fact of nature.
Winter – Full Cycle – Buddy the leaf transcends death as he becomes part of the soil, and shares the secrets that he’s learned with tree buds through haiku.