The book is told mostly through it's illustrations - words are very minimal, and that's what we love about this story so very much!
We are assuming that LEAF is the boys name - he seems like a happy little boy who loves to play and get dirty, like all little boys do. In the beginning of the book, there is what we assume to be is his mother, who wants to cut his longish hair. And of course, like most little kids, he does not want to get a haircut and runs away.
Once outside, a bird drops a seed onto his messy hairy head and out sprouts a tiny twig. With the sun, rain and his little adventure with his puppy, Leaf and his twig enjoy their freedom and time with nature for the day.
Leaf then returns home for his bath and bedtime. He then dreams about his twig which then takes a turn into a nightmare. So when his mother is waiting with the scissors again the next morning, he does not run away and does what he has to do. Mom cuts his hair, twig and all... we are so very sad. But relieved when we see Leaf take his twig and plants it outside.
As Leaf grows up - so does his hair and twig. We see Leaf turn into an older boy, teen, young man and then a father. And through each milestone, Leaf visits his twig which has grown up right along with him - a small tree into a huge one. Lots of memories have been left to our imagination.
It is such a touching story. I was all teary-eyed by the time I finished the end of the book. The illustrations really do reach out to you and you cannot help but react to how Leaf is feeling and what he goes through. Actions do speak louder than words. This book clearly comes from the authors heart - his dislike of social uniformity, the loss of his hearing at the age of 8 and his passion for art and books.
I highly recommend this sweet book to be shared with children a year old and up.