Leaf & The Rushing Waters:

Twigs are stick creatures that live in trees deep in the forest. They gather nuts, berries, blossoms, and other things that grow for their food and homes. Leaf is a young Twig who lives peacefully with his family in an old seeder tree, but when a massive flood suddenly changes the landscape of the forest, he has to venture off on his own to find another Twig named Rustle and ask the chompers (beavers) to build a new dam around the flood. However, the journey is more dangerous than he anticipates. Rattlesnakes, foxes, owls, and other creatures threaten Leaf and his friends at every turn. But if he wants to save his home and his family, Leaf has to be brave.

Leaf and the Rushing Waters is the first book in Jo Marshall’s Twig Stories, a series of environmentally themed fantasy/adventure books for children. The story is rich with natural imagery and feels more like a fairy tale than a story strictly about nature. The slang, although a little odd to get used to at first, adds character and an innocent charm that makes it easier to picture forest life the way the Twigs see it.

Leaf, Rustle, and Feather ward off skull faces, otherwise known as hornets.

As an adult reader, I did feel that the use of multiple perspectives took away from some of the suspense and I definitely noticed a bit of a formulaic pattern, but I honestly think it works great for children. I often found myself thinking that if I were of the target age group, I would be 110% engrossed. Of course, that’s not to say I didn’t enjoy it as a 21-year-old. While the more serious issues of climate change and environmental preservation are certainly obvious to us older readers, they’re not presented in an elitist, self-righteous way or in any manner that could be perceived as “shoving it down your throat.” I’m liberal about basically everything, but I’d be hard pressed to imagine that anyone would somehow be offended by the role of climate change in the book. That, I think, is one of the story’s greatest strengths. It weaves the message naturally into the narrative and is also about much more than environmental preservation. Leaf strikes me as a great central character for children to look up to. He’s just gained some new responsibilities and even though he acts brave, he openly admits when he’s afraid. Feather, Rustle, and the beaver family are also good side-characters.

Overall, Leaf and the Rushing Waters is a nice introduction to a series that is just as fun as its message is strong. To find out more about Twig Stories and Jo Marshall, visit http://www.twigstories.com.

Leave a comment


  1. twigstories

     /  November 26, 2012

    Thanks, Taylor, for a great review – for noting the strengths in Rushing Waters, as well as offering some good suggestions for betterTwig Stories development. You’re right about kids enjoying the books, but it’s a real kick for me when an adult likes them, too! Thanks so much for offering some valuable insights to help me along the road to becoming a better storyteller. Cheers!


  2. Great series, thoughtful review. I love the illustrations too!


  3. The illustration is awesome!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


where books, anime, movie and drama reviews can be found

yann chwen

feeler of feelings

Dragons And Flowers

Whatever you're looking for, you're guaranteed to find something interesting.

Joshua S. Porter

author, musician, pastor

Otaku in My Veins

A Blog about Watching Anime with Jesus

Brian Newby - Professor of Sociology

Because CVs are never enough and I don't like Facebook

Angélique's Junction

"We do not live single-issue lives." - Audre Lorde

A Silly Little Trans-Woman

Because let's face it, you don't take transgender women seriously.


diario de una escribana


the space for all women & nonbinary gamers ✌

Style Me Nerdy

Photography, Fashion and Fandoms for the Fabulous Fanatics

Matt Curcio

Speaker. Writer. Advocate.

Daily Anime Art

Anime and Manga Art Added Daily!


Indigenous Issues and Resistance

Bryn Donovan

tell your stories ~ love your life

The Millennial Pastor

An iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church

Embrace the Afro!

Unravelling the mysteries of my natural hair

Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body

saints and holy days we want to remember

Vital Signs and Statistics

Investigating questions of importance for the UCC...through research and statistics

The Anime Harvest

One Guy's Thoughts on a Variety of Anime and Manga

Anime Commentary Redux

(Analysis Continues)

Black Girl in Media

Where Critical Fandom, Diversity, and Nerd Culture Collide

That Baka Blog

A journey into the world of Anime and Geek culture

The Cajun Samurai

Where South Meets North to Discuss Anime from the West!

Nerdy Vagabond

Films, Books, Music, Travels, Photos, Nerdy Work

Culturally Disoriented

Feminism + Social Justice + Pop Culture = (???) x (Total Chaos)

joyful abjection

happy to be here

Ultimate Nerd

My personal space to rant about movies, books, anime and TV shows.

The Ephemeral Kraken's Lair

Anime, Thoughts, Transience

Medieval Otaku

A Medievalist's Perspective on Anime and Religion

Anime Commentary on the March

(Analysis and other musings)


puerility canonized

Black Girl in Media

Where Critical Fandom, Diversity, and Nerd Culture Collide

Sketches By Boze

An ongoing exploration of faith, culture, myth, life, art. An advocate for all who are trapped in nightmares.

Grady P Brown - Author

Superheroes - Autism - Fantasy - Science Fiction

Inspire to Conspire

Theopolitical writings from Nashville, Tennessee

Eli Glasman

Site of author Eli Glasman

Dataport Doll's Anime Reviews

I have no voice, yet I must flame.

black flag theology

a radical approach to theology and politics

Zezee with Books

...random as my thoughts go...

%d bloggers like this: