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The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs

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The brave good bugs march off to save the garden . . . First, they must fight the evil Spider Queen . . . Before summoning the Leaf Men to save the day . . . But what about the mystery of the Long-Lost Toy? Here is ancient elfin magic, epic adventure, and a bugle salute to the power of memory, loyalty and love as resounding as Robin Hood's call to his Merry Men!


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The brave good bugs march off to save the garden . . . First, they must fight the evil Spider Queen . . . Before summoning the Leaf Men to save the day . . . But what about the mystery of the Long-Lost Toy? Here is ancient elfin magic, epic adventure, and a bugle salute to the power of memory, loyalty and love as resounding as Robin Hood's call to his Merry Men!

30 review for The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alexandra

    8/7/18 $.99 for Kindle.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    When the old lady who cares for their garden home becomes ill, lost in the dreams of the past, a group of brave good bugs, advised by a mysterious lost toy, set out on an epic quest to find the fabled Leaf Men, and ask for their aid. Climbing to the very top of the highest tree, a troupe of doodlebugs brave storms and confront a threatening Spider Queen, eventually finding that their perseverance is rewarded, when the elfin Leaf Men do indeed appear, once called. All is set to rights again in th When the old lady who cares for their garden home becomes ill, lost in the dreams of the past, a group of brave good bugs, advised by a mysterious lost toy, set out on an epic quest to find the fabled Leaf Men, and ask for their aid. Climbing to the very top of the highest tree, a troupe of doodlebugs brave storms and confront a threatening Spider Queen, eventually finding that their perseverance is rewarded, when the elfin Leaf Men do indeed appear, once called. All is set to rights again in the neglected garden, but to aid the old lady, it is found that the lost toy must once again play a part... An engaging work of picture-book fantasy, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs is one of a number of William Joyce titles - others include The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and A Day with Wilbur Robinson - that is also an animated film. In this case, the film based upon the book is apparently entitled Epic - I'll have to see if I can track it down. Leaving that aside, this was an entertaining fairy-tale style adventure, one that, with its figure of an old woman asleep as magic transpires in her garden, reminded me a bit of Philippa Pearce's classic children's fantasy novel, Tom's Midnight Garden . It was a welcome echo, given my love for Pearce's book. The artwork here, done in oil paint, was gorgeous, with an appealing vintage feeling that works very well with the story. All in all, a charming little picture-book adventure, one I would recommend to William Joyce fans, and to anyone looking for children's fantasy for the younger picture-book set.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I am falling for William Joyce. Hard. All of the art, all of the stories. For some reason it is not widely publicized when a movie is made from a book of his, there aren't movie covers and special editions - which is fine - but I would have discovered him a lot sooner if I had known! I love the illustrations, and his stories are so creative and original. I can't wait to read more of his work! This will be in my library whether I have children or not.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jamal Scott

    On the cover of the book the leaf men are on the bottom. There's also a moon with the title on the top. The books is in a dark blue. There's a picture on every other page with writing on the other. This book is pretty much about an army of leaf men. This book tells what they go through. There's also enemies or bad characters that they have to face like the spider.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I loved this celebration of gardens and bugs. I don’t love that the Spider Queen was a villain, even though I’m not a fan of spiders. I enjoyed how saving the life of an elderly person was the main goal of the story.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Erin Reilly-Sanders

    I really liked the idea of this book but it came together in a way that just felt a bit "off" for some reason. The pictures seem okay, with an odd sense of plasticity to them for a book about a fantastical garden. The execution of the style seems fine and the organic edges of the pictures are likely meant to be soft and dreamlike. However, the often dark colors seem to be jarring against the mostly white pages, creating an awfully bright book for a night-time story. The story itself is a little I really liked the idea of this book but it came together in a way that just felt a bit "off" for some reason. The pictures seem okay, with an odd sense of plasticity to them for a book about a fantastical garden. The execution of the style seems fine and the organic edges of the pictures are likely meant to be soft and dreamlike. However, the often dark colors seem to be jarring against the mostly white pages, creating an awfully bright book for a night-time story. The story itself is a little odd- I had difficulty figuring that one of the bugs was a bad guy and the others were good guys until about halfway through the book. I didn't quite understand the necessity of the alien-lookng leaf men either and I thought that having the missing key as a little metal man was a bit patriarchal. It also seemed strange to have such an old lady actually recover and all of a sudden be fine but maybe I'm just a disillusioned grownup and who can't let herself have fun with a fantasy story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    I love Joyce, but the Offspring were never convinced in favor of his books. Movies and series based on his work? Sure, that's great. Sigh. 2003 january 1 There's one image here of a group of bugs that looks like concept art for A Bug's Life. Once people learn to read chapter books, they mostly leave picture books in the past. Last night I read a stack of Joyce books, and I loved every moment of it. His art is richly detailed and fun, a little bit deco, and his setting is a timeless 20th century th I love Joyce, but the Offspring were never convinced in favor of his books. Movies and series based on his work? Sure, that's great. Sigh. 2003 january 1 There's one image here of a group of bugs that looks like concept art for A Bug's Life. Once people learn to read chapter books, they mostly leave picture books in the past. Last night I read a stack of Joyce books, and I loved every moment of it. His art is richly detailed and fun, a little bit deco, and his setting is a timeless 20th century that you can't really nail down. Kid-wise, these are definitely not for the youngest kids. His books are pretty text rich for picture books. Library copy

  8. 5 out of 5

    Becky B

    An old woman tells children that the garden is a magical place. She has cared faithfully for her garden, but when she grows ill the garden starts to suffer. The old toy tells the sorrowful insects a way to get help. It requires a perilous journey and brave hearts, and faith that what the old toy says is true. A short quest story that has all the essential elements. A wicked foe to vanquish. Some brave hearts to volunteer. A perilous journey to be carried out. And hope from an unexpected source. An old woman tells children that the garden is a magical place. She has cared faithfully for her garden, but when she grows ill the garden starts to suffer. The old toy tells the sorrowful insects a way to get help. It requires a perilous journey and brave hearts, and faith that what the old toy says is true. A short quest story that has all the essential elements. A wicked foe to vanquish. Some brave hearts to volunteer. A perilous journey to be carried out. And hope from an unexpected source. Recommended for fantasy lovers and those wanting to introduce kids to some typical fantasy quest elements. Also a good pick for garden lovers.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Cootey

    Fanciful illustrations, but inexplicable storyline. Things happen because they do, not because they make sense. I am astounded that the movie Epic could be spawned from such a slight tale. All that being said, there is a charm to the book that is undeniable. I doubt children will be bothered by new characters being introduced every other page. The deus ex machina story resolution will hardly bother them either. Children will likely be too entranced by the delightful illustrations which harken ba Fanciful illustrations, but inexplicable storyline. Things happen because they do, not because they make sense. I am astounded that the movie Epic could be spawned from such a slight tale. All that being said, there is a charm to the book that is undeniable. I doubt children will be bothered by new characters being introduced every other page. The deus ex machina story resolution will hardly bother them either. Children will likely be too entranced by the delightful illustrations which harken back to early 1900 styles, not that they'll care about that either.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    This to me felt like it was supposed to be considered a novel or a longer piece and it was edited down to this instead, parts just seemed missing, or maybe I just wanted more background information. But, honestly, I liked it. The art is SO pretty! and it's a simple adventure that's fun and almost original. I would totally watch a cartoon out the leaf men if one was ever made into it. Would be a great addition to any library

  11. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    The story line is bewildering, which is then compounded by Joyce's style, which in this instance I find unsatisfyingly weird. Being dreamlike may allow for some latitude, but in this case doesn't overcome its problems.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lena Platt

    The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs is a charming book about the power of some of earth’s smallest creatures. The old woman is as sick as her garden and mysterious Long-Lost Toy is determined to summon the Leaf Men. The Doodle Bug Guild is charged with finding the Leaf Men and they are the only ones who can kill the Spider Queen and bring back the miracles of the old women’s garden. This story by William Joyce is testament to the importance of being brave, determination and sticking together. T The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs is a charming book about the power of some of earth’s smallest creatures. The old woman is as sick as her garden and mysterious Long-Lost Toy is determined to summon the Leaf Men. The Doodle Bug Guild is charged with finding the Leaf Men and they are the only ones who can kill the Spider Queen and bring back the miracles of the old women’s garden. This story by William Joyce is testament to the importance of being brave, determination and sticking together. The pictures are beautifully painted by Joyce and are filled with many details to be enjoyed by each reader. No detail is too small or insignificant. This story would be a good addition to any elementary school lesson on overcoming obstacles and adversity. Children would enjoy the rich detail of the pictures and how the bugs win despite all odds against them.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kaiti Pannell

    The book The Leaf Man and the Brave Good Bugs was an interesting book. It definitely is geared more towards a boy reader. One thing that I liked about this book was that everything that could have a face had a face. The illustration was a key point to why i enjoyed this book a lot. I also liked how the beginning pages had little clues about the story through the drawings. It kind of felt like this book could be expanded into a novel and created into chapters. There could be more detailed told. I The book The Leaf Man and the Brave Good Bugs was an interesting book. It definitely is geared more towards a boy reader. One thing that I liked about this book was that everything that could have a face had a face. The illustration was a key point to why i enjoyed this book a lot. I also liked how the beginning pages had little clues about the story through the drawings. It kind of felt like this book could be expanded into a novel and created into chapters. There could be more detailed told. I would use this book as a read-aloud book. I’m not sure what I could do to pull in curriculum content. It would also be a good book to tie in art with. We could make drawings of superheroes that are bugs. Overall I enjoyed this book and the little details the illustrations created.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rebekah

    There is a garden, that belongs to an elderly lady. When the woman becomes sick the garden starts to die. Brave doodle bugs, embark on a mission to summon the Leaf Men to help, but the evil spider queen stands in their way. yeah everything goes back to normal. Children's picture book. I love William Joyce books. This was wonderfully done, leaving just enough information to let the imagination go. Love the pictures.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    As a woman grows old and sick, no one is left to care for her garden. The insects of the garden grow concerned as the plants start to wither. But an old wise toy, lost in the garden and whose story has been forgotten, advises the brave bugs to face adversity and call out to the Leaf men. Mysterious and odd- classic Joyce.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    This book is weird. An old woman is ill and seems to be experiencing dementia or memory problems. Her garden starts dying, so with the help of an old toy, the insects invoke the leaf men who come to save the garden. They restore the toy to the lady which seems to heal her and bring her out of her dementia. IDK. Weird.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sagan

    I want to read the guardians books by this author but this book got to the library first. I wanted to like it but I think it is confusing. Maybe the story would make more sense in a longer book or with less characters. -- Sagan (6)

  18. 5 out of 5

    John

    My daughter has asked to have this read to her maybe more than four times in the two days since we found it at the library. She's been randomly saying, "Leaf Men, Leaf Men, we are in need!" as she goes through her days. I'd say it's a hit. Really magical storytelling.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Re •

    The illustrations are by far the the most amazing part of this story, I found it to be so cute and amazing!! The story itself was very simple and a quite interesting but overall a super cute one! xoRE✨💚

  20. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Adorable premise and book. I loved it

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashton

    Ugh. So bad.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Candra Hodge

    Cute story about the "guardians" of the garden.

  23. 4 out of 5

    1WenzelGabrielle

    I loved it.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cynde

    Wow! Beautiful story and fabulous illustrations. Love it!!!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sissy

    Strange art and weird story but still really good.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Williams

    Wonderfully illustrated children's book. A keeper for my collection.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    While I was away on a trip last week, my hubby took our girls to see the movie Epic, which is apparently based loosely on this book. I asked our girls what they thought about the two and they said that they were very different, but they liked them both. This was a strange tale and the illustrations are a bit bizarre, but considering the author also wrote The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie, I was expecting nothing less. We enjoyed reading this book together. interesting quote: "Things m While I was away on a trip last week, my hubby took our girls to see the movie Epic, which is apparently based loosely on this book. I asked our girls what they thought about the two and they said that they were very different, but they liked them both. This was a strange tale and the illustrations are a bit bizarre, but considering the author also wrote The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie, I was expecting nothing less. We enjoyed reading this book together. interesting quote: "Things may come and things may go," she said. "But never forget - the garden is a miraculous place, and anything can happen on a beautiful moonlit night." (p. 30)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kristine Hansen

    I loved the movie Epic and sought out this book when I heard about it. While the stories are very loosely connected at all, I can see at the heart of it where Epic came from. This story focuses on an old woman who has fallen sick and a garden that is beginning to die. I found the story somewhat bittersweet and poignant, and I liked the little bit we actually saw of the Leaf Men. The Doodle Bug Brigade was the best part! I was left feeling a little unsure, not quite satisfied with the story at the I loved the movie Epic and sought out this book when I heard about it. While the stories are very loosely connected at all, I can see at the heart of it where Epic came from. This story focuses on an old woman who has fallen sick and a garden that is beginning to die. I found the story somewhat bittersweet and poignant, and I liked the little bit we actually saw of the Leaf Men. The Doodle Bug Brigade was the best part! I was left feeling a little unsure, not quite satisfied with the story at the end. I feel like this could have been better, though part of that is in wondering if I would have liked the story more had I not seen the movie first. Interesting concept though, and worth picking up.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Heise

    As an adult, I was charmed by this slightly surrealistic book, though my five year old could take it or leave it alone. Probably belongs in the same category as The Tub Grandfather (not having the existential terror of The Tub People for kids). Would make an excellent video game similar to Mushroom Men, but as a book, it's best for adults reminiscing about their childhood dreams of playing in the garden. There's a certain flavor of Miss Suzy, Rumer Godden The Doll's House and their ilk about the As an adult, I was charmed by this slightly surrealistic book, though my five year old could take it or leave it alone. Probably belongs in the same category as The Tub Grandfather (not having the existential terror of The Tub People for kids). Would make an excellent video game similar to Mushroom Men, but as a book, it's best for adults reminiscing about their childhood dreams of playing in the garden. There's a certain flavor of Miss Suzy, Rumer Godden The Doll's House and their ilk about the story, so if you grew up in minature worlds of Scholastic picture books and little Golden books, this might be for you.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Moira

    From Finnian (11.11.11) DOODLE BUG GUILD! I liked the artwork. I Iiked going into leafed-in caves and seeing the insects' world. The brave good bugs team was brave and the Leaf Men had bow and arrows and swords and rode on Luna moths. A long lost toy got captured by a spider queen who had ant goblins for soldiers. The caves made out of leaves looked really comfortable and cozy. The brave good bugs needed to free the long lost toy and help save the plants and the Leaf Men helped rescue the plants a From Finnian (11.11.11) DOODLE BUG GUILD! I liked the artwork. I Iiked going into leafed-in caves and seeing the insects' world. The brave good bugs team was brave and the Leaf Men had bow and arrows and swords and rode on Luna moths. A long lost toy got captured by a spider queen who had ant goblins for soldiers. The caves made out of leaves looked really comfortable and cozy. The brave good bugs needed to free the long lost toy and help save the plants and the Leaf Men helped rescue the plants and put them back together.

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