How much power does a single man, let alone a single leaf, have in the industrial world? In this wordless, all-ages graphic novel, our protagonist discovers a leaf that radiates a vibrant light. He returns to a detailed metropolis —depicted in somber grays and blues—and searches for answers. During his quest, he stumbles upon a man who knows what’s really happening in the city’s labyrinthine ducts; a woman who spends her life studying and classifying obsolete flora; and the truth about the ever-dwindling environment.
Leaf is a graphically stunning story that unfolds with a dream-like pace. Shaded in pencil and punctuated by spot colors, drawn in a delicate but concretely realized tonal approach reminiscent of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and Chris Van Allsburg’s Jumanji, Chinese cartoonist Daishu Ma’s first foray onto American shelves is ultimately a hopeful vision of the coexistence of the urban and natural worlds.
“This stunning graphic novel will draw inevitable comparisons to Shaun Tan’s The Arrival (2007) for its exquisitely drawn artwork and imaginative silent execution. The author’s pencil drawings are beautifully rendered and highly detailed, done almost entirely in grey but punctuated by a judicious use of color…Simultaneously cautionary and celebratory, this will enchant readers of all ages.” - Booklist