Speech and Language key teaching concepts for the ?-themed picture book The Leaf Thief in speech therapy.

Frequent Speech Sounds:

/l/ initial
/f/ final
/s/ blends (/st/ and /skw/)
/r/ vocalic (medial /er/)


changing seasons

Book Details:

Diverse Characters: N/A
Age Recommendation: Early Childhood, Elementary

The Leaf Thief

By Alice Hemming

Squirrel loves counting the leaves on his tree–red leaves, gold leaves, orange, and more. But hold on! One of his leaves is missing! On a quest to find the missing leaf, Squirrel teams up with his good friend Bird to discover who the leaf thief could be among their forest friends.

This leaf-themed book can be used to discuss changing of seasons. It is also great for noticing character expressions and for targeting the initial /l/ and final /f/! Discover more of the speech and language teaching concepts for using The Leaf Thief in speech therapy below: 

Key Teaching concepts

Narrative Structure:

complete episode


canopy, stole, collecting, ages, disaster, etc.

Character Analysis:

Squirrel is very concerned that the leaves on his tree are missing. He is determined to find out who the leaf thief is. Once he is reminded of the truth, he relaxes.


facial expressions
body language
bird and squirrel’s friendship
squirrel’s concern for his tree

Figurative Language:

metaphor (leaf canopy)


verbs (action)

Text Features:

change in font
bold text
speech bubbles
size of text

Problem Solving:

Squirrel has to understand that the wind is causing the leaves to fall, not anyone else.