The Leaf Thief 🍁 Fall Story Read Aloud

The Leaf Thief 🍁 Fall / Autumn Story Read Aloud…Everything was perfectly pleasant in the woods UNTIL SOMEONE STARTED STEALING THE LEAVES! Squirrel – and KidTime StoryTime – are getting to the bottom of this mystery, and we WILL find the culprit.

From Sourcebooks Kids! Written by Alice Hemming who used to be a librarian! Illustrated by Nicola Slater, who loves to eat popcorn!

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The Leaf Thief SNAP – SNAP Looking for a Leaf Thief SNAP – SNAP – SNAP Leaf Thief! SNAP – SNAP Looking for a Leaf Thief SNAP – SNAP MARACAS! Have you heard? There’s the leaf thief 
on the loose somewhere out there! And we can’t leave a thief 
somewhere out there on the loose  No, we cannot! ~ So we will leave no tree unturned. Oh Green Bear?
Yes, Doug the Dinosaur? There’s a leaf thief!  I heard, but I think the saying is to “leave no 
stone unturned.” ~ Why? Stones don’t have leaves. Uhhh… Tell you what! Let’s leave no tree unturned.
Uh-huh! No stone unturned
Uh-huh! And no page unturned. Oh hahaha! I bet the secret to The Leaf 
Thief will be in inside this page. We will solve the mystery! ~ The mystery!
The mystery! Are you ready? I hope so. We have a thief to catch! The Leaf Thief. Oh no! I hope my hands are 
safe from The Leaf Thief! SNAP – SNAP – SNAP In we go. Oh what a beautiful 
afternoon! Look at how lovely it is. What a wonderful time of year. I 
am snug in my nest with a belly   Full of hazelnuts and the sun is 
shining through my leafy canopy. Such lovely colors. Red, gold, orange… Red, 
gold, orange… Red, gold, wait a minute!   One of my leaves is – What? What?! Has the leaf thief struck 
already by Page 3?!?! GASP! MISSING! Where is it? It’s not in here. It’s not under here.
MOUSE COMPLAINS Sorry, little fella.

Bird, we need help! We need 
help? There’s a leaf missing! I can’t tell which Leaf it is because… 
I just can’t tell. It was there,   And then it’s not there. 
And okay the bird will know. Bird! Uh, what is the matter? “Bowling for 
Beginners”. Interesting hobby for a bird. Someone stole my leaves! Ohhhh!!! Your, uh, leaf? Yes! One of my leaves is missing! My leaf looked a 
lot like THAT one… the one the Mouse has. That is not your leaf, Squirrel. 
But how can you be sure? Mouse!   Mouse! Did you steal my leaf? No, this is my boat. See, Squirrel? It’s perfect normal to lose a leaf or two at this time of year. Okay? Okay thanks, Bird, see you tomorrow. Okay so the bird said it’s normal. This happens 
every time of the year. Okay must be fine, right?   I mean, they’re good friends, and friends 
do not lie to each other. So everything’s good. The next morning… OH NO! THIS IS BAD! BIRD! Tweet, tweet What’s the matter this time? More leaves have been STOLEN! Excuse me, woodpecker! Woodpecker! Are those my leaves? No, they are my leaves, Squirrel. 
I spent ages collecting them.   Oh and they’re just the perfect canopy. Beautiful. No one is taking your leaves, Squirrel. Meanwhile, 
Woodpecker’s down for a lovely nap. This happened last year, remember? Ummm Maybe? Why don’t you go back to your nest and try to relax? Okay thanks, Bird. Kind of stressful. You’re not quite sure 
what’s happening, but if bird says it’s okay,   Gotta be okay, right? Try to relax and let’s do a little yoga. Bring 
your foot up to your knee, engaging your core. Breathe in, breathe out. Enjoy a SquirrelTime StoryTime in your acorn tub.

Just relax And… night falls Stars twinkling… everything’s calm. Looks like relaxation has been accomplished. The following morning…. THIS IS A DISASTER! ~ Oh & the mood is broken Bird! Bird! Where are you, Bird?! I’m here, Squirrel. Wait a minute – are YOU the Leaf Thief?! Because of course Bird is looking 
kind of guilty right now because look! A whole Garland of leaves 
is adorning The Birdhouse now. No, Squirrel. How could we even think 
badly of Bird for a second? Shame on us. No Squirrel. I am not the leaf thief. 
I will show you the leaf thief. Where are they because I’ve got a few 
things I’d like to say to them. Something like that, right? Look around you (THE WIND BLOWS) The leaf thief is everywhere. It shakes the trees… And rustles the leaves. It even takes your hat. Whoa! Do you see the leaf thief, Squirrel? Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Everybody’s going around. Is it— Is it— Is it? Do you see the leaf thief, Squirrel? The only Thief is the wind! The wind!?! Oh yeah that makes sense… This happens every year in the Autumn. 
Every year the leaves change colors,   And the wind blows them away. They’ll 
grow back again in the Spring. Now I’m going home. Please don’t disturb me again.   Okay, sorry about that, Bird. It was just the wind. The leaves change colors & the wind blows them away. Of course!   No leaf thief at all. Silly me! 
I’m gonna sleep well tonight. Storyteller, don’t you remember that song?

Oh Olivia the Ostrich! I’m so 
embarrassed. There was no actual thief. Oh but you should have known. Remember 
the song Autumn Leaves? Yes! It went: The Autumn Leaves… drift by my 
window… the Autumn Leaves… of red and gold… Remember? ~ Oh yes! the Autumn Leaves   Were Drifting by my window of 
red and gold Because the wind! The wind, Storyteller. The 
song told you all along.  Oh the answers are always in the 
great songs. I should have known. So finally the squirrel and we will sleep well tonight  Knowing that there 
is no thief on the loose. The next morning… BIRD!!! BIRD!!! ~ What now?!?! SOMEONE HAS STOLEN THE GRASS! Sigh… There’s a grass Thief! TAMBOURINE! A grass Thief! TAMBOURINE! A grass thief! TAMBOURINE! A grass thief…TAMBOURINE SHAKES! You do realize that that’s Winter, right?  No, it must be some kind of a strange 
grass Thief out there somewhere, White Rat I’m gonna go look for The Cheese Thief. 
That’s the only real thief around here. Meanwhile we’re gonna stay on the case. And Kid, 
whatever you do, watch out for falling leaves!

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About the Author: Irene Jones

I was a teacher in the Philadelphia Public School System for over 20 years. I love teaching preschoolers and watching them progress from wide eyed blank slates to being able to read and write. The pride they enjoy from advancing their abilities and seeing their imagination grow is the greatest reward a teacher can receive.