Leonard the Larch

Author: Darcee O'Hearn
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Status: Available

“Leonard the Larch,” otherwise known as the Western Larch, is the first book in the series. Darcee has chosen Leonard as the “Jokester” of the forest because he loves to spook all his tree friends whenever he gets the chance. Halloween was Leonard’s favorite time of year because that was the only night Mother Earth didn’t discipline him for causing trouble. Each year, Leonard sought after the perfect costume to spook all his friends until finally, Mother Earth suggested he could be a spooky skeleton. He was very excited about the idea and later that Halloween night, he had the best time of his life scaring all his friends with his new costume. Now that he found the perfect disguise, he asked Mother Earth if he could be a spooky skeleton every year. That is why, every year, around Halloween, Leonard’s needles turn yellow and fall because he is getting ready to spook us all!

Darcee has been teaching Forestry for almost six years and a common question asked by many is, “What is happening to our Larches, are they dying?” She is always excited to share her story explaining that the Larch is perfectly fine and healthy. She has learned that some people have actually cut down their Larch tree because they thought it had been attacked by the mountain pine beetle. For this, she knew how important it was for her to create her legends to help educate not only children, but adults too, using Legends that can be shared from one generation to the next.

All of the crafts found in the book are tested by Darcee’s Scout group. She always gets her Beavers and Cubs to complete each craft and if it is successful, she will then put it into her book. The craft included in Leonard the Larch teaches you how you can make amber in a day. This was completed by her son Alexander and he entered it into the School District Science Fair, where it was very well received and made the local newspaper as a huge success.

Can you make amber in a day? Yes you can, and the illustrated instructions tell you how, step by step. Keep in mind, no one can make “real” amber in a day; this amber is plasticized amber that can be molded into any shape you desire, but remains soft and slightly tacky. “Real” amber takes millions of years under high pressure to form the beautiful golden colors that can be seen in jewelry and other art.

It is very easy to get all the different trees’ names confused with each other. When Darcee takes her classes on field trips, she often finds that kids automatically call a tree that is an evergreen, a pine tree. There are many different trees that grow amongst us, so Darcee put photographs of the tree’s bark, cones, needles, branches, and profile to show the differences in each tree. Also included are descriptive clues to aid in proper identification.


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