Tuesday, July 21, 2020

77. Leo the Late Bloomer

Leo the Late Bloomer. Robert Kraus. Illustrated by Jose Aruego. 1971/1994. 32 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: Leo couldn't do anything right. He couldn't read. He couldn't write. He couldn't draw. He was a sloppy eater. And, he never said a word.

Premise/plot: Much of Leo the Late Bloomer covers conversations between a mother and father as they discuss their late bloomer, Leo. The father worries that Leo will never, ever bloom. His mother is confident that Leo will bloom. Seasons come and go but Leo hasn't bloomed. Then one day, he does. And Leo's "first word" isn't a first word, but a sentence: "I made it!"

My thoughts: I did not grow up with this one. In fact, I didn't meet Leo until I was in college. But I definitely connected with him once I met him. I liked the optimism of the mother tiger. I could understand, in part, the frustration of the father. And I cheered the happy, happy ending. Overall, I'm not sure that it's perfectly-perfect in terms of modeling what to do if your child has learning difficulties. But I'm not convinced that it has to be. This isn't a how-to book for children or parents.

Text: 5 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out of 5
Total: 9 out of 10

© 2020 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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