Published in 1971, Leo the Late Bloomer was written by Robert Kraus and illustrated by Jose Aruego.

Picture of A lion cub with his mum.

Picture of A lion cub with his mum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kraus started out as a cover artist and cartoonist for The New Yorker, after winning his first cartoon contest at the age of 10 and selling his first cartoon to The New Yorker at age 16.

He went on to found his own publishing house, Windmill Books, which drew artists like Jacob Lawrence and Norman Rockwell to its fold, for collaborations with Kraus.

Windmill was the first to publish board books for children.

Leo the Late Bloomer is about a lion cub who doesn’t do anything on time.

He doesn’t read or write or talk when all the other animals do.

His mother protects him from his father’s concern and anxiety with the explanation that he is just a late bloomer.

When Leo finally talks, he says an entire sentence.

His father is relieved and his mother still loves him.

My husband tells the story that he learned to talk late.

When all the other children his age were adding words to their vocabulary almost daily, he said nothing.

Then, one day, his first words were an entire sentence.

His mother bragged about this all her life.

And, he went on to become a National Merit Scholar.

So, to anxious parents and grandparents everywhere, consider the relaxing message to your grandchildren when you read them Leo the Late Bloomer.

Leo the Late Bloomer is on the New York Public Library list of “100 Picture Books Everyone Should Know.”

Click on the title to order Leo the Late Bloomer from amazon. /leo


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers


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