Henry & Leo by Pamela Zagarenski

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers 

Summary:  Ever since Henry got Leo the lion for his second birthday, they have been inseparable friends.  One day, the family decides to go for a walk in the woods.  Henry is happy, because he knows that Leo loves the woods.  His sister tells him that Leo isn’t real, but Henry knows better.  By the time the family gets back from their long trek, Henry is falling asleep on his father’s shoulders.  As soon as he gets into bed, though, he realizes something is wrong.  Leo is missing.  The family goes searching, but no Leo.  Henry’s mother tries to tell him that Leo isn’t real.  On the next several wordless pages, we see Leo being discovered by the forest animals.  They work together (with the help of a compass) to figure out where Leo belongs, and to get him as far as the front yard.  In the morning, Henry is overjoyed to see Leo.   Henry’s father and sister are puzzled, certain that they both looked in that very spot the night before.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  A worth companion to Knuffle Bunny, this beautifully illustrated story will resonate with anyone who has ever loved and lost a favorite toy.

Cons:  Any mother who says a stuffed animal isn’t real must not have had much of a childhood.  #bigelow



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