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4.0 1
by Wolf Erlbruch

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
German artist Erlbruch sketches a telling psychological portrait in this offbeat offering. Leonard loves nothing so much as dogs-he pretends he's canine, barking and growling at home and at the grocery store, or he puts his obliging granny on a leash. But when he meets them in the fur, he's terrified. One day, a fairy grants Leonard's fondest wish, and the slight blond boy becomes a heavy-set brown-and-white mutt (his parents ``cried and cried but felt better when they realized what a good dog he was''). Leonard is thrilled-until he encounters a harmless child. Suddenly, ``he imagined the world was full of ferocious little boys,'' and this change of perspective enables him to return to being a regular kid. There's a moody touch of Francis Bacon in Erlbruch's asymmetrical cartoon faces. The figures and objects in his compositions, drawn in pastels on brown paper and pasted onto beige backgrounds, have a slightly dislocated look that mirrors the wayward strain of Leonard's fantasies and phobias. Ages 2-6. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Armin Brott
Every morning Leonard wakes his parents with a few barks and yelps, and he spends most of his day snapping at the neighbors and biting strangers' clothes. All this would be perfectly normal if Leonard were a dog. But he isn't. Leonard is actually a little boy; a little boy completely obsessed with dogs. He knows which ones have short tails and which have floppy ears, and he even makes his grandmother crawl around on her hands and knees while chewing on a bone. The problem is that despite his air of canine confidence, Leonard is actually terrified of dogs-even puppies. One night, Leonard gets an unexpected visit from a fairy who grants him a single wish. Without hesitating he declares that he'd like to be a big, strong dog. "Spotted, please." When Leonard's parents discover their son's change, they first cry, but they get over their sadness when they realize what a good dog he is. Leonard, too, is pretty happy-he takes his first walk. Much to his horror, Leonard imagines that the world is filled with ferocious little boys. Fortunately, the fairy takes pity on poor Leonard and grants him one more wish. Despite their simplicity, the illustrations manage to convey-with great humor-Leonard's fears and joys. The text-even in translation-is quirky and funny and the message is one that will resonate clearly with kids. 1995 (orig.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3A fresh, funny fantasy with roots in a familiar psychological phenomenon. Leonard is simultaneously frightened and fascinated by dogs. Each morning when he wakes up, he behaves like one. His amiable family goes along with the joke, allowing him to bark and yelp, and to mimic a dog in the supermarket where he chews on the pant leg of an unwary shopper. When a fairy enters and offers him a wish, he unhesitatingly wishes to be a dog, only to discover that the world is full of boys whom he imagines to be universally ferocious. Taking pity on Leonard's misery, the fairy gives him a second wish, which he uses to restore himself to his original state. The premise is humorous on several levels. In addition, the familiar cautionary theme of being careful what you wish for is given an original twist. The exaggerated cartoons that interpret the restrained, deadpan text are a perfect foil. The resulting effect is anticwhether Leonard is clinging to his mother's neck at the sight of a harmless pup, or the great, hulking mutt is leaping into his father's arms at the sight of a small lad. Executed in collages of brown paper and pastel, widely spaced on a background of pale tan, the art has a snappy, contemporary look. Definitely more than the sum of its droll parts, this is a laugh-out-loud treat in concept, words, and pictures.Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Product dimensions:
11.33(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.33(d)
Age Range:
5 - 6 Years

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Leonard 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son's name is Leonard so this was interesting to us. It is a very cute story and the illustrations are adorable. . . especially the little boy Leonard. Good for kids who like dogs or who are afraid of dogs. L. Pulley, Ashburn, Virginia.