Leo the Late Bloomer (2024)


100 reviews

July 26, 2009

Memories of childhood reads bubbling up in my mind. This one was a favorite. I must have checked it out at the library a bazillion times. I remember the kind librarian softly asking me: "Aaron, are you a late bloomer?"

I didn't know what to say back to her. But the book made me feel whole.



368 reviews14 followers

June 6, 2016

I have mixed feelings.
I HATED the first page: "Leo couldn't do anything right", what's up with that for a start?!
But I liked the ending SO much, I could have shed a tear or two.


106 reviews225 followers

May 16, 2023

One star for the idea and one star for the effort at illustrations. But this book has no subtlety and no development. Leo is a late bloomer and all of a sudden he blooms and can do everything. There is no art in it, no creativity or scope which makes it fall flat upon analysis.

Megan (ReadingRover)

1,643 reviews43 followers

January 17, 2016

I always loved these books as a child. The illustrations are bright and beautiful and they're simple to read.
This book is about Leo a young lion who hasn't bloomed yet. He's behind all the other animals and doesn't do all the things he should be at his age. His father is worried at first but his mother just keeps telling the father to wait and that a watched bloomer never blooms. Sure enough in his own time and at his own pace Leo one day blooms. He can read, write and speak just like all the other animals. This is a great book to teach kids that it's ok to be who you are and do things in you're own time and you will bloom just like Leo. It also seems like a pretty good book for parents so they learn not to put so much pressure on their kids to always rush to be at the same level as everyone else and if kids go at their own pace they will eventually get there.

    x-goodreads-challenge-16 x-picture-book-challenge-2016


174 reviews2,453 followers

March 16, 2019

WHY ISN'T 2 1/2 AN OPTION? (Three stars are just too many).

I may be out there on my own, but I was not that impressed with this book. The premise behind Leo the Late Bloomer is awesome!! It is a great story to share with young children. The theme: Everyone does not develop or grow at the same pace. What better character to use than one of the most feared animals in the jungle? However, I think the way Kraus tells his story leaves something to be desired.

I do not think that you will be too disappointed. You may end up being wowed by it. What do I know?

    2019-reading-challenge kindergarten

Linda Lipko

1,904 reviews47 followers

January 23, 2019

Leo the tiger simply cannot comprehend why he cannot complete tasks in a timely manner. He cannot write; He cannot draw. He cannot write; He cannot even eat without making a sloppy mess. His father is very concerned and wonders outloud what is wrong with Leo?

A loving mother notes that Leo is fine, he is simply a late bloomer. While Leo's father is frustrated, it is Leo who is most anxious. And, then one magical day, Leo bloomed "in his own good time," as the author notes!

And, when he blooms, he draws inside the lines. He can read lots of books, Finally, he made it!

What a wonderful book to read to a child who is struggling, confused and anxious. Leo's mother was his advocate. She knew he would bloom, but not at the same time of others, and not at the misunderstanding of his father!

    acquired-in-2016 children-s-illustrated-books gave-away


91 reviews

May 31, 2017

1. Leo the Late Bloomer
2. This book teaches about patience
3. I can use this book with children who are having a hard time learning how to do different things. It teaches them that if they keep trying and not quit they will get it! It also teaches that everyone learns at a different pace.

    ecce-2203 georgia-pre-k


2,262 reviews5 followers

August 11, 2008

This is kind of a weird book. Leo, a tiger, can't do what the others can do: write, read, eat neatly, talk. His mom says be patient. His dad is a little worried, but is convinced Leo is okay and he watches some tv. And guess what? Leo learns to write, read, eat neatly, and talk! Hallelujah!

My problem with this book is that it really targets a very specific audience (kids who are slightly behind their peers) and what's more, I don't think it is written for kids, but rather as reassurance for their parents. I worry a bit that this book can be a real downer to read if one has a severely delayed child.



7,400 reviews224 followers

November 25, 2019

Leo the tiger was a late bloomer. He didn't learn to read and write when the other baby animals did, and he couldn't draw, eat neatly, or speak when they could. His father wondered aloud what the problem was, but his mother counseled patience, declaring that he would bloom when it was his time. After much worried watching, his father eventually let him be, and then... Leo bloomed!

Originally published in 1971, this classic picture-book addresses a common childhood (and parent) concern: the feeling that one's development, either overall or in some specific area, is delayed, because it doesn't happen at exactly the same time as it does with one's peers. The simple story here gently drives home the point that everyone is on their own schedule, and that it shouldn't be a cause of undue concern when one child develops a skill at a different time than another. I found Robert Kraus's text quite humorous, especially the depiction of Leo's father and his worried watching, and thought the illustrations by José Aruego, whose artwork I am familiar with from various folkloric retellings he has been involved in, were colorful and appealing. Recommended to anyone, parent or child, worried about development schedules.

    emotions picture-books

Brittany McCarty

12 reviews

March 28, 2016

“Leo the Late Bloomer” by Robert Kraus
GR Level: I, Lexile Level: 250, Grade: 1, Publisher: HarperCollins, 1999, Genre: Picture Book, Children’s Fiction, Pages: 32
This story is about Leo who is a lion that has some troubles fitting into the jungle. Leo cannot write, draw, read or talk while all the rest of the animals in his class can. Leo’s dad has some trouble adjusting to Leo being a little behind his friends and watches Leo in hopes that he will bloom quick. Leo’s mother however believes that he is just a “late bloomer.” During the story, Leo tries to draw, write, read and talk just like his friends but is not as successful as they are. Leo’s dad is not far behind his efforts as he watches from a close space to watch his son grow. Finally one day after many efforts, Leo finally “blooms” just like his mother says. Leo is able to draw, talk, read and even writer his own name just like the rest of his class.
One teaching idea would be to have the students talk about how Leo felt throughout the entire story. With the help of the teacher, the students will pick words from the book that are feelings and that describe how Leo might have felt. The teacher will write these words and create a Word Wall with the students to talk about feelings. (RL.1.4)
Another teaching idea would be to have the students imagine that they were Leo and how they would feel if they were in his position. Using their responses, they would come up with rules for the classroom for how to treat everyone in the classroom. The students would all put a handprint at the bottom of the rules to signify they have signed the rules for the classroom. (W.1.11)


40 reviews1 follower

April 23, 2012

This was my first time ever reading this book. It was pretty cute. I like that it can show children not to get discouraged if they cannot do something. If they keep trying, they will get it when they are ready. The illustrations in this book are colorful and detailed. I also liked how the mother tiger was so patient and knew that Leo would master the skills over time. I would have said I would read this to my class at the beggining of the year but I think the end of the year would be better. My extension activity will explain why.

Extension Activity: I will read this to my class at the very end of the year. We will then think back to something that we could not yet do at the beggining of the school year but we can do now. I will allow each child to talk about something or some things that they can now do they they could'nt at the beggining. This will be a great way for the children and the teacher to see how far everyone has come. I think this will also make the children feel good about all of their accomplishments.

    all-about-me emotions-feelings

Nub Yang

3 reviews

March 1, 2022

Leo developing differently than other animals that are his age and it will take time for him. His father wonders why Leo is a late bloomer, but the mother is telling the father to be patient and let him do things at his own pace. The father watched for awhile and still is wanting to see it for his eyes. The mother again said he must be patient and not watch over what his son is doing. After awhile Leo starts to read, write, and does everything there just needed to be some time and patient for Leo to do things at his own pace.

I would recommend this book to children from 3-5 years old and up for parents who want to see their children go as fast as they can but learning to be patient and allowing the children some room. The author allows us to see that it is alright for children to do things at their own growth rate and they will learn slowly but surely in due time. I would want the parents to know that no matter what to always be there for their children and to have patience for everything will go according to plan there is no rush. It is alright for the parents to observe their own children to keep track of everything that they are doing. I only want for everyone to know that children learn in the most wonderful ways and they know what is best for them as well.



2,154 reviews

July 23, 2022

A friend, June Krell, suggested this book. I think it is a very reassuring book, for both kids and parents. Before everyone had to be diagnosed with a syndrome, there was more recognition of the fact that kids develop at their own rate, no matter what the experts say. A Jewish saying is that no one went to the chupah not toilet trained (a chupah is the canopy under which traditional weddings were performed). Of course, parents should keep an eye on the kid and have a pediatrician but sometimes kids just will do things at their own pace. Cute illustrations and a short story perfect for the younger crowd at story time!

    animals cats fantasy


358 reviews1 follower

May 29, 2018

One of my all time favorite books! I especially love using at the end of first grade as we look at all the things we can now do.


Mr. Cody

1,548 reviews25 followers

January 13, 2019

Great book with a great message. The facial expressions on the dad tiger are hilarious. 😂

    books-i-read-with-my-son childrens-books owned

Ketutar Jensen

943 reviews24 followers

December 3, 2019

Poor Leo. And poor Leo's dad :-D Silly dad!


Alayna Eve

190 reviews2 followers

December 6, 2022

I teared up reading the book and absolutely love it!!! I first read this in the clinic where I work with special needs kiddos and love how they can pick this up and read it or listen and resonate with it!!!!


97 reviews


March 16, 2024

Trop trop joli j'adore les illustrations et l'histoire est très bien aussi

Manal Cheikh

75 reviews

March 17, 2018

This book is a beautiful classic to remind us all to relax, it assures children and parents that people progress at different levels, but everybody blooms. This book gives comfort and encourage children in what they are good at, and be more confident.


Emily Morales

2 reviews

February 10, 2022

Leo is not the only worried tiger. Leo's father notices and with worrisome asks mother tiger what is wrong with his son. Leo can not do anything. He can not read, write, speak, nor eat correctly like others his age. Mother tiger with a confident voice simply says Leo is just a late bloomer and there is nothing to worry about. The only thing Leo can do is wait and slowly develop all the skills his father and himself believe he will never have. Leo needs to relax and believe in himself. Things will fall into place.

Leo the Late Bloomer is definitely a great children's book. I would recommend it for children in preschool ages 3-4. At this age they are starting to develop further into certain skills every child is believed to start having. This books helps understand that no one is the same and it is ok. Kraus books would be a good book for parents to use when their child is having trouble accepting certain delays. It will help the child stay calm and keep believing in themselves. Teachers can use it in the classroom in their class library for students to read during center time. It's a book that is very enjoyable!


Serena Prieto

18 reviews1 follower

March 31, 2018

I just read this for the first time at age 22 and I love it! You see, I'm a Christian and "Biblical late bloomer". All of my friends have read through the entire Bible multiple times, but I haven't even made it through once. (My disability makes it hard to find a Bible I can actually use-either the print is too small or I can't hold it properly.)
Leo has reassured me that it doesn't matter how long it takes me or how fast my friends go, I'll make it to Revelation 22 at my own pace.
If you are my brother or sister in Christ and are reading this review, feel free to encourage me. Share your story, where you are currently reading, and how many times you "made it".



5,704 reviews253 followers

July 20, 2020

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

    2017reviews 2020reviews librarybook

Justin Ferrell

20 reviews

May 8, 2014

Picture Book, 1971

Leo is a young lion that is having trouble drawing, writing, and reading. His parents worry about him, but hope that he is just a late bloomer. Leo's dad wants to do all that he can to help, but he is told he will just have to let Leo be and everything will work out. He tries to let Leo grow and not hover over him too much. Leo continues to have trouble in his subjects, but then one day he just gets it. His reading, writing, and drawing get much better. His parents are so proud of him and Leo is so happy that he made it.
I really enjoyed this short book. It is great to read to young class that might be having some trouble improving. It is a metaphor for how a student can be behind, but then suddenly get it. This often happens with reading for children around the age of seven. The version I read had pictures below the text, so ideally this would be switched in a book for younger children.
Why is Leo having trouble with his work? Why are his parents worried? What do they think will help him? Why does he improve in the end?

Leandra Cano

65 reviews1 follower

March 1, 2018

We don't all develop at the same rate, and that is ok. This is a series book as well. The children can be asked questions if they have ever felt the way Leo does, and what should he do? Great book for self awareness.
Student: Leandra Cano
Book Title: Leo the Late Bloomer
Author: Robert Kraus
Illustrator: Jose Aruego
This Book is About
A tiger who seemingly can’t do anything. His mother always had confidence in him, and reassured that one day it will happen. One day finally came, and Leo surprised everyone.
The Featured Character in this book
Leo the Tiger
I liked or didn't like this book … provide reason pro/con
I liked this book. It is helpful for young children, and even parents. It teaches that not everyone develops at the same time, and with time and encouragement things will happen.
State your reasons (why or why not) you would recommend this book for children
I would recommend this book because it can help out with all kinds of disabilities, and teach the reader whether adult or child that with time and effort we will all reach our intended potential.

    child-engaging emerging-readers exceptionalities-reviews


58 reviews1 follower

January 18, 2012

In “Leo the Late Bloomer” Leo the tiger is unable to do many of the things the other animals can do, such as read and write. As the title suggest Leo is a late bloomer and in the end is able to do all the things that the other animas could do, including speaking, as well as reading and writing. Although the lesson of the story may seem obvious that children shouldn’t worry about learning slower than others because they are late bloomers, it also seems to send a message to their parents. Leo’s father is often seen watching Leo from a distance anxious about Leo not blooming. While Leo’s mother is more patient knowing he will bloom in time. The story can be humorous with both Leo and his father learning that in time blooming will occur. This story is good for children who need more time to bloom. It is a story that can encourage them to keep trying and to look forward to learning skills such as drawing, and writing in their own time.

Jose Valadez

24 reviews

January 18, 2015

Robert Kraus’ picture book Leo the Late Bloomer, is about Leo a young lion who is falling behind because he yet does not understand how to read, write and draw. The book first shows how Leo struggles to stay with the class and watches others around him excel in all that he cannot do. Leos father who is worried that his son may not be a late bloomer but something else follows and watches Leo for signs of blooming. Then Leo begins to blossom near the end showing everyone how he was able to do everything that he was at first unable to do.
This is a great story, by far the best way to show kids that it is okay to not understand first and that everyone learns at their own pace. The illustrations are great and fun to look at. At first glance the book seemed interesting because the illustration on the cover showed a sad lion surrounding by beautiful scenery. Illustrations by Jose Aruego which by the way are amazing and fun to look at easily captures the moment.


20 reviews1 follower

September 3, 2014

Leo the Late Bloomer (1994), by Robert Kraus with illustrations by Jose Aruego, is a memorable tale of a young learner’s delayed development, the frustration and disappointment that are often accompaniment, and the important role that caregivers can play by supporting and accepting each learner’s unique progression.

The story is set in a fantastical, yet improbable jungle, with lots of vines, flowers, and an occasional snow. The characters are comprised of personified animals commonly found in children’s writing; a tiger, an owl, a snake, an elephant, a bird, and an alligator.

The story serves as a comforting reminder of the pace of every child’s distinct development. It is also a commentary on the power of unqualified acceptance and support of each child as he comes into his own. There is no greater joy than that of a child who garners his own sense of accomplishment.

    accomplishment dissapointment expectation

Karly Kovac

46 reviews1 follower

August 29, 2011

I didn't think this book was that great. I have read a lot of children's books and I usually think they are cute and have a cute plot to them but I just thought this book was boring and didn't have a whole lot to it. It's about a tiger named Leo who is a late bloomer and can't do anything right. The dad is asking his mom what is wrong with him and she says that some kids are just late bloomers and to give him time. Then one day "LEO BLOOMED" and he could all of a sudden read and write and do everything he couldn't do before. Then it said Leo spoke for the first time and his words were, "I did it!" I just thought it was kind of cheesy for a children's book and I didn't really see it as a story children would want to read over and over again.

Bethany Taylor

69 reviews1 follower

January 23, 2020

Leo the Late Bloomer is about a tiger named Leo who feels like he can't do anything right. He struggles with reading, writing, drawing, eating politely, and being shy. Leo's parents waited and waited for him to bloom. One day, Leo's parents stopped waiting for him to bloom and let him learn at his own pace. Leo finally bloomed! I think Leo definitely struggled with a learning disability but once he learned to do everything at his own pace, he began to progress. I think this would be a good resource for parents. I would recommend this book to parents with children who may be falling behind because I think it teaches patience. I believe patience is a very important thing to have when dealing with any type of learning disability.

    2115 exceptionalities peer-instructor

Suzanne Lorraine Kunz Williams

2,251 reviews10 followers

September 16, 2020

A beautiful story about a tiger who took a little more time to learn how to do things that most of the others around him.

**Talking points - Leo's mom has faith in him. Who has had faith in you and encouraged you? In the end does it matter how long it takes you to catch onto things? Why or why not?

    read-with-zander reviewed-books young-childrens
Leo the Late Bloomer (2024)


What is the main idea of Leo the late bloomer? ›

It focuses on the individual sounds in words. Leo, a young tiger, does not do all of the same things that his friends do. His father is concerned, but his mother understands that Leo will do all of these things—when he is ready. And eventually, he does!

What is the theme of the book Leo the late bloomer? ›

Sure enough in his own time and at his own pace Leo one day blooms. He can read, write and speak just like all the other animals. This is a great book to teach kids that it's ok to be who you are and do things in you're own time and you will bloom just like Leo.

What does Leo want to be when he grows up Stargirl? ›

Leo shares that he wants to be a TV director, and Stargirl says she wants to be a ''silver-lunch-truck driver.

What is the plot of the Late Bloomers Club a novel? ›

The Late Bloomers' Club takes place in small town Vermont centering around two sisters and their family diner. Throw in town meetings, a fall festival, a debate on whether a big box store is the right thing for their town, burnt sugar cake, and a search for a lost dog and you have the epitome of a cozy fall read.

What is the synopsis of August and everything after? ›

Graduation can't come soon enough. Desperate for a fresh start, Quinn is eager to escape to her aunt's house on the New Jersey shore for the summer… away from teenage drama and having to answer everyone's questions about "what comes next" after high school. Quinn can't bear to focus on the future.

What is the synopsis of August into winter a novel? ›

It is 1939, with the world on the brink of global war, when Constable Hotchkiss confronts the spoiled, narcissistic man-child Ernie Sickert about a rash of disturbing pranks in their small prairie town.

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