Title: A Letter for Leo
Written and illustrated by: Sergio Ruzzier
Published By: Clarion Books, New York, 2014
Themes/Topics: postmen, friendship, letters, birds, weasels
Suitable for ages: 3-5
Fiction, 32 pages
Leo is the mailman of a little old town
Postman Leo is a weasel who loves his job of delivering letters and parcels of all shapes and sizes to the townsfolk, but who secretly longs to receive a letter himself. One winter he finds, befriends and cares for a little bird who has become separated from its flock. Cheep is not big on words (‘cheep’ is all he says) but he is big on enthusiasm and brings a whole new world of friendship to Leo through the winter months. Come spring as flocks of birds heading north fill the skies, both friends know it is time for Cheep to move on. With a distant friend, who knows what may come Leo’s way.
Why I like This Book:
Firstly, this story is set in in Italy, evident from the landscape on the very first page. This made me a little homesick, especially the scene of the friends playing ‘bocce’ in the village square. Secondly, Sergio’s character are so often whimsical and endearing and Leo and Cheep are no exceptions. I fell in love with the duo and their little community. Thirdly, the ending offers the best of picture book endings, it is inevitable and surprising and won’t fail to bring a smile to narrator and readers’ faces. Bravo, Sergio, another lovely winner. Lastly, I really do have a soft spot for picture books about letters!
- For children who can write, I would have a class letter writing activity where everyone pulls a classmate’s name out of a hat to write and illustrate a postcard to.
- Children can look up the game of Bocce!
- I interviewed Segio Ruzzier on Miss Marple’s Musings in 2013.
Each week a group of bloggers reviews picture books we feel would make great educational reads. To help teachers, caregivers and parents, we have included resources and activities with each of our reviews. A complete list of the thousands of books we have reviewed can be found here on Susanna Leonard Hill’s website.