Look Out, Leonard!

DK. Mar. 2021. 32p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780744028171.
PreS-K–The shrew family is moving across the jungle to their new home. To make sure everyone stays together through treacherous terrain, Mrs. Shrew asks for everyone to hold on to one another’s tails. Six of the shrews comply, except for the distractible Leonard, who grabs a baboon tail instead. As he tries to catch up to the group (who seems oblivious to his disappearance), the small bespectacled shrew blunders from one wrong tail to the next, narrowly avoiding disaster each time. When a scary tiger threatens the shrews, lucky Leonard accidentally saves the day. Finally reunited with his family, Leonard never wants to get lost again, although another mysterious tail beckons. Anegon’s vibrant illustrations delight with cartoonish expressiveness and bouncy energy. The visual humor complements the narrator’s tone that vacillates between calm and concerned, as Leonard’s antics elicit a cautionary “Look out, Leonard!” that the audience will undoubtedly echo. A brief note in the back of the book gives some factual information about the Southeast Asian shrews.
VERDICT A silly romp with just enough suspense to be fun for little ones yet surprisingly (and pleasantly) devoid of any specific morals or lessons.

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