Leo the Lazy Lizard

Arcadia. Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781467197496.
K-Gr 2–The desert is hopping with activity: armadillos race, eagles soar, and then there’s Leo. Leo is a lizard just happy to be. He relaxes his day away in the sun to the puzzlement and irritation of his fellow desert dwellers, but soon they discover that Leo is not what he seems. Shankman’s paean to mindfulness encourages readers to slow down and take notice, like the roadrunner in the story: “He smells every scent, and he feels every breeze,/ And he loves how he feels,/ ’cause he feels so at ease.” The playful rhyme makes for a soothing read-aloud, and O’Neill’s colorful desert illustrations bring the story to life. Set over the course of a day, the spreads go from early morning violets to midday whites and blues to meditative navy blues with sparkling stars.
VERDICT A small dose of SEL set in a lizard’s ordinary day, this book gives children permission to switch off and stretch out. Make it a story hour favorite.

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