Leopold by Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer with Pierre A. Lehu
Review by Lauren
Source: copy for review; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Dr. Ruth’s grandson, Ben, is afraid to join the soccer team. To help
out, she tells him the story of Leopold the Turtle, who always stays on
the shore. It terrifies him to go join the other turtles and play in the
water and sun on the rocks. Leopold just can’t get out of his shell,
and the longer he waits, the more he starts to doubt. Even though
Leopold feels quite alone, he stays on the riverbank where it’s safe.
But Freddy the Frog is a little concerned about Leopold and asks him to
join them in the river. Leopold has to choose whether to brave the
unknown and join his friends or to stay lonely and remain safe on land.
In this charming, rhyming tale of a turtle too afraid to set foot in the
river, Leopold proves that facing your fears can set you free.
Review: This is a lovely story about Dr. Ruth and her grandson, Ben, whose mom signed him up for the soccer team. Ben is worried he won’t do well and he’s scared to go to practice. His grandma tells him a story about Leopold the Turtle who stays on the shore in his shell, watching all the other turtles and water animals have fun without him. He’s scared to venture out and see what’s out there until Freddy the Frog helps me. Once he does “enter the world”, he’s truly happy he did! This story inspires Ben to go to soccer practice and of course…he comes home happy he went!
It’s a simple story, but I loved the message of leaving your shell and trying new things. The illustrations by Suzanne Beaky were really well done. They were bright and eye-catching. The actual narrative is entirely in rhyme, making it a perfect book to read aloud to children! The story of Dr. Ruth and Ben frame Leopold’s story, almost making this two books in one, which is great!
I’d suggest this book for any little one in your life that might be a bit shy or scared of new things!