Cover image for Henry & Leo / Pamela Zagarenski.
Henry & Leo / Pamela Zagarenski.
Title Variants:
Henry and Leo
Publication Information:
Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, [2016]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : colour illustrations ; 29 cm
"Leo isn't just a stuffed toy, he is Henry's best friend and brother. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry's family believes Leo is real enough to find his way home"-- Provided by publisher.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
ZAG Book Easy Collection

On Order



Leo isn't just a stuffed toy, he is Henry's best friend and brother. He is as real as a tree, a cloud, the sun, the moon, the stars, and the wind. But when the two are accidentally separated, no one in Henry's family believes Leo is real enough to find his way home.
With beautiful mixed-media paintings, the Caldecott Honor-winning artist Pamela Zagarenski explores the transcendent nature of friendship and love.

Author Notes

Pamela Zagarenski is the winner of two Caldecott Honors, and her books have been translated into many languages. As well as illustrating picture books, she creates sculptures and has a gift card line. She lives in Connecticut. Visit her website at .

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Zagarenski (The Whisper) frames her splendid, tapestrylike paintings within a story that focuses their power. Henry's family loves him, but his insistence that his toy lion, Leo, has feelings is a problem. "Leo is a stuffed toy," his sister sniffs, "and toys aren't real." When Henry falls asleep on a hike and drops Leo in the woods, his mother assures him that they'll search for Leo in the morning. In a series of hauntingly lovely wordless spreads, Zagarenski returns to the forest under the warm light of a full moon, where a bear, fox, and hare discover Leo. They sip out of mugs while Leo draws a picture of his house; he rides home on the bear's back. When Henry spots Leo on the lawn the next morning, his sister says wonderingly, "But I looked in that very spot last night," allowing readers to share in Leo's secret. Lost-toy stories can be frightening, but Zagarenski presents the forest as a place of beauty and refuge, and the closing endpapers suggest that Leo and Henry find more to do there. Ages 4-7. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

Henry's sister does not understand about Henry's dear lion, Leo: "Leo is a stuffed toy, and toys aren't real." Henry knows better, and on a family walk in the Nearby Woods, he can tell that Leo is enjoying himself. Indeed, Zagarenski depicts Leo with eyes that look lifelike while still clearly made of glass buttons. Henry gets tired on the walk, so his Papa carries him, and children will likely notice immediately that Leo is not in his arms. Back home: "Leo will be scared," Henry tells his mother, but she won't let him return to the woods to look for Leo until the next morning. As Henry lies mournfully in bed, a large window frames the moon, with stars trickling toward his bed. The next pages are wordless spreads in lush blues and greens showing Leo in the nighttime woods accompanied by animals that resemble the stuffed animals in Henry's room -- a bear, a fox, a hare. These animals set off toward Henry's house, Leo riding on the bear's shoulders, and in the morning, Henry finds Leo, safe and sound, right outside. As in her previous books, such as Sleep like a Tiger (rev. 11/12), Zagarenski's art features crowns floating over the heads of her characters. She uses layers of paint over found materials and, in the story, layers the imaginary over layers of reality. The interplay between what is real and what is imaginary -- and Henry's thoughts on the subject -- will make this a fertile book for children and adults to discuss. susan dove lempke (c) Copyright 2016. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.