Leo bloomed!

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"Then one day,
in his own good time,
Leo bloomed!"

Robert Kraus Leo the Late Bloomer

It's been a rough week, but I don't understand why because it was really only four days long.  But something that always cheers me up is reading children's books.  I'll go to the children's section of the library or the bookstore and pick up which ever book catches my eye.  Or I'll go to my bookshelf and pick an old favorite.  Guess which book I decided to read?  If you haven't already guessed from the title or the quote or from the large picture, I choose Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus.

What makes Leo so special is that readers of any age can relate to his story.  Who doesn't feel like a late bloomer at some point in their lives?  I'll be the first to admit that I've felt like a late bloomer more than once with different things.  This is what I love about children's literature: it sticks with people even when they'vedare I say it?grown up.

My mom likes to grow avocado trees.  Sometimes she saves the pits of avocados, puts toothpicks in the sides of the pit, and props it up on top of a glass filled with water.  Sound confusing?  Check this site out.  After it's grown its roots, the pit can be planted in soil, and it will grow into an avocado tree.

You probably have no idea where I'm going with this, but that's okay.  Keep reading.

Well, I took a liking to naming the avocado trees once they start to sprout their first root.  The first I named 'Sprouty' because it was sprouting (I'm terribly creative).  The second pit took a while to sprout; I named this one 'Leo.'  As Sprouty was growing roots and thriving, Leo was taking his time.

One day, we noticed that Leo started growing faster and taller than Sprouty.  When we potted the avocado pits, Sprouty kept growing at a steady pace.  But Leo, in his own good time, bloomed.  Now Leo is a taller and more plush (funny word) than Sprouty.

As weird as it sounds, I'm proud of this plant.  He lived up to the great character he was named after.  I can't help but think of this avocado tree when I read Leo the Late Bloomer and I can't help but think of Leo when I see this avocado tree.

So yes, I'm strange.

What are some books from your childhood that you've grown attached to in some way?


DJ Beckage said:

"Owl at Home" by Arnold Lobel. Really fun book. Kind of random but really cool. I still own my copy and when I've got down time, will leaf through and read a chapter.

Kayla Lesko said:

"The Secret Garden". I loved that book and still do. It's what motivated me to be a bookworm. There's been numerous adaptions of it, but the best (not just according to me, but other fans as well) version is the one made in 1993 with Maggie Smith.

I've always admired the empathy present in most children's books. It's something that most novels lack. Sure, a person can sort of empathize with a character like Troilus's ups and downs in love, but they can't completely relate because the character's personality gets in the way. Even worse, if you hate the character, your enjoyment of a novel goes straight down the tubes.

Bethany Bouchard said:

I loved the spunk of little girl characters such as Junie B. Jones, Ramona Quimby, and Harriet the Spy. They reminded me of myself and were always easy to relate to in one way or another. I also loved the Anne of Green Gables series. Those are books that I still like to read sometimes. They are close to my heart, and as I get older, I can always find new wisdom from the musings of Anne Shirley.

Kaitlin Monier said:

DJ, I'll have to check that book out—I like random books!

Kayla, I've never read The Secret Garden, but I did watch that version of the movie. I definitely had it on VHS and think I still do! There always seems to be one book that a bookworm can credit with turning them onto reading. Those kind of books always hold a special place.

You're right Ethan, that's what's special about (good) children's literature and one of the reasons why I love it so much! It's so easy to identify with the characters—no matter the age of the reader—because we all grew up or are still growing up.

Bethany, I read Ramona too! But I've never read Anne of Green Gables; I've seen the movie if that counts. Books that you learn something new from every time you read, and no matter how many times you've read them, are the best! It's like reading a different story each time!

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    Kaitlin Monier on Leo bloomed!: DJ, I'll have to check that bo
    Bethany Bouchard on Leo bloomed!: I loved the spunk of little gi
    Ethan Shepley on Leo bloomed!: I've always admired the empath
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