Letters to Leo

Amy Hest (Author) Julia Denos (Illustrator)


"Upbeat and chirpy, and decorated with lots of kid-style illustrations, Leo evokes sympathy with a light touch." -- School Library Journal (starred review)

The joys and trials of fourth grade --and of life with her father now that her mother is gone -- play out in charming letters from Annie to her dog, Leo. Genuine and funny, Amy Hest's first-person narration revisits a winning young character as she takes on a new year -- and a new dog -- with humor, honesty, and resilience.

Product Details

Candlewick Press (MA)
Publish Date
September 09, 2014
5.1 X 7.5 X 0.5 inches | 0.3 pounds

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About the Author

Amy Hest, the author of many award-winning books for children, is a three-time recipient of the Christopher Medal and a winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. She lives in New York City.

Julia Denos is the illustrator of Grandma's Gloves by Cecil Castellucci, which won the 2011 California Book Award Gold Medal. Julia Denos lives outside of Boston.


Annie, first introduced to readers in REMEMBERING MRS. ROSSI (Candlewick, 2007), lives with her dad in New York City and is now in fourth grade. Her new best friend, a floppy-haired puppy named Leo, is helping her cope with schoolwork, an icky boy, and a best friend who is moving away. She writes letters to him, and reads them to him at night...Upbeat and chirpy, and decorated with lots of kid-style illustrations, LETTERS TO LEO evokes empathy with a light touch.
--School Library Journal (starred review)

In Annie, readers will find a perfectly imperfect Model Citizen, a loving daughter and good friend--in other words, someone a lot like them.
--Kirkus Reviews

Hest does a charming job making Annie (and Leo!) come alive through a series of letters and drawings... Ready-made for reluctant readers, who will be enticed by the art-heavy format and the short bursts of text, this book will also be a good choice for fans of Sara Pennypacker's Clementine series or the Judy Moody books.

Middle graders will enjoy watching Annie grow up as a friend and a daughter.
--The Horn Book

Abundant humorous illustrations and the epistolary format make this an ideal choice for kids just starting to embark on chapter books, and its message of healing is salve for all ages.
--Shelf Awareness

In funny, insightful and charming notes, "Letters to Leo" captures the best and worst of life in the fast lane of elementary school. It's also small enough to sneak into a duffel bag for camp, without the tell-tale book bulge.
--Huffington Post Parents blog