Leo's Gift
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Loyola Press / 2017 / Hardcover
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Leo's Gift

Illustrated By: Carrie Schuler
Loyola Press / 2017 / Hardcover

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In Stock
Stock No: WW9446005


Product Description

In Leo's Gift by Susan Blackaby and Joellyn Cicciarelli, and illustrated by Carrie Schuler, an intensely shy six-year-old boy overcomes his self-doubt to discover that he has a beautiful gift to share with the world----just in time for Christmas! Leo's sister hates having to practice piano and would rather play sports. To pass the time that she is supposed to be spending practicing piano, she lets Leo practice instead. The piano is a comfort to him and offers him a big voice to share his special gift!

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: Loyola Press
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 12.00 X 8.88 (inches)
ISBN: 0829446001
ISBN-13: 9780829446005
Ages: 8-12

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Publisher's Description

2018 Moonbeam Award, GOLD: Best Illustrator
2018 Illumination Book Award
2018 Independent Press Award, Book Cover Design: Children
2018 Independent Press Award, Children's Religion
2018 Eric Hoffer Award, da Vinci Eye Cover Design Finalist


Meet Leo--a creative, shy, young boy in search of a special talent that he can share with the world. Curious and persistent, Leo tries all kinds of activities. Then, with the unknowing help of his sister, he discovers music. Leo may seem quiet, but the piano gives him a big voice, helps his confidence soar, and propels him to embrace the treasure inside him and share it with the world. 

Beautifully illustrated and filled with heart and hope, Leo’s Gift is a perfect story for parents, children, and siblings to read together. Leo will inspire kids everywhere to explore their passions, believe in themselves, and learn that not all gifts come wrapped in a box.

Children everywhere have already been inspired by Leo’s Gift:

"It’s not a gift Leo got in wrapping. It’s a gift he got in his life." --Molly, age 8

"Leo discovered something about himself that he never knew about before--and he like what he found, so it’s a gift." --Jack, age 11

"I’m going to explore and find out things about me like Leo finds out about himself." --Isabelle, age 7

"Brothers and sisters can be gifts too, especially when they stick together." --Torin, age 8

Author Bio

SUSAN BLACKABY pursues her creative and professional lives across a flurry of pages. On the clock, Suz specializes in early literacy and has written hundreds of fiction and nonfiction titles for the K-8 audience. She is the author of Brownie Groundhog and the February Fox and Brownie Groundhog and the Wintry Surprise; Cleopatra: Egypt's Last and Greatest Queen; and Nest, Nook, and Cranny, winner of the 2011 Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry. She writes in a cozy retreat at the foot of the Cascades overlooking the Columbia River.

JOELLYN CICCIARELLI has been developing books and media for children, parents, and teachers for nearly three decades. She spent two wonderful years as editor for Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and is coauthor of The InvestiGator Club, a preschool program that earned the Association of Educational Publishers Golden Lamp and Distinguished Achievement Award. A wife and mother of two, Joellyn lives in Illinois, is an avid reader and collector of children’s books, and loves to inspire others to share their gifts with the world.

CARRIE SCHULER is an award-winning illustrator and graphic designer. Known for layered, textural illustrations composed of ephemera she collects, Carrie’s most recent book, Drop by Drop (Loyola Press), earned a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, the International Book Award, and an Excellence in Publishing Award. Carrie practices, polishes, and shares her gifts in Chicago, where she lives with her wonderful daughter and whimsical cat.

Editorial Reviews

A boy discovers a talent for playing piano in Blackaby and Cicciarelli’s touching story, which is only tangentially connected to the holidays. Leo enjoys spying on his older sister Meredith’s piano lessons; after one session she teaches him a few basics—and he launches into the Mozart sonata she had been playing. For reasons not entirely clear, the siblings keep Leo’s musical abilities secret from their parents, though he eventually shares his gift at Meredith’s holiday recital. The authors attempt to fit a bit too much into this story, including Meredith’s passion for basketball, guidance Leo receives from a school music teacher, and the role of Meredith’s piano instructor’s mother with a memory disorder. But messages about the power of music and the rewards of discovering and sharing one’s talent come through clearly in the thoughtful narration and Schuler’s equally sensitive mixed-media images. Ages 8–12.

In the pages of Leo's Gift, young readers ages 6 to 12 will meet Leo -- a creative, shy, young boy in search of a special talent that he can share with the world. Curious and persistent, Leo tries all kinds of activities. Then, with the unknowing help of his sister, he discovers music. Leo may seem quiet, but the piano gives him a big voice, helps his confidence soar, and propels him to embrace the treasure inside him and share it with the world. Beautifully illustrated by Carrie Schuler, and filled with heart and hope by authors Susan Blackaby and Joellyn Cicciarelli, Leo's Gift is a perfect picture story for parents, children, and siblings to read together. Leo's Gift will inspire kids everywhere to explore their passions, believe in themselves, and learn that not all gifts come wrapped in a box. Wonderfully entertaining from beginning to end, Leo's Gift is an unreservedly recommended addition to family, elementary school, and community picture book library collections.

Oh, the gift. That special thing that flows with ease and fills all the cracks and crevices of our lives with joy! For Meredith, it’s basketball that fills her mind and interest while she hammers out her tunes in piano practice. But, for Leo, it’s the sweet sound of music that fills his heart as he quietly sits in the shadows listening to his sister play. The piano soon gives him a voice, helps his confidence soar, and propels him to embrace the treasure inside him and share it with the world. A true gift.

Leo's Gift is a very powerful and detailed story about a boy working toward his musical dreams, and it is absolutely full of piano and music-specific terminology. There is also an excellent message about perseverance that I would love to share with my students as we talk about growth mindset. The illustrations are bright and textured with a playful feel and I love the variation on text placement.
 

[EXCERPT] This book is about finding one's own talents and confidence. It is about growing up and also sharing one's talents. The book is a beautiful story and so well done. It also has its own webpage so you can learn more about the book, Leo and the authors! The message is there about sharing your gifts with others. It leaves you feeling good! It is recommended for ages 6 to 12.

For the kid who needs a boost of self-confidence, you’ll want to wrap up Leo's Gift by Susan Blackaby and Joellyn Cicciarelli, illustrated by Carrie Schuler. It’s a book about Leo, who wants to find a big talent that he can call his own.

[EXCERPT] There are so many pieces to this wonderful book! First off, the illustrations, by Carrie Schuler, are top notch. She captures so many emotions and concepts beautifully and it all feels so fresh. The story itself touches on a variety of topics from finding your passion to sharing your personal gifts with others. Young Leo doesn’t know what his gift is, but all children are encouraged to figure out their own special talents through this moving story.

Not necessarily a quick bedtime read, this story has more to it. We meet Leo, a shy little guy who watches his older sister Meredith during her piano lessons. Meredith would much rather be playing outside than practicing piano, but Leo asks her about playing. She gives him the first keys and from there his love of music blossoms. As it turns out, Leo has a natural musical talent that may never have been discovered if he hadn't been given the opportunity! It makes you wonder about some children in your life, do you have an aspiring Mozart in your home?
 

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