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Weston Woods
For 50 years Weston Woods Studios has been the principal innovator in the translation of picture books into the audiovisual media. Our adaptations are faithful reflections of classic children's picture books designed to motivate beginning, struggling, reluctant and limited English language proficient readers to WANT to read.

Leo the Late Bloomer Discussion Guide

In Leo the Late Bloomer, Leo is behind his friends in reading, writing, drawing, eating neatly and speaking. When Leo's father becomes concerned, Leo's mother explains that Leo is simply a late bloomer. Later, in his own good time, Leo "blooms" pleasing his patient parents and of course, himself.


  • Children will investigate family relationships.
  • Children will leam about growing up.
  • Children will explore the importance of self-esteem.

Before Reading Activities

Share the book with chil­dren. Then ask:

  • How do you think Leo felt about not being able to do the things his friends could do?
  • How do you think Leo's parents felt at the beginning of the story?
  • What helped Leo leam to draw and write and speak?
  • How do you think Leo and his family felt at the end of the story?

Encourage children to talk about some new skills they are working to master. Ask them to describe how they will go about learning these skills to help them appreciate the complexities involved. Have children describe how they feel when they accomplish their goals.

After Reading Activities

Help children recognize the many skills and abili­ties they have already mastered. Include their abil­ity to communicate, their physical abilities, their ability to demonstrate a wide range of emotions, etc. Then make a list of the skills and abilities the children are most proud of. Have children draw pictures to accompany their list of accomplish­ments. Display the lists and drawings in a promi­nent place in the classroom under the heading, "We're Proud Of Ourselves!"

Encourage children to describe their family mem­bers. Ask:

  • What kinds of things would you like your par­ents and siblings to say when you leam something new?
  • How would you like to celebrate a new skill or ability?
  • What can you do to show a younger sibling how proud you are of him or her?
  • What things do your family members do that you are most proud of?

Later, have children dictate stories about their families, focusing on the special talents and abili­ties of each family member.

Plant an indoor garden to help children understand the value of patience. You can use bean seeds or other fast growing plants so that children can see results soon. From time to time discuss the impor­tance, and necessity of being patient. Each day, as children work on paintings, write stories and leam to sing songs, point out that patience is an impor­tant part of each of these activities. When the plants finally bloom, reward the children with a classroom party to celebrate the patience they demonstrated waiting for their plants to grow.

Other videos and films about self-esteem available from Weston Woods include:

Leo the Late Bloomer, by Robert Kraus, ill. by Jose Aruego

The Caterpillar and the Polliwog, by Jack Kent

The Most Wonderful Egg in the World, by Helrne Heine

Peter's Chair, by Ezra Jack Keats

The Ugly Duckling, by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Svend Otto S.

Whistle for Willie, by Ezra Jack Keats

The Wizard, by Jack Kent

Other videos and films about self-esteem available from Weston Woods include:

TO ORDER: For Public Library sales call 800-243-5020 / For School Library sales call 800-621-1115.

This guide may be photocopied for free distribution without restriction.

Copyright 2008 Weston Woods.

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