cover image A Letter for Leo

A Letter for Leo

Sergio Ruzzier. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-22360-8

Leo, a ferretlike critter, makes everyone’s day with his postal deliveries of “big boxes, small packets, envelopes of every size, catalogs, love letters, birthday cards.” Leo will occasionally take a moment to stop for a chat or play bocce, but he’s actually a solitary fellow who has never received a letter himself. Then one day Leo rescues a little bird who’s become stuck in a mailbox, and everything changes for him—including his eventual understanding of why the mail means so much to his customers. Ruzzier (Bear and Bee Too Busy) has long had a taste—and gift—for the slightly surreal, but his watercolor-and-ink drawings in this outing are very much slice-of-life, with an old-fashioned sense of characterization and telling detail; readers will feel that they instantly know the “little old town” where Leo delivers letters and all of its inhabitants. This is a lovely story about connection and all that it implies, told with concision, reticence, and just the right balance of bitter and sweet. Ages 4–8. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Nov.)