The tale of a sizable sidekick for one competent kid.
Leonard, a curly-haired, brown-skinned little boy, finds an egg in the park one day and takes it home to his apartment on the top floor of a tall building. In the morning, Leonard witnesses his “lizard” busting out of its egg, prompting the name “Buster.” Though a trusty companion who accompanies Leonard on all of his jaunts around the city, the lizard soon grows to a problematic size. The annual parade (with floats like those in Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade) offers just the opportunity Leonard needs to find his buddy a new home. Pett’s simple and sparse illustrations focus on Leonard and Buster by illustrating the pair in bright colors and other people and objects along the city streets in grayscale or dull colors. This highlights the book’s amusing irony: despite the presence of a large green dinosaur in a busy city, nobody pays any attention to Leonard or Buster. In fact, Leonard roams the city from day to day without interruption or attention from parents or other interfering adults. He solves his own problems and takes care of the pet he has acquired of his own volition.
As independent as Max and Ruby, as creative as purple-crayon–wielding Harold, and as dedicated a friend as Charlotte’s Wilbur, Leonard will delight kids of all ages, regardless of habitat. (Picture book. 4-8)