Leo + Lea
By Stephanie Morgan,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Gorgeous illustrations celebrate math, nature, and friends.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Teaches children about the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical series in which each number is the sum of the previous two. Also demonstrates how different people see the world differently.
Promotes acceptance of people who think or act differently, as well as finding beauty in nature, numbers, patterns, and friendship.
Positive Role Models
Both Leo and Lea see the world differently than their classmates, yet they are accepted and welcomed into the class. They also forge a special friendship with one another.
The majority of the adult and child characters are people of color, including Leo, who appears to be Asian, and Lea, who appears to be Black. Although it's not specifically stated, it seems Leo might have some learning differences.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Leo + Lea, written by Monica Wesolowska and illustrated by Kenard Pak (On the Horizon), is a unique picture book whose story, illustrations, and even the number of words on each page teach children about a mathematical series that naturally occurs in nature called the Fibonacci sequence. The book is also a sweet portrayal of two young students, one of whom may have learning differences, finding friendship in each other. Many of the characters are people of color. Notes from the author and illustrator at the end of the book explain more about the Fibonacci sequence as well as how, and why, it was used in the book.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
There's more to what we share than what marks us as different
Report this review
A Beautiful, Gentle And Positive Book
Report this review
What's the Story?
LEO + LEA is a beautiful friendship story, inspired by the Fibonacci sequence and cleverly constructed using its mathematical pattern. It celebrates our differences, as well as how math connects us to one another. Young readers will love counting the number of words per page and discovering how they echo the Fibonacci sequence, a mathematical series in which each number is the sum of the previous two: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so on to infinity. Even the color scheme in the striking illustrations follows a mathematical progression, bringing an underlying order and tranquility to the story.
Is It Any Good?
In this unique book, author Monica Wesolowska and illustrator Kenard Pak use lyrical prose and dazzling art to teach readers about the magic of math. Leo + Lea is a stunningly original picture book that both children and adults will marvel over again and again. There are so many intriguing things packed into so few words here, from the soothing rhythm of the text to the repeating patterns hidden throughout, as well as the book's gentle tone and inclusive theme. Add in the frame-worthy artwork, and you'll want to gift it to every preschooler in your life.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the unique way that Leo + Lea teaches the Fibonacci sequence. Where did you notice it while reading? Check out the last page of the book where notes from both the author and the illustrator will tell you more.
Both Leo and Lea display a lot of curiosity about the natural world around them. Why is that a good trait to have?
How would you describe the colors used in this book? What mood do you think the illustrator was trying to create? How did the middle of the book (which had the most contrasting colors) make you feel compared with the beginning and end (which had the least)?
- Author: Monica Wesolowska
- Illustrator: Kenard Pak
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Friendship, Numbers and Letters
- Character Strengths: Curiosity
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Scholastic Press
- Publication date: August 2, 2022
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 4 - 8
- Number of pages: 40
- Available on: Nook, Hardback, Kindle
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: August 25, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
Suggest an Update
Where to Read
Our Editors Recommend
Books for Kids Who Love Math and Science
Picture Books with Truly Amazing Illustrations
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.See how we rate