3 out of 4 stars
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Sometimes the attitude a person has going into a day is what sets them up for an epic, awesome day or an awful, bad day. Such is the case with Little Leo's Bad Day by Dale Allen. This 30-ish page illustrated children's book is 3 really short stories in one - Little Leo's Bad Day, Little Leo's Dog Day and Little Leo and his Missing Toys.
Author Dale Allen explores three separate little stories to teach lessons on the importance of a positive attitude and being nice. Leo is a six-year-old who lives with his dad, and it's his dad who sneaks the lessons into each of the stories. Leo also loves playing with his cars and playing with friends or his dog. He's a realistic kid and the images in the book make it easy to relate to his little adventures.
The first story, the titular Little Leo's Bad Day, has Leo in a bad mood when he wakes up. When he asks his dad if he still has to go to school his dad tells him that if he doesn't go, he won't be able to see his friends! He explains that "the day is what you make it", and Leo ends up having a terrific day! The second story is similar but his dad explains why his dog won't play with him when he's in a bad mood, but the third story was my favorite. In Little Leo and his Missing Toys, Leo is playing roughly with his toy cars. When he won't calm down after being warned repeatedly by his dad his cars go missing while he's asleep, and Leo is led to believe they ran away because they were being treated so badly. They return, of course, after he promises to be nicer to them. The lessons are very straightforward but also good lessons to teach a child. A positive outlook is particularly important, especially when a child is being stubbornly fussy or upset!
Unfortunately, the text in the book is tiny! The ebook alternates between images and text, which is fine, but for whatever reason the text is also an image with a white background. As such, it isn't anywhere near as big as standard ebook text, and in fact when rotated sideways becomes even smaller. I really ended up straining my eyes to read the text most of the time, and on pages with more text I actually zoomed in on the "image" so I wouldn't get eye strain. The illustrations, on the other hand, are wonderful. The kids are all cute and cheery, as is dad, and the images are all colorful and fun. It was especially fun in the third story to see the toys that "ran away" hidden in the image, and then to see them right back in his room after they "come back".
While I felt like the book was a little on the short side, it really wasn't. There was a fair bit of text on most of the pages, often numerous paragraphs, and I've reviewed children's books that were 30 pages (or less!) before. It's just the nature of it having 3 stories that made it feel shorter than it really was. Being broken down into 3 mini-stories also means that very young children without much of an attention span can have a whole story read to them in a matter of minutes, or it can be re-read to them when they're having a bad day or playing roughly with their toys. My official rating of Little Leo's Bad Day by Dale Allen is 3 out of 4 stars.
Little Leo's Bad day
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