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Children's Fiction General

Leon's Song

by (author) Stephanie Simpson McLellan

illustrated by Dianna Bonder

Fitzhenry and Whiteside
Initial publish date
Oct 2005
General, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2005
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 5 to 8
  • Grade: k to 3


We all have a special gift!

Leon is an old frog. In truth, he is not much to look at and he can be a little timid. But Leon is content with his quiet life on the pond. Other frogs are more handsome and can swim faster and leap higher. Leon is all right with that; he loves to watch the others and admire their talents. But when Leon hears Romeo, his heart aches for Romeo is the greatest singer on the pond. Leon's humble croak is nothing like Romeo's rich tones. More than anything, Leon wishes he could sing. When Romeo opens his mouth, all the pond dwellers are spellbound. And although it hurts him to know that he will never match Romeo's talent, Leon is inspired by the music to dream of a time when he too might make a difference.

Leon isn't going to have to wait very long. Something is about to happen that will threaten the pond dwellers and their way of life forever. And to protect them all, Leon will find a talent that no one knew he possessed.

A gentle and moving story about love and loyalty, Leon's Song will inspire readers to find the qualities that make them special and, more importantly, to appreciate others for their unique talents.

  • Short listed for the Blue Spruce Award
  • 2005-2006 Chocolate Lily Award nominee
  • Will make you want to croak out loud!

About the authors

Stephanie Simpson McLellan
is the author of the stunning The Christmas Wind, published by Red Deer in 2018, as well as a number of other picture books, including the award—winning The Chicken Cat. She lives in Newmarket, Ontario.

Stephanie Simpson McLellan's profile page

Dianna Bonder
is the illustrator of many books including A Pacific Alphabet, and Three Royal Tales. Accidental Alphabet, which she wrote and illustrated, was selected for the DOCET exhibition in Bologna, Italy. Leon's Song was shortlisted for the Blue Spruce Awards and the Chocolate Lily Book Awards. Dianna lives on an island off Canada's West Coast, where she paints full time in glorious colour.

Dianna Bonder's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This story may be used to show children that they, too, may have hidden talents."
School Library Journal

"The language is one of the things that makes this picture book special. Stephanie Simpson McLellan . . . has a gift for finding just the right word."
Canadian Materials

"[Dianna Bonder has painted friendly, often dreamy-looking frogs amid scenes of soft blues, greens, and browns. These full-page illustrations are remarkable for their sense of movement, their almost-palpable vibrations. Looking at the pictures, you can practically hear the aquatic chorus."
Quill & Quire

"The fundamental concept of the special skills or talents an individual holds is one that many have confronted at some point in their life. While "self-concept" is a core theme of many children's books, Leon's Song uses lyrical words and powerful imagery to draw her readers into Leon's quest - and ultimate discovery - of his personal gifts to his world."
ABC Canada Literacy Foundation

"There's something just a little more special about a 32-page book that not only delivers gorgeous artwork, but manages also a fairly involved story with characters you can care about and even some plot. . . [Stephanie Simpson McLellan and Dianna Bonder created a tiny epic worthy of the most enthusiastic little readers."
January Magazine

Other titles by Stephanie Simpson McLellan

Other titles by Dianna Bonder