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Leo: A Ghost Story
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Leo: A Ghost Story

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  2,652 ratings  ·  411 reviews
You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can't even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position ...more
Hardcover, 52 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,652 ratings  ·  411 reviews

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Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"For many years, Leo lived by himself in a house on the edge of the city, reading books and drawing pictures in the dust."
Mac Barnett ~~ Leo: A Ghost Story


With Autumn approaching, and Halloween around the corner, it is the perfect time to read Leo: A Ghost Story. I absolutely adore this book! If Leo: A Ghost Story had been around when I was a kid, it would have been one of my favorite books. I loved this book and had a huge smile on my face as I read it.

When Leo, a ghost, finds the new
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture, ghosts
This is a great stoy about friendship, imagination, honesty, and acceptance.

Although there is a ghost it is not scary at all, unless you have already made your tiny tot terrified of the mere word, in which case you are shit parent.

The illustrations are not in a style that is usually a favorite for me, but I found these charming.

I totally want to play Knights of the Round Table and have tea parties with these awesome kids.
Leo, the ghost whom most people can't see, leaves his home when the new inhabitants make him feel unwanted.
Wandering the city, he finds a friend, one who thinks he's imaginary. He can't tell her he's really a ghost or else he'll scare his first friend in years (decades? CENTURIES?) away.

Much like Mog the Forgetful Cat, Leo saves the day and earns respect.

There are so many subtle, positive messages in this story, creeping into the brain through the eyes.
Leo's new friend, Jane, is a black girl who
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it

I’m kicking off my Halloween fun today! Let the haunting begin with...

A new Mac Barnett book! :)

Leo is a ghost. Not everyone can see ghosts. Not everyone can see Leo. But Leo was lonely and needed a friend. So he floats off roaming the city in search of a new home and friend.

People walk on by or through him without looking or noticing though. Can Leo find that someone special? Someone that sees him? Sees him for who he really is.

Shades of blue, black, and white bring Leo’s tale to light on the
An interesting tale of Leo, who happens to be a ghost and his antics.
Oct 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kidstuff
Leo is a ghost who has "lived" in his house a long, long time. When he accidentally scares the new owners of the home, he leaves to look for a new place. He finds that things have certainly changed since he was alive, but friendship is always in style.

I love the monochromatic artwork by Christian Robinson.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweet-petites
Illustrated in shades of blue and starring a sweet faced boy ghost, Leo is left wandering the streets after the new owners of his home make it clear he is not wanted. Thank goodness for Jane, who dubs him her best imaginary friend. After catching a thief in her house, Leo reveals he is actually a ghost. Jane's reply? "Well that's even better." 4.5 stars
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mac is on point as usual. Read aloud to me by a friend's son made me appreciate it more than if I had read it alone.
Benji Martin
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted at The Tales of an Elementary Librarian.

Last year, after our yearly author visit, I was driving through downtown Montgomery to have dinner with my wife (in the passenger seat) and Mac Barnett ( in the back seat). At some point, my wife made a comment about the quality of my driving,and the danger that I was putting our guest in. Morbidly amused, but also genuinely curious, I turned to Mac and asked, “If we did all die in a fiery crash
M. Lauritano
Sep 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Coming from two of my favorites in the picture book world I had HIGH expectations for this one. Unfortunately, Mac Barnett, genius that he is, let me down. Christian Robinson can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned, but I do prefer his less monochromatic work. The illustrations are fresh, evocative, and cute as usual.

The story, though. Hm. It has some pacing and/or focus issues for me. The narrative feels front heavy. If the ultimate focus is the friendship between Leo and Jane and how their
Oct 14, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Enjoy Gentle Ghost Stories
Leo the ghost lived a life of quiet solitude in an abandoned house on the edge of the city, until the day a new family moved in. Hoping to ingratiate himself with these new housemates, Leo prepared them mint tea and honey toast, only to unintentionally terrify them with his actions. Leaving his long-time home, Leo becomes a wandering ghost, searching for something - for some sort of connection. Meeting a young girl named Jane on a sidewalk, Leo finds a companion, one who can see him, but who ...more
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Oh WOW I love this book. Like many of my favorite modern picture books, it has a timeless quality that would make it at home with classic Tomi Ungerer and Russell Hoban, but which also has feet firmly planted in 2015. A terrific story about friendship, identity, and what life (or, I suppose afterlife) is all about. And no surpise: Christian Robinson's illustrations are phenomenal. Highly, highly recommended.
This book feels instantly classic: the retro illustrations paired with a timeless tale of finding friends who really see you. Leo's loyalty and gentle soul are so lovable. Mint tea and honey toast for the masses!
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Super cute story.
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I need a physical copy!!
This story is so heartwarming. It’s about friendship, about how sometimes leaving some things behind could lead you to better things. I feel like there’s so much positive things that we can take from this book. So beautiful and... yeah.... can someone get me a copy?! Seriously, read it!
I wouldn't read this to just every child: there's a spooky element here that might raise questions. But the story of loneliness and finding friendship is delightful, and reminds me a lot of The Adventures of Beekle. Visually, the story couldn't be more different, though. Leo features much darker colors and a flat (literally two-dimensional, not boring), more childlike feel to the style, whereas Beekle is crisper and rounder and brighter.

Update: We checked this out a second time, and I read it
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, own
Charming and very different. The style and pictures are very unique, and the story went with them perfectly. I would not at all be surprised to see this win a Caldecott.
Stephane Savoy
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wish I could get Leo to come and visit me... lovely tale of a friendly ghost
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
A ghost gets mistaken as an imaginary friend. This is so cute!
RLL22017 Flora Zayas
Leo, we quickly find out, is a ghost who is eager for friends. The problem is he is invisible to everyone around him. After being confined as a "house ghost" with no success, he ventures out into the city. Finally, he is seen by a little girl named Jane. Leo and Jane become friends immediately. They play (view spoiler) ...more
Colleen McDonough
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Leo, a house ghost, tries to befriend a new family that moves in his home but ends up scaring them since they cannot see him. Leo decides to become a roaming ghost and looks for a new friend. However, no one can see Leo so he becomes lonely. Finally Leo comes across Jane, a little girl with a big imagination who sees Leo and treats him like her other imaginary friends.
Although the tone of the book is light and tells a story of friendship, the illustrations have a bit of a spooky feel to them
Rosemary Sullivan
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Leo: A Ghost Story," by Mac Barnett, with pictures by Christian Robinson is about a ghost named Leo in the form of a little boy, with a friendly nature similar to that of another well-known spirit, Casper. We should all be so lucky as to move into a home, where a gracious host makes mint tea and honey toast for company. But such hospitality is lost on the family that moves into the well-meaning ghost's house, where he has resided peacefully for years, "reading books and drawing pictures in the ...more
Sep 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most adorable ghost story you'll ever read.

Sometimes the illustrations for this book were so damn adorable, I pulled the same smiley face the main character was pulling. Mac Barnett and Christian Robinson create such a unique little story and empathetic characters, that I feel like children would get heavily invested in this picture book as well, and outwardly emote in reaction to the story as it goes.

Christian Robinson's decision to use papercutting and coloured pencil to illustrate this
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations in this children’s book help support the fantastic story that flows throughout its pages about a ghost named Leo. Leo has always lived alone but when a family moves into his house, Leo decides he must move out and he finds himself alone in the city. Not everyone can see Leo, as ghosts can only be seen by few individuals and the city becomes overwhelming for such a small ghost. Leo happens upon Jane playing on the sidewalk and she immediately strikes up a conversation. She is ...more
Aug 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a great combination of text and illustration. Leo is a loveable ghost who just needs to meet the right friend and he does, after being a roaming ghost for a while, in a dreary city with no warmth or place for mint tea. When he discovers Jane he finds a soul mate who has a great imagination and an open mind. And he goes from imaginary to real (of sorts). There is a warmth to this book that is hard to describe, but you get the sense of happiness as Leo stays up late (and in another room so he ...more
After being a house ghost for many years, Leo looks for a new place (maybe I'd like to be a roaming ghost for a while." But what he wants most of all is to be wanted. Jane can see Leo and asks him to play Knights of the Round Table. They have lots of imaginary adventures, but Leo is worried that he will scare her away if he tells her he is a ghost. Turns out though, that being a ghost can come in handy for scaring people who need to be scared away (like the sneak thief!)

So many shades of blue! I
I picked this the first time. My kids really enjoyed Leo and requested repeated readings. I wasn't surprised that my older child liked it, but that my younger child did. He's normally scared by ghosts but since Leo is such a sweet character and it's such a fun book, he enjoyed it.

Fun illustrations, a sweet ghost, and a spunky little girl will have young readers asking for this over and over again.
Gretchen Taylor
I'm not a huge Mac Barnett fan so wasn't sure what to expect but holy moly did I just absolutely love this one! Could be great for working on the development and interaction of ideas in a story (reading anchor standard 3), point of view (reading anchor standard 6). Plus, most importantly, it's just a neat story :)
Liz B
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
My son gave it 5 stars, although it's hard to get reasons from him; when I asked him what he liked about it, he said, "It's just the kind of thing that I like." I thought it was a cute story, but not Barnett's most interesting...and not my favorite work by the illustrator (Christian Robinson) either.
Kristine Hansen
Leo is booted from his home by people who just don't appreciate a ghost. (does anyone find the picture of that child's bedroom a bit sad - imagining Leo in life having played there and then...sob...)

Being an imaginary friend is hard work though, and Leo has to decide whether to tell his new friend the truth about himself. Very cute, with a fun ending.
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Picture Book Stud...: Leo: A Ghost Story 1 1 Mar 27, 2018 12:25AM  

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Born to non-farmers in a California farming community, Mac Barnett now lives near San Francisco. He's on the board of directors of 826LA, a nonprofit writing center for students in Los Angeles, and he founded the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers.