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Leon and the Spitting Image
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Leon and the Spitting Image

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  659 Ratings  ·  89 Reviews

This book is about a hotel full of animals. And an evil ice maker. And glass eyeballs -- oh, and really old panty hose and Possibly Fake Hair. But mostly, it's about Leon Zeisel and his epic quest to survive fourth grade, despite his teacher, Miss Hagmeyer, and his archenemy, Lumpkin the Pumpkin, a human tank with a deadly dodgeball throw. Luckily, Leon has friends who wil

Paperback, 320 pages
Published May 10th 2005 by Greenwillow Books (first published September 1st 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Apr 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leon hat für arbeiten mit Nadel und Faden nichts übrig um so härter trifft es ihn, dass die neue Lehrerin, die nebenbei bemerkt wie eine Hexe aussieht, völlig versessen aufs Nähen ist. Plötzlich ist Leons Versetzung gefährdet und zu dem wird er auch noch von seinem Klassenkameraden Lumpkin gemobbt.
Das Buch hat viele skurrile Einfälle. So lebt Leon mit seiner Mutter in einem Hotelzimmer, wo ihn in der Nacht die Eiskönigin vom Schlafen abhält. Ein bisschen unheimlich, ein wenig zauberhaft, so sieh
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
Leon and the spitting image by Allen kurzweil is a fantastic book to read with only three hundred and two pages, its full of excitment and laughter through the whole book! The main charaters are leon ,bhis friends and Miss Hagmyer.The basic story is that leon barley passes 3rd grade and is trying to do well his fourth grade year, but he has a problem this fourth grade teacher miss Hagmyer is a evil lady that dresses in black and only cares about sewing. The conflic is when he makes a doll that m ...more
Pamela Huxtable
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-s
This is an inventive story that reminded me at times of the absurdity of Roald Dahl. Leon is a clumsy fourth grader who attends a school that emphasizes fine motor development. To a kid with coordination issues, this is a nightmare. Fourth grade starts, and Leon's teacher uses sewing to teach throughout the entire school year. A kids' book with a focus on sewing? Sounds odd, but it works.

Add to this the general quirkiness of Leon's life: he and his mother live in a hotel that caters to the nutti
Kelly Lynn Thomas
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
I "read" the audio book, and loved it. Leon is such a likeable character, and the story is fun. The book seemed really long to me and I was shocked halfway through when the doll Leon makes suddenly gets magical powers, but it's based enough in the real world (like the first half) that I could swallow it and still enjoy the story. Nothing against fantasy, just the first half of the book is totally mundane. The ending is also satisfying.
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent children's book that adults will enjoy. It's about a fourth-grader who lives in a hotel with his single mom, and has a fascination with geography. He learns about the world by asking his taxi drivers where they are from, then tracks their origins on his map at home. He has a couple of good friends, one mean teacher who makes her students learn how to sew and make strange animals, and one bad bully. But what happens at school is nothing short of magical.
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Leon goes to a "classical" school and isn't doing well with coordination skills. School has just started and his new teacher is all about sewing. Classroom projects are about sewing stuffed animals named "animiles". Everyday she wears "eyeballs" that coordinated with the upcoming projects. Can this class get any weirder? (Yes)
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Pandaluff by: My best friend
2nd favorite book ever! Don't be fooled by the cover, the book is really good and funny!
I think the author is very creative and has a great sense of humor! If you've already read this book, read the sequel, "Leon and the Champion Chip"
Nov 11, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Leon and the Spitting Image (Paperback)
by Allen Kurzweil
Cindy Xu

I think everyone who reads Leon and the Spitting Image can relate to it because it is all about a boy who struggles with his new year of school and with his strict teacher and he thinks is the worst teacher in the world. A young boy, Leon starts his fourth grade year with a bad start. In the beginning he struggles to find out what was written in his hidden confidential repot. Soon as he starts his fourth grade year he encounters
Mar 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read this when I was a kid. I never got this book at all. In other words:
My 10-year-old self: "cofuzzling, me no get?"
Instead of actually reading the book, as the purpose of all books, I just defaced it.
-Wrote some nasty words here in there
-Scrawled out some sentences and drew pictures.
- DOODLED. oh yaaaaaaah.

Yes, I was in my naughty stage.

After those nescessary changes were made, all my classmates deemed it easier to read. I think Mr. Kurzweil could use my graffiti talent to improve his book
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read this aloud with my 9 year old. It's a fun romp that cares not for how some might find the fantastical parts of the story (characters go to a quirky private school for which the motto is, "Nimble fingers make for nimble minds"), and the supernatural turn. The oddness of some characters (Leon, the Coach, his teacher, his taxi driver) makes the rest of the characters (his own friends, the principal, the "bully") seem flat by comparison, merely there to drive the plot, rather than enhance it. B ...more
Jul 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
When I first started this book, I was like ... sewing? A book about sewing?!? That seemed a little odd. But the author did some pretty cool stuff with the sewing (which I won't tell you, lest I spoil the end!). The only reason I didn't give this ***** is because I thought the author could have done a little better foreshadowing of what was to come in the middle/end of the book earlier on, so it wasn't such a shock. But, I liked the unusual aspects that the author put it. I only wish that I could ...more
May 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I don't know if I liked this book or not. It had some good lessons and some very funny parts, but there were also quite a few things I didn't like. For example, I didn't like the fact that the bully usually got away with hurting other people and their property. When a teacher caught him, he was not punished, but just told to stop. I didn't like Miss Hagmeyer. A teacher would never get away with the way she treated her students, especially the name calling and threats. However, I'm not a fourth g ...more
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
Imagine you must create an art project for a year-long unit on the middle ages and yours surprisingly takes on a life of its own.

I absolutely loved this story. I admit to be taken in by the year-long thematic study of the middle ages, a personal favorite subject for me and my children. As a home-schooling mom I thought this a brilliant idea.

A friend of mine read this and was bothered about something, I can't say now what, so enter with caution. This may not be for everyone. Leon is a fourth gra
Dec 13, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
i've been attracted to the cover of this book for awhile, but am just now getting around to reading it. it's about a kid who has poor "fine motor skills" and who despairs when he learns that his fourth grade teacher is going to teach them all how to sew by hand with a needle and thread. all year long. it's a cute little story with a bit of voodoo thrown in. i was especially fond of the main character's "taxi driver collection" where he takes note of where each of his taxi drivers is from and the ...more
Nov 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
The girls and I just read this for a mother /daughter book club that we do and I thought it was a pretty pointless book, I didn't like the attitude of Leon and his friends, I didn't like the voodoo doll they make of the teacher , there was no explanation of the magic or the mystery surrounding the teacher either. yep I pretty much thought it was a dumb book,so did Brooklynn, but Laura and Emily liked it. there was also a few things in the book I had to edit while reading it with the girls becaus ...more
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Leon and the Spitting Image was a fun read. The first half was a bit more enjoyable. This book details Leon Zeisel's fourth grade school year at The Classical School. His fourth grade teacher, Miss Hagmeyer is extremely strict and obsessed with sewing projects. Since Leon struggles with his fine motor skills this could prove to be a difficult year. I enjoyed this book but was disappointed by the ending the book just ended without wrapping up major plot threads.
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Comical and enjoyable. The protagonist, Leon, is a kid with a not-so-great life that's really pretty awesome and unique in a weird school where magical things happen who also has terrible fine motor skills and learns to sew. I wonder who inspired that disability. The kids still play dodgeball and it feels a little dated but is a quick and fun read. Young kids will like it, ages 6-10, and I think it would make a great bedtime story read by an adult.
Jun 03, 2009 rated it did not like it
This book is about a young boy, named Leon, who lives in a hotel and has to sew animiles for class. I did NOT like this book. It was pretty dull and most difiantly meant for younger children so, thos above age 10, do NOT read this book! I consider myself a pretty good reviewer of books (I think I have good taste) so please, take it from me, this book is NOT worth it.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Charming in an absurd way, this book sucked me in. It had a few surprising twists, but had it's slow moments too where I just wanted the author to get on with it. I guess children's books are like that sometimes. I did love the ending. Charlie is reading it now. I'm interested to know what he thinks when he's done.
Jenn Johnson
Apr 14, 2011 rated it liked it
I thought that this book was inventive. Leon the main character was cute and charming. He is a 4th grader and struggling to pass the year by performing adequate stitch work. I think that it was a good read and filled with lively characters and adventure. A classic “take-down-the-unfair-teacher” story.
Colby L
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Leon Zeisel is going into 4th grade. He is the least coordinated kid in his class. Grade. Well, the whole school really. What's worse than going into 4th grade? Going into 4th grade being the least coordinated kid in the school and having your teacher make you sew everyday. This is a great book. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery and comedy.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Brigham Edgington!
Recommended to Karen by: LeeAnn Zea
Shelves: read-aloud
This is a really cute book. The boys complained about listening to it because it seemed young to them, but by the end there was enough "drama" in it to catch their attention. It IS about a 4th grader and is written on that level. I would recommend it to elementary age kids. (especially those with a different kind of school teacher. :0))
Nov 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I Really liked this book it was a little like a mystery. It was fun trying to find out were the Hag brought the animiles. When you found out were she brought the anmiles it is a BIG plot twist. The beginning was weird and did not have a lot to do with with the rest of the book aside from the letter that was from his school stating his poor motet skills.
Angel Brown
Sep 25, 2011 rated it really liked it
I loved the concept of this book! When I was reading it, It kept me laughing. It tells about a boy who has trouble with his new teacher, he thinks shes the meanest teacher in the world and finds a to change that. No spoilers!
This book was good and the reason I believe it's good is because it added a lot of new words to my vocabulary and had a lot of good laughs. My favorite part was when Leon got the most stitches and my least is when Lumpkin though the Rinos at his face.
May 15, 2008 rated it liked it
An interesting idea. I like that it takes place in a school and I like the info from the Middle Ages. A fun, easy book. It might make a good read-aloud. I don't think I'll read it for pleasure again.
Jan 03, 2009 rated it liked it
We are listening to this on tape. It is aimed at 3-6th graders, but simple enough for a younger child to get the gist of it. This is not highbrow literature by any means, but short and fun and exciting.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it liked it
Leon's teacher is having an assignment. You have to bring in something that YOU sewed. Leon makes a doll of his teacher, but some mean kids take it and pour one of the teacher's spit on it. You are thinking EWWW, right? But now, the doll can control his teacher. How can Leon fix things???
Dec 02, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is a fun read, good for readers who are still struggling to move beyond concrete comprehension. Plus it's funny! Great characters, with recognizable school issues, and a well-paced plot. I'll recommend this to my kids.
Oct 08, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Wacky classroom hijinks. Somewhat reminiscent of Roald Dahl's Matilda, but the adults here have some redeeming qualities. I could see this working well as a read-aloud in an elementary school classroom.
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The son of Viennese émigrés, novelist Allen Kurzweil was raised in Europe and the United States. Educated at Yale and the University of Rome, he worked for ten years as a freelance journalist in France, Italy, and Australia before settling in the United States and turning his attention to fiction.

Devotion to the complicated passions of his characters has led Allen to take courses in pop-up book de
More about Allen Kurzweil...

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