Joseph’s story: Author’s notes for children’s book


Joseph LeonardJoseph Leonard: composer, pianist and organist

Joseph Leonard is the subject of A WATCH IN MY POCKET, picture book story in progress. This story is for children 4-8. It is about the perils and triumphs of a boy who was blind from birth but who manages to become an acclaimed pianist.  Joseph and family his teens

Joseph Leonard was my uncle.  He was born in Mannheim, in 1903. He escaped Nazi Germany in 1936 in spite of life-long blindness.   Photos included in this blogpost show Joseph as a young man at home and in performance, (photographers unknown).  Photo below showing Joseph with me c. 1962 is by Joanne Leonard and was taken in Hollywood CA, where Joseph lived after immigrating to the United States.

The Picture book story,  A Watch in My Pocket is told from the point of view of Joseph as a child. The story opens as he leaves home for the first time. He has a Braille pocket watch in his jacket pocket. The watch is a special gift from Joseph’s mother who can’t accompany him on his journey.

I envisions drawings, collage and photographs as illustrations for this biographical picture book.


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