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Boris and Bella Paperback – September 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (September 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152059008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152059002
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #270,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4–Boris Kleanitoff is terrifyingly tidy while Bella Lagrossi is monstrously messy. These neighbors don't get along until a Halloween dance brings them together. The story of this monster romance is predictable, but told with tongue-tickling prose. The description of the party is characteristically spunky, as "Cy Clops bebopped and the Fang flip-flopped. The Boogeyman boogied while the trolls twirled round." Grimly's illustrations, which are similar to those in Marilyn Singer's Monster Museum (Hyperion, 2001), perfectly complement the text. The characters are creatively drawn with ink and watercolor in subdued hues. Young readers will delight in the ghoulish details like the "Pizza Glut" box in Bella's house and the shrunken heads by the punch bowl at the shindig. This is a bewitching choice for libraries looking to boost their Halloween offerings.–Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 2. Bella Lagrossi, with dirty dress and sticky hair, is the messiest monster in Booville. Her neighbor, Boris Kleanitoff, is, well, clean. Naturally, they're not very neighborly, but when each decides to have a Halloween party, they find a common enemy, Henry Beastie, who's throwing a shindig of his own. All their mutual monsters are going there; no one wants to go to a party at a house so dirty--or so clean. An infuriated Bella and Boris head off individually to give Harry a piece of their minds, but they wind up together, on the dance floor, and then holding hands in the moonlight. There's a real story here, one that has lots of fun with its odd-couple theme and provides plenty of word-plays ("boo-ffet"). The stylish design works well with the sophisticated ink-and-wash artwork that has a hint of Charles Addams ghoulishness. Quite unique. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I read it whenever I need a laugh.
Ciaramine
The story is appealing and the illustrations are hilarious.
P. Cort
The art is wonderful and the story is lovely.
Duncan Shields

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Erika Sorocco on August 31, 2004
Format: Hardcover
In the entire town of Booville, Bella Legrossi is known as the messiest monster. Her grime is grimy, and her slime is slimy. However, Bella is neighbors with Boris Kleanitoff. Boris, as opposed to Bella, is the cleanest monster in all of Booville. He spends his time dusting his cobwebs, and vacuuming his vampire bats. The two have absolutely nothing in common, but suddenly they are mysteriously brought together. The only answer to this mysterious connection is a huge Halloween bash, complete with ghosts, creepy-crawlies, beasts, and some really fancy dance moves.

Carolyn Crimi has created a new children's book, that will very likely go down in Halloween history. The characters of Bella and Boris are absolutely hilarious, and will have young readers laughing out loud at their witty commentary, while at the same time learning that you can be friends with someone, even if that someone is your complete opposite. With wondrous drawings filling every page, this is sure to be a hit this Halloween for both children, and their parents.

Erika Sorocco

Book Review Columnist for The Community Bugle Newspaper
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Cort on July 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book for kids of all ages. I love it so much that I bought several more copies for my neices and nephews. The story is appealing and the illustrations are hilarious. My husband and I crack up at the drawing of Boris picking boils off a gargoyle for his chocolate coated treats. The moral of the story is a familiar one but told in such an entertaining manner that it becomes quite fresh. I would recommend buying this even if it weren't bargain priced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Whistler on November 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book has been a huge hit my kids and with all the kids in my neighborhood. I actually came across it quite by accident. While perusing the shelves of my local bookstore, trying to find Madonna's latest book, I found this book which someone had obviously mistakenly placed on the shelf in front of a stack of Madonna's books. I started reading it and found it to be delightful! My kids love it too. And after talking to some of the other moms on my block, I found out that their kids feel the same. Move over, Madonna!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on June 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
This happy little romance comes to you from Carolyn Crimi, whom I know from the "Buccaneer Bunnies" book. This is for an older audience -- early grades.

Full of puns, the text is a scream -- and the sepia-toned illustrations set this "once upon a time" in a different class.

Very enjoyable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Flashlight Reader on October 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
I have this weird habit of theming my reading material for my youngest son. During the summer, we were surrounded by books with beaches as the setting. When school started in August, we read 30 books about the first day of school. So you can probably guess what October's theme was. (November is all about the turkey!)

I went on a mad hunt for unique Halloween/October themed books. Of course, I included a few classics on my list, but I mostly focused on the new. Boris and Bella was new to me. And I have to say, I was delighted with this book.

The story is cute. Boris is an OCD neat freak monster, while Bella is a slob. They can't stand each other until a common mission unites them. While trying to prove why another monster's party is horrible, they discover each other in a new light. After one dance, a new friendship begins. Super cute!

While the story was well written, and I loved the word play-- the illustrations stole the show. They were great! I am always in awe of illustrators that can give dimension and personality to their pictures. It's a rare talent that Gris Grimly has. Boris and Bella came to life on each page. I found myself studying the faces and the details in the pictures. My son enjoyed the dance scene, matching the pictures to the descriptions I read aloud.

This is a great hit for the season. If you have youngsters at home, you need to check this one out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By SpazGirl on August 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't normally review the picture books I read to my kids unless it really struck a cord...

I personally thought this book was super cute!
I loved it! My three kids loved it!
The art was neat and the story was a good one to teach to kids.
The moral: Sometimes the people most different from us can be our best friends.
Who doesn't want to teach THAT to their kids??
Awesome picture book on the values of tolerance and acceptance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ciaramine on September 27, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book! Kids will enjoy the antics of this mismatched couple. The humor works on so many levels. This is a great book to give as a gift to kids as well as adults. I read it whenever I need a laugh. The illustrations are "to die" for and add to the story.
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Format: Paperback
Borrowing just a tiny bit from Universal Studios classic monsters, Boris and Bella is a delightfully wicked children's book. Bella Legrossi is the messiest, grimiest monster in all of Booville. Her neighbor, Boris Kleanitoff, is the tidiest, pickiest monster in Booville. Both live all alone as the other monsters cannot abide either of their extreme habits. The neighbors are constantly bickering at each other, and make sure they go out of their way to ignore the other during holidays.

One Halloween, they both decide to throw a bash, inviting all of the other monsters in Booville. But they are both angered and saddened when the other monsters tell them they will not be attending...they are going to Hairy Beastie's party instead! Now Boris and Bella find themselves all alone, yet together wanting to find out just what is so great about Hairy's party. For the first time, these feuding neighbors agree on something!

Boris & Bella is a wonderful children's tale and never fear, despite the appearance of werewolves, mummies, witches, and other assorted monsters, it's never really scary. The fantastic illustrations of Chris Grimly (and how appropriate that name is!) keeps things light and amusing, even when the monsters are feasting on maggot muffins! Lessons about tolerance and acceptance are at the heart of Carolyn Crimi's story. A story too good to read just at Halloween time!

Reviewed by Tim Janson
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