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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Hardcover


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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster + Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale + Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 6 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 670L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children; 1st edition (August 23, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786852941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786852949
  • Product Dimensions: 3.6 x 5 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 1–Leonardo is a terrible monster–terrible as in he can't scare anybody. He's not big, doesn't have hundreds of teeth, and isn't even weird. So one day he comes up with an idea: He would find the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world…and scare the tuna salad out of him! After much research, he chooses Sam, sneaks up on him, and [gives] it all he [has]. When the boy cries, Leonardo is convinced that he is a success. But Sam proceeds to recite a litany of wrongs that actually brought on his tears: My mean big brother stole my action figure right out of my hands…, and on and on. Leonardo makes a decision that is sure to surprise and delight readers. Willems's familiar cartoon drawings work hand in glove with the brief text to tell this perfectly paced story. It is printed on pastel grounds in large, fancy letters that change color for emphasis. Sam's list of woes marches across a spread. Leonardo, a small greenish-beige creature with tiny horns; blue eyes; and pink nose, hands, and feet, first appears in a lower right-hand corner looking dejected, but when he makes his momentous decision, his circular head fills two pages. His antics to produce a scare will have youngsters laughing, while the asterisk next to the number of monster Tony's teeth (*note: not all teeth shown) will have grown-ups chuckling, too. A surefire hit.–Marianne Saccardi, Norwalk Community College, CT
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-K. "Your Pal, Mo Willems," as the cover reads, offers a simple message-driven story, elevated by a smart, striking design. Leonardo is supposed to be a terrible monster, but he's just terrible at his monsterly craft. Small, with big blue eyes, a blue tongue, and a furry body, Leonardo looks like a tiny, unassuming brother of a Wild Thing. He gets an idea: find the most "scaredy-cat kid" in the world and "scare the tuna salad" out of him. He finds Sam, who seems an easy mark and bursts into tears. But on a clever double-page spread, Willems lists the real reasons Sam is crying, starting with "My mean big brother stole the action figure out of my hands" and ending with a bird's pooping on Sam's head. After thinking it over, Leonardo decides to move from terrible monster to wonderful friend. This oversize book uses thick paper in the colors of a desert sunset. Sam and Leonardo take up very little room on the large pages; the old-fashioned lettering dominates the expanse of color. A winner for story hours, with plenty of discussion possibilities. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

A three-time Caldecott Honor winner for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity, Mo Willems has also won two Geisel Medals for There is a Bird on Your Head! and Are You Ready to Play Outside? And his books are perennial New York Times bestsellers. Before he turned to children's books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmy Awards. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.

Amazon Author Rankbeta 

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#68 Overall (See top 100 authors)
#67 in Books
#67 in Books

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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My 4 year old son loves it!
Liza DeVaun
This story ends well and the illustrations are just as fun and simple as all the other books by Mo Willems.
C A Montoya
This is one of my personal favorites of all the Mo Willems books I've read.
FCS

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By DJ Joe Sixpack HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on November 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a big, big fan of Mo Willems' last book, "Knuffle Bunny," and was equally delighted by this new picture book about a little monster named Leonardo who wants to be scary, but only seems cute. Leonardo decides to pick on Sam, a boy he determines is the most scaredy-cat kid in all the world, but after he succeeds in making Sam cry, Leonardo realizes he may have actually hurt the boy's feelings, and tries to make amends. A gentle parable about playground cruelty, this is also a beautifully laid-out book, with a bold, expansive use of empty space and clear, easily understood imagery. The serious emotional message is underplayed in favor of a playful tone, and will delight small children... You'll have a lot of fun trading "BOOS" with your kid after each reading. I enjoyed this one a lot, and it's frequently requested at storytime.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Stoupa on August 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm visiting my grandchildren, Louis (5) and Katherine (2). I brought Leonardo along as a gift. In the three days since I arrived, we've read it at least 10 times. We love Leonardo, we love Sam, and we love this book!
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on January 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Pick up a hardcover copy of "Leonardo the Terrible Monster" and take a gander at the bookflap. Scan your eyes downwards and take special note of the suggested reading level. This, I must say, is a bit of calculated picture book brilliance. It reads, "For audiences as young as 3 and as old as 36". Now I once experienced the supreme pleasure of sitting amongst several hundred librarians and teachers in the New York City Arts and Humanities Library to see Mr. Mo Willems speak. My friends, you have not lived until you see a hundred or so middle-aged female librarians swooning over Mr. Willems' dapper good looks, his off-the-cuff remarks, and his instant rapport with any crowd. He is also, as far as I can determine, probably 36 and herein lies the beauty of the little note on the bookflap. Any yahoo could write that awful and almost obligatory statement that proclaims, "For kids between 3 and 103!!!", with a sickeningly saccharine smile. This book, on the other hand, makes the cut-off 36 and from there on in "Leonardo" proves to be a consistently surprising and sublime little tale.

Meet Leonardo. Leonardo has a problem. As any child familiar with the concept of monsters knows (or who has seen "Monsters, Inc", anyway) the job of that particular creature is to be scary. In this respect, Leonardo fails miserably. He just ain't a fright. When he attempts to do so he earns patronizing looks of the awww-isn't-the-little-fella-cute variety. Other monsters either look or act in a disturbing manner. Not our Leo. Fully aware that he needs a plan of some sort, Leonardo decides to locate, "the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world" and frighten the bejeezus out of 'em. Sam is that kid. When Leonardo attempts to scare Sam it seems at first as if it has worked.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Mo Willems, Leonardo the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005)

I have to admit, I'm a little (but not much) outside the suggested reading range for this book, which according to author Mo Willems is 3 to 36. Alas, I was 37 at the time I read it. I will attempt not to let this affect my judgment in any way.

Leonardo is a monster who's incapable of scaring the tuna salad out of anyone. (And if nothing else, the phrase "I'm going to scare the tuna salad out of him!" is worth the price of admission here.) This makes him, of course, a terrible monster. Leonardo hatches a plan: find the scardest kid he can and scare him. He finds a possible target, and... well, that's a spoiler.

It's a cute little book, nothing earth-shaking (except for the tuna salad line), but a quick bit of fun to read to the kids. Pull a copy out of your local library before laying out the cash to see how your kids take to it, but I think they'll get a kick out of Leonardo. ***
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My name is Monica Iravedra and I am 7 years old.

My English teacher read this book to us in class and I thought it was the greatest and funny.

My favorite part was when Leonardo made his first friend.

I recommend this book for all kids.

I also like this book by Mo Willems: Edwina The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct.

I hope you like it too.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on February 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Few authors have the panache shown by Mo Willems in his introduction written on the book cover:

"YOUR PAL MO WILLEMS PRESENTS"

followed by the book title, but Mr. Willems has a well-placed confidence in his rapport with kids. Willems somehow grasps the soul of a toddler, and his writing and pictures appeal to this age group at a very deep level. His writing and pictures are so tuned in that he seems like a real friend; a friendly, somewhat goofy friend that you want to keep.

Here he gets to an issue close to any youngster's heart--Monsters! KIds are afraid of the monster outside and (on another level) inside, and they frequent their nightmares and fantasy play. The always creative WIllems takes this fact and turns it inside out: What if there were a monster who was bad at what he did, who couldn't scare even the most timid "scaredy-cat?" Here, that cat is a "poor, unsuspecting" boy named Sam, shown in the lower lefthand corner of an otherwise blank 2-page spread). After woefully comparing himself to more scary monsters (which gives Willems a chance to draw a few), Leonardo vows to scare the "tuna salad" out of him. (This phrase is a surefire laugh magnet.) Leonardo succeeds in making Sam cry ("I did it! I've finally scared the tuna salad out of someone!"), but Sam makes other excuses for his tears in two-pages of crowded (and slightly difficult to read because of Willems' low contrast colors) testimony, including references to a stolen action figure, a stubbed toe, and a pooping cockatoo. Sam's list of bad times draws Leonardo's sympathy, and he decides that "instead of being a terrible monster, he would become a wonderful friend"--although he reserves the right to playfully scare Sam once in a while.
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