From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2–With her pointy ears, claws, and fangs, Bernadette is mostly monsterly. She lurches, growls, and causes mayhem. However, she also likes to pet kittens, pick flowers, and bake. This side of her personality doesn't go over well with her classmates at the Monster Academy, until she shows them that she can hold her own with the best of them. Sauer tells a well-paced story in simple, repetitive phrases. The writing reveals just enough, allowing the artwork to fill in the rest of the story. Magoon's whimsical cartoon illustrations featuring rough lines are reminiscent of those in Mo Willems's Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005). This artistic style proves effective in conveying the look of monsters without the frightening attributes. In fact, the art complements the humorous tone of the story, and the interplay of text and illustration is such that the book comes across as the product of one mind instead of two. A fun and delightful read for all children who have both a monsterly and a kind side.Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD
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From Ferdinand the Bull to the heroic mouse Despereaux, children’s books focus to good effect on an individual whose appearance seems at odds with his or her nature. Bernadette is one of those creatures: a fierce-looking little monster, complete with turquoise skin, fangs, claws, and pointy ears. “On the outside,” the text begins, “Bernadette was mostly monsterly. She lurched. She growled. She caused mayhem of all kinds.” The next spread reveals her dark secret: she also liked to pick flowers, pet kittens, and bake. The rest of the story follows Bernadette at Monster Academy, where she first tries to fit in and then manages to steer the group in her direction. For her crowning achievement, she gets her fellow young monsters to wreak havoc on an arts-and-crafts project. Magoon’s digital illustrations are the highlight of this book—Bernadette’s colorful classmates feature all sorts of appealing extras, like multiple eyes, horns, and feet. A green one even has four heads, and they’re all smiling by the end. Preschool-Grade 2. --Abby Nolan