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Mostly Monsterly Hardcover – August 31, 2010

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Go to School, Little Monster
Go to School, Little Monster
Helen Ketteman’s soothing rhymes and Bonnie Leick’s sweet watercolor illustrations combine to create a reassuring first-day-of-school story that’s perfect for little monsters everywhere. See more
$9.92 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 18 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

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
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

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
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 270L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (August 31, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416961100
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416961109
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on October 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
After a certain point the sheer number of princess and fairy books a children's librarian has to handle begins to feel oppressive. The crushing weight of all that pink and all that glitter and all those bows . . . you begin to feel great waves of pity for those little girls who AREN'T into all those things. The kinds of little girls you might find in books like "Miss Brooks Loves Books (And I Don't)". Where are the books for the little girl monsters of the world? Enter "Mostly Monsterly" a book that contains no princesses. No fairies. No glitter or bows or pink (excepting the occasional pig-tailed monster). That said, I'd bet your bottom dollar that you could hand this book to a princess-obsessed little girl OR a little boy who obsesses over single subject picture books, and still manage to capture their attention and win their hearts. It's cute, this book, but never makes even the slightest attempts to cloy.

Look, no one's saying that Bernadette is not a monster. She looks the part (two toes, creepy necklace, etc.) and does the requisite amount of lurching, growling, and mayhem. However, Bernadette harbors what you might call a "deep... dark... secret." She has a penchant for sweetness. Whether it's petting kittens or baking muffins, she is only "mostly" monsterly. So when Bernadette starts school with the other monsters you might think she'd try to reign in her cutesy qualities. Not so much. Her classmates, in fact, are horrified as one when they see her attempt a group hug or croon into a microphone. Her cupcakes don't go over any better, and Bernadette comes to realize that though she is only mostly monsterly, sometimes you have to meet others halfway.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miss Print VINE VOICE on August 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
On the outside Bernadette is mostly monsterly. She has point ears, huge eyes, fangs and even a creepy necklace. She can lurch, growl and cause all kind of mayhem. But underneath the fangs and the fur, Bernadette has a deep, dark secret.

Sometimes, when she's all alone, Bernadette likes to pick flowers, and pet kittens, and do all kinds of things that aren't monsterly at all.

When Bernadette starts school all of her classmates act like total monsters but with a few secret weapons and some quick thinking Bernadette should be able to win them over and still get to be herself in Mostly Monsterly (August 2010) by Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon (illustrator).

Sauer's writing is perfect for reading aloud with built in pauses for suspense and surprises and a lot of humor. Bernadette is a lovable monster who learns that sometimes being different is okay but some concessions might be needed to make friends. The message is never heavy handed or otherwise over the top.

Magoon's illustrations add the perfect blend of creepiness and cuteness to the story to create a book that will be perfect for any monster fans but not too scary for younger readers.

Excellent possibility for a storytime program about being yourself.

Possible Pairings: A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy, Bark, George by Jules Feiffer, Presenting . . . Talulah by Tori Spelling and Vanessa Brantley Newton

This book was received for review at Simon and Schuster's Fall 2010 preview in May.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Supermommy on January 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
My 3 year old was given this book my her aunt, and although she is usually obsessed with all things princess and pink, she loves the story of Bernadette, who is mostly monsterly but is also just herself. I thought it was an excellent story about how we are all just a little different, but that doesn't mean we can't find common ground with our friends.

Great book, and excellent story, am checking today to see if the author has any other books we need to add to our library.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amy on June 5, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 8 year old daughter loves this book. We've had our copy at least 2 years, it came in a cereal box. I ordered the hardback copy as an end of the year teacher's gift for her teacher.

It's a sweet story and the monsters aren't scary, more cute and endearing. Great book for boys and girls.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Night Owl on October 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 5-year old loves this book. The story and illustrations are great for this age group. If you have a little one who is into "monsters" and halloween then this is the book for them.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a gift from my friend for my son. She found it in her Cheerios box as a promotion and decided it was perfect for my monster-loving boy. The copy was a small paperback version and has been read and loved so much that I've had to tape and re-staple it's pages.

I love the flow of the story. I read the pauses for suspense, I make the growling sounds, the monster voices of her classmates, etc. My son knows this book almost by heart now, at nearly two years old, and would have me read it to him ten times a day. Bernadette is a great example of accepting yourself for who you are and embracing your differences, but she also finds ways to use those differences to her benefit to embrace those around her, too. She sees how her classmates behave, and she combines their interests and her own in order to make friends. "Bernadette was mostly monsterly. She lurched. She growled. She caused mayhem of all kinds. But sometimes... she was just Bernadette. And that was okay, too."

It really is a terrific story, one I will be re-purchasing as our copy is fully worn out.
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