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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Hardcover – August 23, 2005
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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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.
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
Top customer reviews
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Thank you so much for what you do, you have made a difference in the lives of about 30 kids in one elementary school in Oregon and we all LOVE, LOVE, LOVE LEONARDO!
Poor Leonardo is terrible at being a monster. He doesn't have 1,642 teeth like Tony. He isn't big like Eleanor. And he isn't `just plain weird' like Hector. Despite his best efforts, Leonardo cannot scare anyone and it makes him very sad. Hope returns to Leonardo after he comes up with the idea of trying to scare the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world, Sam. However, Sam has other things on his mind and after his latest failed attempt, Leonardo makes a big decision that will impact his monster-ness. The drawings in Mo Willems' simply-illustrated picture book do wonders to effect the mood and emotion of the characters and the feel of the story. Though each page contains a simple line of text, the pictures tell the real story. The use of space and perspective allows the audience to feel as small and defeated as Leonardo as he struggles through all of his failed attempts at being ferocious. Children will love following Leonardo's attempts at being scary and adults will root for Leonardo and appreciate his final decision. The book is said to be for audiences `as young as 3 and as old as 36' but the feel created by Willems' gentle illustrations and simple text will guarantee to adore audiences well into their golden years.