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I went through a giant pile o’ picture books today, for both of my classes, and this is the one I fell for hardest.  Leonardo’s little tummy – oh Lordy, it makes me chuckle.  I even read it to my mom (how’s that for a role reversal) and she was cracking up.  I present to you, thanks to your pal Mo Willems, Leonardo the Terrible Monster!  (drumroll, please)

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards)) Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars

Who can resist Mo Willem’s charms as an illustrator? With a few simple lines, he gives us Leonardo, a monster who teaches us both meanings of the word terrible. Instead of being scary-terrible, he’s just terrible at being a monster. Leonardo is perhaps the most adorable and amusing monster in fiction, but he longs to “scare the tuna salad” out of someone, anyone! The cartoonish illustrations, shown against large expanses of lightly-colored page, show Leonardo on his quest. Oh, his careful tip-toeing! His fierce face and arm-pump of victory when he makes Sam cry! As usual with Willems, the humor is in the details, and the changes in font and color are used effectively to give emphasis to the text. Scaredy-cats and monsters alike will enjoy this story of friendship – once the adults are done hogging it.

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October 2008

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