Picture Book Perfect Fridays- “Leonardo the Terrible Monster”

by massdistraction_alt_Leonardo the Terrible Monster_book coverTitle: Leonardo the Terrible Monster

Author: By Mo Williams

Hyperion Books for Children, fiction, 2005

For ages three to thirty-six

Theme: feelings, friendship, acceptance, humor, problem solving.

Reading activities: from http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/westonwoods/study_guides/leonardo_terrible_monster.pdf , where you’ll find drawing and discussion activities and also  listing ideas on what makes a good friend.

From the jacket:  “Leonardo is a terrible monster – terrible at being a monster that is. Despite his best efforts, he can’t seem to frighten anyone. But when Leonardo discovers the perfect nervous little boy, will he finally scare the tuna salad out of him? Or will he think of something better?”

Opening sentence: “Leonardo was a terrible monster, he couldn’t scare anyone.”

Why I love it: This book is wonderful for those kids afraid of monsters and afraid of going to sleep at night. It is a reassuring book. Monsters are given a humorous personality.The illustrations are even more intriguing than the text. The monsters in the illustrations are wonderfully crafted images of the most fearsome ones imagined, but the pastel colors and facial expressions make for monsters that can be laughed at.

This book review is part of Susanna’s Perfect Picture Book Friday: and her Just Right Book.

Susanna is the dynamite behind Perfect Picture Book Fridays just like Shannon Whitney Messenger is the brain behind Marvelous Middle Grade Mondays.

Would you read it? Does it sound perfect or what? I hope you click on Susanna’s link and take a look at the other perfect books on there.

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About ClaraBowmanJahn

Journal writer. Author of "Annie's Special Day" And coauthor of Edmund Pickle Chin, A Donkey Rescue Story." Proud mother and grandmother of wonderful kids. Wife of brilliant husband. Servant of two cats. Member of Pennwriters and SCBWI.
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21 Responses to Picture Book Perfect Fridays- “Leonardo the Terrible Monster”

  1. I love this book, Clar! What a great choice! If you get a chance to add a resource or two – ideas or activities for how the book can be used at home and in the classroom – I’ll add this to the Just Right Books page 🙂

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  2. elizabethannewrites says:

    Mo Willems writes such excellent books! I can see this book being used in K-3 classrooms as part of a discussion about what things scare people and especially the kids in the class, and how to overcome fears.

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    • Clar says:

      That’s what I thought but it’s more about peer pressure than night time fears. As you can see from the edited version there are a lot more themes than I had originally thought. Sorry for the confusion. 🙂

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  3. Joanna says:

    I love this one to too, Clar. Mo is a superb illustrator and these monsters are just so sweet, no one could fear them. This is truly a very reassuring book!.

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    • Clar says:

      Yes and as you’ll see from the updated and edited version of my review that the themes weren’t to overcome fears at all. More like accepting yourself and others, feelings, friendship and problem solving.

      I agree the monsters are so sweet and lovable they wouldn’t scare anyone.

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  4. Great choice Clar! I love anything Mo Willem’s books. But, I have not read this one. I am glad you reviewed it. Will have to check this one out! Like the message!

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    • Clar says:

      Thanks Patricia,
      Yes, since it is about self acceptance and accepting others it would fit right in with your overall theme of dealing with kids with disabilities.

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  5. Julie says:

    A Mo Willems book I hadn’t heard of?? INCONCEIVABLE! (Channeling the Princess Bride here) 🙂

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  6. Four words:
    Mo.
    Willems.
    Is.
    AWESOME!!!!
    ———————————-
    I can’t wait to read it! I’ve read his Pigeon, Piggy and Gerald, and his Naked Mole Rat book, but not “Leonardo the Terrible Monster.”
    Erik
    😉

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Hi Erik,
      So glad to introduce “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” to you.
      I think you’ll like it. I’ll have to check out Mo Willems’ other books. He really impressed me.
      Thanks for visiting and stopping to comment.:)

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  7. krpooler says:

    Clar, I think my grandsons would love this book. It amazes me how children’s books can convey such powerful messages that can make a difference in the lives of children. That’s the power of storytelling! Thanks for sharing this story.

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    • clarbojahn says:

      I’m so glad you found it helpful. I’m sure your grandson would like this one. You can go to the reader resources and get some to enhance his reading. If you want. I think I will keep it for my grandson, too. And talk about some of the themes.

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. 🙂

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  8. You know I really like these monster stories as a parent. I don’t recall being afraid of monsters as a kid, so it’s good to know these titles when/if I need one. (I’m not feeling well today (tiny cold) and when I opened your site thought I was seeing stars… took me a second and I LOVE that snow you have rockin’ the page).

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  9. clarbojahn says:

    Thanks Stacy, I think WordPress just did it for the holidays.

    Hope you feel better. 🙂

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  10. Catherine Johnson says:

    I love the line ‘will he finally scare the tuna salad out of him?’. Another one for the to-read list, thanks Clar!

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  11. We’re big Mo Willems fans at our house and this is one of our favorite. Of course the Knufflebunny series is our very favorite. Second place probably belongs to (tie) I will surprise my friend and Can I play too? These are two books that will make us laugh so much we’ll get the hiccups!

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    • clarbojahn says:

      Both those are books I have yet to read. Now that I am introduced to Mo Willems, I have to get the other books out and explore. I love getting the hiccups from laughing. 🙂

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