Meet Mo Willems' latest character, Leonardo the Terrible Monster. Terrible at being a monster, that is. He doesn't have thousands of teeth, he's small, he's cute and, despite his best efforts, he can't seem to frighten anyone. Then, one day, he meets a nervous boy called Sam and finds out that being a good friend is a whole lot more rewarding than trying to scare the tuna salad out of people!
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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
An exceptional tale of an unexceptional monster laugh-out-loud picture-book fun from the creator of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!
About the Author
Six-time Emmy Award Winner and Caldecott Honor recipient Mo Willems spent nine years as a scriptwriter and animator for Sesame Street. His distinctive animated films have been shown at festivals around the world and translated into numerous languages. He lives in New York with his wife and daughter.