Leonardo The Terrible Monster
- Walker Books Ltd
- Publication Date:
- 07 April 2008
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This delightful story uses humor, surprise, and visual effects to capture the emotion and humanity of the central conflict. Willems has wonderfully unique monsters and a creative use of font, dialoge bubbles, and text to illustrate the thoughts and words of characters. It provides a wonderful example of focusing on positive traits instead of inadequacies and comparisons.
I love Mo Willems books not only because of the simple illustratory style, but mostly because of children's reaction to his stories and the ease in which they lend themselves to public storytelling, particularly if you have a bit of dramatic flair. When I read Mo Willem's books to children, it is easy to create different voices for the characters, and the children just eat it up. In this story, I employed fake crying while reading the page with Sam's rant(which they thought was very funny) and at the end I paused before yelling out, "Boo!" and half the children jumped in their seats then burst out in delighted laughter. It is also easy to employ a craft project if need be to Willem's books in the form of elephant or pig "masks" (play outside) . In this book's case the children were able to pick out their choice of a reproduced silly monster, color it, and glue it onto a paper plate with a popsicle stick attached. Puppet shows and monster parades ensued. Willems is able to bring alive a child's imagination and playfulness with his simple drawings and character's dialog and in my opinion that is exactly what a children's author would strive to do.
Adorable book about Leonardo the monster who did not succeed in scary people like normal monsters. He gets frustrated with himself, and tries to scare a little boy who is suppose to be the "easy target". In the end he makes a friend and realizes it's okay to be a nice monster... and trick his friend... only every now and then!
Personal Response: I loved this story. The illustrations are hilarious and I love when Sam explains to Leonardo all the reasons that he's crying.Curricular Connection: This story could be read in a kindergarden or first grade classroom. After the story, students could draw their own pictures of monsters.
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