My pick for this week is Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems, the author of Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus. It is just out in paperback, and it’s a must have for any 3-5 child! I wish I could have read it when I was that age because I’m sure it would have helped me a lot to overcome my nightmares and fears of scary creatures…
Leonardo is a terrible monster. Not because he’s scary, totally the opposite! He can’t scare anybody to save his life! He doesn’t have 1642 like Tony, he’s not big like Eleanor, nor plain weird like Hector. But Leonardo is determined to put an end to his misery. He’ll find the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world and will scare the TUNA SALAD out of him! He thinks he has found the perfect candidate, but has it?
This jewel of a picture book has everything. Eye-catching graphic (brilliant use of “far west” kind of font and presentation, characters that stand out from the pages left blank, great illustrations), a funny and sympathetic character ( a monster who’s not scary??) a laugh-out-loud middle scene, and a lovely heart-warming ending. I could read this over and over again and I’m not even a kid (well, on the outside at least). The large format is also a plus because it allows the pastel-coloured illustrations to stand out even more and it lets the “moaning” scene – you need to read it to know what I’m referring to – to express all its comic potential. I love it.
Side note: I just found out that Leonardo the Terrible Monster is an American Library Association notable book.
And finally…..look what I found on youtube: a little girl “reading” Leonardo! She reminds me so much of me as a kid. I was always wearing my fancy dress at home, and I too learned by heart my favourite picture books! Enjoy, but beware, spoilers ahead :)