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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  10,494 Ratings  ·  568 Reviews
Leonardo is truly a terrible monster-terrible at being a monster that is. No matter how hard he tries, he can't seem to frighten anyone. Determined to succeed, Leonardo sets himself to training and research. Finally, he finds a nervous little boy, and scares the tuna salad out of him! But scaring people isn't quite as satisfying as he thought it would be. Leonardo realizes ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 23rd 2005 by Hyperion Books for Children (first published August 2nd 2005)
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I have been reading Mo Willems’ books for a long time and I have recently stumbled upon his book called “Leonardo the Terrible Monster!” “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” is a children’s book by Mo Willems which is about a small monster named Leonardo who tries to be a scary monster, but cannot do so effectively, so he tries to find a child that he could easily scare. “Leonardo the Terrible Monster” is a truly brilliant book that children everywhere will easily love for many years!

Leonardo was a t
Nov 30, 2010 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Another winner from Mo Willems. The fun "twist" that is explained right away is that the featured monster is "terrible" AT being a monster; he can't frighten anyone! Full of fun and "ferocious" monsters, this book is at heart a story of honoring yourself and being grateful to those friends who help us do so.
Jul 02, 2013 midnightfaerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Another love for us. Besides the fact that it's from one of our recent favorite authors, Mo Willems, the story kept the attention of my 5 yr old and preschoolers both. The pictures were cute and big, always good for a group of kids, and the idea of scaring was fresh on our minds as we've recently seen Monsters University, the movie. Maybe a level 1 reader book for young readers. Overall, it was much enjoyed.
Feb 11, 2016 Donalyn rated it really liked it
I picked this up after listening to Kristine Mraz read it during a workshop. Kids love it! Don't miss reading it aloud with kids.
Alison Strandell
Jul 13, 2016 Alison Strandell rated it really liked it
Aside from Mo Willems being a picture book genius, this book it cute because it challenges readers to think about how who they are tempted to be and who they are supposed to be are sometimes different.
Mar 14, 2016 Jess rated it really liked it
Picture book - fantasy
For preschool-primary grades

Leonardo is a terrible monster - he's just not scary enough! He finds a scaredy-cat kid to frighten, but ends up with a friend instead.

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
Sep 15, 2015 SCPSReads rated it it was amazing
We read this with Kindergarten. We made predictions using picture cues. The students loved to page where Sam screams out his long list of things that are wrong. We also used this to talk about being a good friend.
Short & sweet, with both Leonardo and Sam perfect representations of what it feels like to be a little kid. Also, gotta love books with good characterization, fun word choices, and true narrative arcs, that aren't too long for storytime.
Feb 04, 2013 Bethany rated it it was amazing
My favorite part was Caitlin reading the book to us in class. :)

What inspired me was the lesson learned about how to be a nurturing friend.

Jennifer Kelley
Oct 07, 2016 Jennifer Kelley rated it really liked it
Great read aloud! How did I miss this book for so long?
After we read "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive the Bus," I knew that I had to read more of Mo Willems' work. I loved the way the illustrations in his book seem simple, but manage to include lots of things that complement the words on the page. I also think his books have some of my favorite "page-turns."

The title character in "Leonardo, The Terrible Monster" has a serious problem. Well, it's a serious problem if you're a monster: he just isn't thats scary. Unlike some of the other monsters, who have
Oct 28, 2011 David rated it really liked it
Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems tells the story of a very young monster who is terrible at being a monster, because he can't scare anyone.

Leonardo wasn't big, didn't have hundreds of teeth, wasn't weird and
just wasn't scary. Leonardo researches until he finds the most timid boy to scare: Sam. He works hard until Sam cries. When Leonardo celebrates having scared someone, Sam tells Leonardo all the troubles that made Sam finally cry, including not having any friends. Leonardo makes
Oh my word. This comes at the perfect time--when I need one more, quick read for the big Halloween program. And this is excellent! Must practice.

10/30/10 This was fabulous. I loved reading it over and over as I practiced. And I loved reading it to the audience. I think they enjoyed it, too (judging by their faces and the little comments I heard).

What would I do without Mo Willems?

1/25/12 Wonderful in both preschool storytimes. The larger crowd completely ate it up--and loved the yelling part. I
Lisa Vegan
Dec 04, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: especially good for children who are afraid of monsters
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
This is a cute book about a monster, Leonardo, who is terrible at being a monster; he can’t scare anybody. So, he does his research to find the one kid (named Sam) who he’ll be most likely to be able to scare, and goes to do that. After his attempt, he ends up changing his plans. It was very predictable (for this adult) but it was sweet.

This is a good book for young children, with very few words on all pages except for one double page spread where there are a lot of words, and in a color a bit h
Sep 16, 2013 Anna rated it liked it
Lenoardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems | 2005
genre: fiction
format: picture book
plot summary: Leonardo is a terrible monster -- he can't seem to frighten anyone. When he discovers the perfect nervous little boy, will he scare the lunch out of him? Or will he think of something better?
red flags: none
review citation: ALA Staff Picks 2006. School Library Journal. 1 March, 2006. 73.
recommended age: toddler/preschooler 3-6
Feb 01, 2016 Wickedshizuku rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 2nd Graders
Recommended to Wickedshizuku by: my son
Ha! It was rather amusing reading this. The kid's name was Sam, which so happens to be my name. I also wear glasses just like he does. I related to it even though it was a children's book. My son had a blast reading it, and I think that that's all that matters to a parent.
Cheers and Happy Reading Kids!
Mar 26, 2009 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a great story about a little monster who can't seem to scare anyone. So he researches the biggest scaredy cats in the world and finds a perfect little boy to scare. But he finds out that, while he might not be very good at scaring, there is something he is good at. It's a fun story to read aloud, and the pictures are very simple, but expressive. Our girls really enjoyed this story.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Leonardo is terrible at being a terrible monster. He cannot scare anyone. He goes on the search for the most scaredy-cat kid...will he be able to scare him?

I borrowed the CD from the library which features Mo Willems narrating the story. His voice had my son and I rolling on the floor with laughter. Great message, great illustrations, great delivery, great book!
Ms. Chapman
Jan 19, 2015 Ms. Chapman rated it really liked it
My 5 year old could not stop laughing at Sam's teary outburst, and has now taken to saying "I am going to scare the tuna salad out of you!"

Another gem from Mo Willems!
A favorite. This one is great for a large crowd and would work with lots of ages.
Kayla Loewen
Mar 20, 2015 Kayla Loewen rated it it was amazing
Five stars for the real reason Sam was crying!
Jim Westen
May 30, 2015 Jim Westen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Storytime A+
Mar 24, 2010 John rated it it was amazing
I read this to first grade today. They LOVED it, especially Sam's brillant rant.
Apr 29, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 06, 2016 Boquinha rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Mo Willems book. It's not one of his more well-known ones, but it's cute and clever. I love the play on words in the title.
Nov 08, 2016 J rated it it was amazing
Mo Willems can do no wrong.
Nov 07, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book, 2016
The kids really liked it.
Dec 13, 2016 Sharon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
SO PRECIOUS! My son and I know this one by heart. It is a "MUST BUY." Really. Do it!!! Also, to "scare the tuna salad!!" out of someone must become a thing. It is hilarious!
Rachael Kaplan
Oct 07, 2016 Rachael Kaplan rated it it was amazing
This is a great book! Instead of being a monster, he will be a friend.
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#1 New York Times Bestselling author and illustrator Mo Willems is best known for his Caldecott Honor winning picture books Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny: a cautionary tale.

In addition to such picture books as Leonardo the Terrible Monster, Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct, and Time to Pee, Mo has created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of early r
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