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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

4.22  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,929 Ratings  ·  537 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 September 1st 2005 by Disney-Hyperion (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.
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.
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.
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.

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
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!
Jim Westen
May 30, 2015 Jim Westen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Storytime A+
Kayla Loewen
Mar 20, 2015 Kayla Loewen rated it it was amazing
Five stars for the real reason Sam was crying!
Apr 29, 2014 Laurie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Araceli Aispuro
Feb 20, 2014 Araceli Aispuro rated it it was amazing
Leonardo was a terrible monster. He simply could't scare anyone no matter how hard he tried. One day he decided to search for the biggest scaredy-cat kid. He snuck up on the kid and tried to scare but also failed. The boy was already having a bad day. Leonardo made the decision to cheer him back up again, and they became the best of friends.

This book I believe is a great bedtime story. I like being in perspective of the monster. The author used a great deal of facial expressions. Leonardo showe
Katelyn Patterson
Nov 11, 2015 Katelyn Patterson rated it it was amazing
publisher: Hyperion Books for Children

picture book, storytime

Mr. Willems, I pretty much adore you and everything you create. I am such a huge fangirl! Time and again Willems presents issues that everyone deals with, shows growth, provides a solution, and teaches a lesson without being preachy.

Leonardo the Terrible Monster is an excellent example. Leonardo is a terrible monster because he just can't scare people. So he does research to find the biggest scaredy-cat kid of all. After giving it all
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
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!
Katy East
Nov 17, 2015 Katy East rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
Willems teaches us how to deal with differences and problems through Leonardo as he illustrates how there is always a silver lining, always something we can do better at to be successful. I love how the title can be misleading. Usually when we think about Terrible Monsters, we think about them being terribly scare, so terribly good at what they do. But this is not the case. Leonardo realizes his flaws, and then he ends up taking advantage of them.

The illustrations are unique because there isn't
This book would be good to talk about how people feel when you scare them. It could be good for April Fools Day or Halloween. I like how he decides to befriend the character he scares, but continues to scare him occasionally. The page where his friend yells can be difficult to read, but it visually serves its purpose of showing how much emotion his future friend put into the words. I feel like a lot of my students would be able to relate to the monster. I would have them write or show about a ti ...more
Bookstork Buzz
Apr 08, 2014 Bookstork Buzz rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
What a surprise. The terrible monster turns out to be TERRIBLE at being a monster (typical Mo humour)! And this monster couldn’t scare anyone!

He didn’t have 1,642 teeth like Tony. He wasn’t big like Eleanor. And he wasn’t just plain wierd like Hector.

What’s a poor creature to do? Simple. Find a scaredy-cat kid – and scare the tuna salad out of him! (Mo’s words, not mine.)

So there he is: moony, sourfaced, unsuspecting Sam. Is Sam the perfect candidate? Leonardo is about to find out and the ending
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!
Tiauna Holley
Apr 30, 2015 Tiauna Holley rated it it was amazing
This book is a fictional book. It currently does not have any awards. The book is about a little monster named Leonardo and he really wants to scare someone. Through the whole book he is unable to scare anyone until he sees a little boy alone who he sneaks up on and scares. In the time he boy is scared and begins to cry and Leonardo learns that’s scaring people should not be his main concern and he should not be trying to scare people because it only hurts their feelings in the end. I gave this ...more
Laura Brenneisen
Title: Leonardo the Terrible Monster By: Mo Willems Copyright: 2008 Number of Pages: 48 Lit Require: Author study

This book was so cute. It's about a little monster named Leonardo who is just not scary. He tries so hard o be scary, but he just doesn't look like the other scary monsters or as weird as them. He then decides to find the kid who can get easily scared. After all of his research he finds a little boy named Sam. He sneaks up on him and tries to scare him when....something unexpectedly h
Dec 05, 2014 Ashleigh rated it really liked it
Leonardo is a terrible monster. Terrible at being a monster, that is. In this story, poor Leo can’t win for losing… until he finally changes his approach. It is a sweet story of the all-too-familiar social struggle of trying to fit in but in the end, Leo does and makes a friend to boot!

Mo Willems delivers another solid, lovable book for young children to enjoy. His books tend to stay within the Sesame Street age range and feel which leads me to give it more of a 4-star rating but, nevertheless,
Alex Colebank
Feb 12, 2015 Alex Colebank rated it it was amazing
Leonardo is a developing character in this story. Leonardo starts out being a terrible monster and not being able to scare anyone. After many failed attempts, he tries to scare a little boy named Sam and makes him cry. Leonardo thought he became a great monster until he realized that Sam was upset from various reasons. After coming to the realization that he wasn't the best monster, Leonardo decided that he would be a great friend. This story is a great read aloud, especially due to the page whe ...more
Stephanie Croaning
Nov 03, 2014 Stephanie Croaning rated it really liked it
This is an older book by Mo Willems, but just as delightful as always! Leonardo the monster has a terrible problem -- he isn't scary. So he searches for the perfect child to scare. I love all the research he does before he finds Sam, the perfect scare candidate. Sam ends up being a lot more to Leonardo than just a child to scare, and I love the turning point in their relationship.

The illustrations and text are a little more detailed than Mo's other books, but the backgrounds are plain pages and
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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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