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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

4.23 of 5 stars 4.23  ·  rating details  ·  7,898 ratings  ·  453 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...more
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.
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.
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...more
Omigoodness this was so adorable - funny, touching, not sappy. I loved the expressions and the body language of Leonardo. I loved the spread of him doing research. I love the font and the page design. I love the colors. And, of course, I loved the ending. You know what? It might not be the most momentous book ever, but I loved everything about it and disliked nothing, so I think I just have to give it the full five stars!
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.
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...more
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...more
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...more
Lisa Vegan
Dec 04, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it 3 of 5 stars
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...more
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Araceli Aispuro
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...more
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 4 of 5 stars
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.
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!
Bookstork Buzz
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...more
Wickedshizuku (and the Jedi pup)
Oct 17, 2012 Wickedshizuku (and the Jedi pup) rated it 4 of 5 stars
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!
Christen Griego
It was nice to hear it read out loud by Caitlin. I loved the concept of the story as well
Michelle McBeth
Leonardo the monster seems incapable of scaring anyone. So he does his research and looks for the easiest person to scare. But when he tries to scare the boy, he instead makes him cry. The poor boy was having a very bad day. Leonardo decides to become his friend instead.
Overall, this story and illustrations are cute. The coloring and style of the illustrations reminds me of something from the 1960s so it is a little bit different. There are several humorous points to the story which makes it mo...more
A favorite. This one is great for a large crowd and would work with lots of ages.
I read this to first grade today. They LOVED it, especially Sam's brillant rant.
Eva Leger
I'm afraid I just may be the only person not a fan of Mo Willems . Just like good old Shel Silverstein , he just doesn't impress me. Or my daughter to a lesser extent. Had I seen that this was by Willems I probably wouldn't have even brought it home honestly. That being said, it isn't as bad as City Dog, Country Frog .
The artwork with the monsters is the best part of the book and nothing beautiful could be said about that. They're okay but they looked slopped together. Like Willems knew no one...more
Curtis Hudson
"Leonardo was a terrible monster. He couldn't scare anyone." He didn't have a lot of teeth, he wasn't a giant, and he wasn't just plain weird. Leonardo decided to do all kinds of research to "find the most scaredy-cat kid in the whole world." Who he found was Sam. Leonardo gave it all he had and Sam started to cry. Leonardo was satisfied that he finally scared the "tuna salad" out of someone. Sam informed him that he wasn't scared but that he was having a really bad day because of his mean older...more
When I read the title of this book written and illustrated by Mo Willems, I was not sure what kind of monster Leonardo would be. It turned out that this little monster was not scary at all and could not scare anyone because he wasn’t big, weird, or full of teeth like the other monsters. Tired of failing, Leonardo decided to do research to find “the most scaredy-cat kid” and scare him to tears. However, Leonardo ends up finding Sam, a little boy who has no friends, and sees that he is much better...more
I bought this book for my niece and nephew for Christmas. I wanted to read it before I mailed it off.

Leonard, the Terrible Monster is about a monster named Leonardo that isn't very good at scaring people. So he decides to find the biggest scaredy-cat kid and scare him.

It's a cute story, definitely, but the font was a big distraction for me. I'm really into fonts, and by that I mean I need a font that I like or can at least tolerate for a book to be at least enjoyable for me. Fonts are a big fact...more
Malika J.
Poor Leonardo just cannot scare the tuna salad out of anyone. He researches and finally finds someone who he can scare: Sam. Sam's been having a rough day (or week, or even month) and cries when Leonardo scares him. They end up talking about it and Leonardo makes a very big decision. He decides to be Sam's friend. In the end, they are friends, but that doesn't stop Leonardo from trying to scare Sam every once in a while.

After Caitlin read this in class, Sam and I just had to get it from the libr...more
The plot of this book is simple and elegant and the illustrations are amazing.
One of the things I like about the Mo Willems 'Pigeon' books is the idea of unrealistic expectations. Pigeon is the ultimate kid because he is impetuous, visceral and full of wants. Often these expectations or desires are unrealistic (like many kids 3-7). In the end though, there is nothing wrong with the wanting as long as you can be happy with who you are and what you have.
This, for me, was the theme for Leonardo. W...more
Cari Mcintyre
"Leondardo the Terrible Monster" tells the story of Leonardo. Who is a little monster that is not very good and scary people. He tries and tries, however, no one takes him seriously since he isnt that big and doesn't have very many teeth. Finally, he decides to research the perfect candidate to scare and comes up with a little boy named Sam. When he comes across Sam he jumps out and scares him and the little boy starts to cry. At first, Leonardo feels triumphant as he finally scared someone. How...more
Marilee Haynes
My kids and I are HUGE Mo Willems fans, but very recently discovered this book of his. No surprise - we love it. The enjoyment isn't so much dependent on the main character as it is in his Pigeon or Gerald & Piggie books. It's the story. It's fun and funny and dear. Recommend particularly for the preschool and K set, but my very strong reader 7 year old has also grabbed and read it several times, cracking up as he goes!
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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...more
More about Mo Willems...
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

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