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The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating

4.13  ·  Rating Details  ·  294 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Once upon a time, on a long, slow trip to Scotland, a little girl named Katerina-Elizabeth tossed her oatmeal overboard—again, and again, and again. She was a picky eater, and oatmeal was her least favorite food.
And once upon a time, a small worm, no bigger than a piece of thread, swam alongside an ocean liner bound for Scotland and ate bowl after bowl of tossed oatmeal. H
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 10th 2007 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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99th out of 314 books — 126 voters
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Community Reviews

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Apr 23, 2009 stephanie rated it really liked it
This is an enjoyable and humorous picture book that officially explains how the Loch Ness Monster really came to be (he ate the discarded oatmeal thrown overboard by little Katerina-Elizabeth, who HATES oatmeal!) Did you know that he started out as a small, small worm off the coast of America, and followed the oatmeal trail all the way to Scotland?

If you pick this one up, take the time to delight in all the details of the artwork, and check out "The Science of it All" on the last page, which bri
Nov 03, 2009 Vicki rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is a great, funny little story that's about two things: the loch ness monster and picky eating. A little girl is on an ocean voyage to meet her grandmother in Scotland, and is under orders to eat her oatmeal every morning. She hates the gooey stuff, and so throws it out the porthole of the boat, where a little worm sees it and eats it, growing larger from the strength of it, and following along with the ship. The little worm follows all the way to Scotland, and can probably guess ...more
Michelle McBeth
Aug 18, 2015 Michelle McBeth rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: Katerina-Elizabeth takes a voyage to Scotland. Her parents expect her to eat oatmeal every single morning. She hates oatmeal. So she throws it through a porthole. A sea worm takes notice and eats the treat. He grows bigger. The worm follows the ship and eats every morsel of the oatmeal and keeps growing larger on the way to Scotland. Katerina plays with the worm until she reaches her grandmother's. The large worm must now find new ways of being fed and is discovered.

Katie Hanrahan
Oct 21, 2014 Katie Hanrahan rated it really liked it
Discover how the tale of the Loch Ness Monster came to be in The Luck of the Loch Ness Monster: A Tale of Picky Eating by Alice Weaver Flaherty. A young girl named Katerina-Elizabeth was going on an ocean liner from the United States to Scotland when she befriended the young Loch Ness Monster. She would feed him her unwanted daily oatmeal through the porthole of the ship until she reached her destination. Once she got there, and Nessie was growing too big to leave Loch Ness, Scottish children fe ...more
Jul 08, 2010 Lobstergirl rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-books
A cute story about a girl whose hatred for oatmeal creates the Loch Ness Monster. The illustrations are excellent. The author is a neurologist at Mass General Hospital and Harvard and the book ends with a postscript for adults about how picky eaters have a picky eating gene so we should excuse children who refuse to eat broccoli.
Fabulous story about a little girl who hates her oatmeal and the small sea worm who gladly takes it from her. The descriptions of how the worm grows into the Loch Ness Monster are clever and grounded (from as big as your thumbnail to as long as an elementary school hallway).
Dec 03, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. The title does allude to "a tale of picky eating", but it's definitely not a lesson to children about being less picky! (You'll have to read to find out!)

First of all, I really love the illustrations. They're humorous, folksy, and dark (still fun though). I especially loved that it was dark, because a good portion of the book takes place in Scotland and if you've ever been to Scotland, you'd understand how the dark feel of this book is so appropriate. It really lent
Flaherty's tale re-imagines the origins of the Loch Ness Monster. HE starts out as a hungry little worm who follows a boat with a little girl on it who keeps throwing her oatmeal overboard because she hates oatmeal. She's on a trip all alone from America to Scotland and he parents set her meals in advance. Oatmeal everyday. She angrily watches people chow down on cinnamon rolls, and danishes while she feeds to growing little worm. They arrive in Scotland, he moves into a lake near a town where k ...more
Jul 23, 2014 Zachames rated it it was amazing
This was a really interesting take on the Loch Ness Monster. Honestly an oversized worm makes much more sense than a dinosaur. A worm would be much easier to hide in a loch. It would also explain why a creature of that size has never attacked anyone, he's a friendly worm. Ella's favorite part was when the worm kissed the little girl on the nose when she headed back to America. She also liked the really big boat.
The Brothers
Fun and engaging story about a little girl sent from America to Scotland on an ocean liner. Her parents have specified that she have oatmeal every morning for breakfast, but she doesn't like it. She throws it out the window where a little sea worm gobbles it down. He follows the ship and eats all the oatmeal she throws his way and eventually becomes a great sea snake. He even follows the ship up the river to Loch Ness, where other children along he lake throw their yucky oatmeal out to him. He g ...more
Jul 21, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
As the mom of a very picky eater, I loved this story for obvious reasons. I was even more won-over to learn that the author is a neurologist and I found her endnote about the science of picky eaters to be fascinating. I will be sharing this with my students when we study the digestive system.
This was a fun story but I find stories that concern picky-ness by focusing on one specific food super annoying. My kids love oatmeal but I could see their wheels turning as the book reiterated over and over how gross pretty much everyone hates oatmeal.
Elisha Condie
Jan 30, 2009 Elisha Condie rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
We bought this - I think we even paid full price (which we NEVER do) but it was worth it. This book is very clever, and has great slightly unpolished looking illustrations. It's about a little girl who hates oatmeal and throws it overboard during her journey to Scotland. The little sea worm that finds the first bowl follows her all the way to Scotland where it ends up living in Loch Ness, eating the oatmeal biffed into the lake by other kids.

Both my kids (5 & 2) love this one- it's funny, t
Jul 21, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
We loved this creative explanation of Nessie! The illustrations were muted and simply perfect for to the time and place of the story. My 7yo was completely engrossed!
Jaime Barrera
Mar 03, 2016 Jaime Barrera rated it really liked it
Great story, my kids were actually making sure it was fiction. They kept asking "it is fiction right?" Making sure the monster really didn't exists.
Julia Miller
Oatmeal, Katrina-Elizabeth's parents tell her, will make you grow big and strong! However, she can't stand the stuff. When she goes on a ship all by herself to Scotland, her parents make sure she'll be served oatmeal every day, and Katrina-Elizabeth makes sure to toss it out to sea every day. One day, a little, tiny worm finds the oatmeal and makes short work of it. He then begins to grow, and follows the ship, eager for more. What will happen?

This delightful book has a nice little note in the
Mar 21, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it
It's a book about a Katerina-Elizabeth and the Loch Ness Monster! I love it!
May 16, 2008 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books-jp
I like anything Loch Ness-ie (is that almost a pun? Hmmm...) and this book was quite clever, an oatmeal-loathing little girl and an oatmeal-loving sea monster. I liked the art as well with a caveat - it is very dark, not as in gothic but as in shading, which makes it a difficult book to share during a story hour - I like the colors, very Scottish moor dreary but nice, except I wish it was all a bit brighter for better viewing (when you read to a group of children, you have to choose a book where ...more
Dec 31, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
I usually don't review all the children's books we read. I get stacks at the library and bring them home. But this book is incredible.

I brought home the usual stack and we read this one at least half the time for over 3 weeks. The art is gorgeous and the story is really cute. This was definitely one of the few books neither my husband nor I get sick of reading to the kids.

Highly recommended.
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Cheeky cartoon characters set in splendid sepia scenes combine with playful, matter-of-fact narration to solve two mysteries: Where did the Loch Ness Monster originate? and How on earth can my child detect a dash of nutmeg in a four gallon batch of rice pudding?

Listen to our chat about The Luck of The Loch Ness Monster -- A Tale of Picky Eating on our Children's Book Podcast:
May 24, 2016 Bobby rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
Melissa Dwyer
Sep 15, 2015 Melissa Dwyer rated it liked it
Originally rated G by Jane Wolfson
This is as good a story of the origin of the Loch Ness monster as any other and it is well-told and nicely illustrated. The setting is definitely the golden age of the ocean liner which is quite mannerly, but there is a light-heartedness in the cartoon-like worm(monster). The illustrations remind me a bit of Edward Gorey. The topics of monsters and picky eaters will make this popular.
Jun 01, 2013 Judy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: classrooms
Recommended to Judy by: found it at library
This is a terrific picture book with an unexpected and fascinating science aspect at the back of the book: an easy experiment that we are keen to try out and tell our teacher about! Yaay! The science is about 'picky eaters' and their tastebuds and particularly interests me as I've read about highly sensitive children (and adults) and picky eating often goes along with this kind of person. I'm keen to see scientific evidence of the differences in people's senses and responses to the world. INTERE ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Magila rated it really liked it
I love loved this. I just didn't love the little diatribe at the end of the book (in the notes section).

Oh well. The successful integration of encouraging eating, conveying the immigrant experience, and dealing with Nessie's origin is something I can get behind. There are probably slightly better books out there for tackling picky eating, but the amalgam of topics makes this one's deficiencies less noticeable and the book enjoyable overall.

Melissa Bee
May 30, 2013 Melissa Bee rated it it was amazing
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
June 2013 Texas Summer Reading Theme: Dig into Reading. This book clicked perfectly with Cronin's "Diary of a Worm". We created a Worm Farm from the CSLP Summer Reading Club suggested curriculum. The instructions included feeding the earthworms oatmeal. The look on the kids faces after reading the story and then showing them the oatmeal carton was precious. Open mouths and Great Big Eyes.....

Jan 22, 2014 Alyse rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Great story and amazing pictures.
Jan 09, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale of fantasy and adventure. I was a bit worried that our girls would reject healthy oatmeal after reading this book, but quite the opposite, they requested it specifically for the last few days. The illustrations are humorous, with sepia tones that lend an air of an older age. It's a fun book to read aloud.
Rebecca Ann
This is a really interesting interpretation of the loch Ness Monster. i have to say, I don't really like thinking of it as a giant worm, that's kind of gross, but kids might. You could do this book for a picky eater storytime or a monster storytime. The illustrations were a cute, cartoon style with muted, dark colors.
The Library Lady
Jan 23, 2008 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
You could call this a wacky sort of "pourquoi" tale about how the Loch Ness monster got there. Funny illustrations with a touch of Gorey in their darkness. Picky eaters will wish THEY had a sea worm to donate THEIR oatmeal to, just like Katerina Elizabeth. Lots of fun for older kids big enough to get the humor.
Feb 01, 2011 Megan rated it it was amazing
Absolutely adorable! I want to buy a copy for myself now. Flaherty's story about a girl who loathes oatmeal and the sea worm who does meshes well with Magoon's fabulous drawings. Both are funny and with a good dose of whimsy and scarcasm thrown in. I think this would be fun to read out loud to kids.
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