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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
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Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  11,491 Ratings  ·  641 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 realize ...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
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Mo Willems, children's author superstar, has yet another series to dazzle young readers. In this piece, we meet Leonardo, a monster who does not seem to be able to spook anyone. Vowing that he will "scare the tuna salad" out of someone, he understands a major research project and turns his sights on Sam. After a valiant effort, Leonardo thinks that he has spooked Sam, only to discover the truth. What follows is a heart-warming realisation for both Sam and Leonardo. Neo liked this story, more bec ...more
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Is it more important to scare people or to make friends? Great book that will have young children thinking about this important subject.
Ashlee Tominey
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lots of fun to read aloud because you get to make monsters faces and noises, say "tuna salad" twice, and be super dramatic during the big Sam meltdown.
Nov 28, 2010 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 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 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.
Alison Strandell
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 25, 2008 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
Oct 14, 2017 rated it really liked it

I used this one in a monster-themed storytime on 10/10/17. This is perfect for storytime and both the kids and I enjoyed Sam's all-caps meltdown. The ending is so cute! Parents and kids all shared an "awwww."
Lisa Vegan
Nov 30, 2010 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 02, 2015 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.
Ms. Chapman
Jan 19, 2015 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!
Mar 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read this to first grade today. They LOVED it, especially Sam's brillant rant.
Feb 04, 2013 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.

Bridget Carbonetti
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edli-200
Title: Leonardo the Terrible Monster
Author :Mo Willems
Category: Picturebook
Copyright Date: 2005

Estimate of age level of interest: Preschool-Grade 1
Estimate of Reading Level: Read Aloud

Brief Description
Leonardo just wants to be scary like all the other monsters! When he gets close to accomplishing his goal, he learns that people’s reactions can be different than what you’d expect.

2 characteristics of genre and how they appear in the book.
Some characteristics of a quality picturebook
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 25, 2011 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
Anna Smith
Nov 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Leonardo is a scary monster who can't scary anyone! One day he decides to find a scaredy cat! He sneaks up behind him and makes him cry! But then he decides to be the best monster friend he can be.
Grade: k-3rd
classroom: Read Aloud
Individual: Students who want a cute read
Small Group: Discussion on feelings
Whole Group: Finishing the story and creating a poem
Related Books: Mo Willem's books
Multimedia: Recorded read alouds.
Some books are better because other recent books you read weren't. It's hard to say if that's true in this case. Because the art and writing aren't especially exceptional and the idea isn't all that original. But it's executed on so well. The unscary monster becoming friends with the boy who needs a friend. Awww. 4.5 of 5.
Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 2nd Graders
Recommended to Samantha 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!
Jan 27, 2009 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!
Jennifer Kelley
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great read aloud! How did I miss this book for so long?
A favorite. This one is great for a large crowd and would work with lots of ages.
Kayla Loewen
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Five stars for the real reason Sam was crying!
Oh how I love the humor and fun of Mo Willems' books.

This could be a fun art project to have young kids create their own terrible monsters.
Sep 03, 2013 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
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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 about Mo Willems