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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

See Previous Book

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Uplifting Picture Books That Don't Preach


Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

Review

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster
written and illustrated by Mo Willems
Hyperion Books for Children,(2005)
ISBN-10: 0786852941
ISBN-13: 9780786852949

My rating:



Leonardo was a terrible monster
He couldn't scare anyone
He didn't have 1,642* teeth, like Tony
(*note: Not all teeth shown.)
He wasn't big, like Eleanor
And he wasn't just plain weird, like Hector.
Leonardo tried very hard to be scary.
But ... he just wasn't.
--Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, by Mo Willems, p. 1-12.

Willems (Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale)has written an endearing story about a little monster who isn't good at scaring people. He tries hard to, but he just can't. So he finds the most frightened kid in the world—Sam—and sneaks up to scare him. But when Sam cries, Leonardo discovers it's not because he scared him, it's because of a lot of other things (his brother took and then broke his favorite action figure, he kicked the table and stubbed his toe, got soap in his eyes). Leonardo hesitates, and then decides to become Sam's friend.

Willems' text is succinct and humourous, with a mixture of kid-like humor ("he would ... scare the tuna salad out of him")and adult humour ("Leonardo researched until he found the perfect candidate"). The text rhythm to it, and uses that to punctuate points, such as one word to choose the frightened child--naming him. Some of the text is printed in different colors to provide emphasis. There is also the creative use of a few text bubbles, and on the page where the young boy complains, the entire background is taken up by a run-on sentence.

The illustrations are created with small characters on large pastel coloured backgrounds, so the characters, and the words they say, greatly stand out. Leonardo is a cute, beige, dejected looking monster with pink hands and feet and a blue tongue, and Sam has brown hair and glasses. The illustrations work beautifully with the text, showing Leonardo as having a gentle heart through his expressions and his silly ways of trying to scare people (putting a bag over his head, sticking his tongue out).

This is an enjoyable, endearing story about friendship, following your heart, and doing what is right for you. Highly recommended.


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