Posts Tagged hallowe’en

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Amy reminded me of one of my favorite monster books — Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems.

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

Leonardo, the Terrible Monster

There are a number of lovely books for children about monsters. Generally, monster books are great for helping children talk about fears since generally it turns out that monsters aren’t nearly as scary as they initally seem to be. So, that’s the standard monster book. Then there are books like Shrek and Leonardo that turn this model on their heads.

Leonardo you see, is a Terrible Monster. Not terrible as in very, very frightening but terrible in that he is very bad at being a monster. He’s not scary or disgusting or creepy, even though he wants to be. He desperately wants to scare someone, but he just can’t seem to be scary enough. Until he meets Sam. Until he makes Sam cry in fact. But it turns out, Sam isn’t scared, he’s just lonely and then Leonard has a big choice to make: continue being a terrible monster or focus instead on being a wonderful friend.

Leonardo doll

Leonardo doll

It’s such a lovely book — oversized with interesting type and fun for adults and children. And it’s sweet. And silly. And apparently, you can get a Leonardo doll as well. Again, who knew?

I think I have to add Mo Willems to my author crushes. Thanks Amy!

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Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

So, I have very mixed feelings about Hallowe’en. On the one hand, it was probably the most important day each year next to my birthday when I was growing up. I thought about it and obsessed about what I would magically transform myself into for months. I was really into Hallowe’en. As a parent though, I have to say that it’s really annoying.

First and foremost, it’s all about candy. And my kids would eat candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner and have room for candy snacks if they had the option. And even the costumes are a pain. I like to think of myself as pretty crafty but I really don’t want to be making Luke Skywalker costumes all night. I’ve been lucky for the past few years on Purim because my kids were still fine wearing Superman PJs and calling that a costume. It’s all changing.

Room on the Broom

Room on the Broom

All my baggage aside, one of my favorite Halloween books is Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson. The witch in this story is quite a lovely woman who keeps losing things (her wand, her hat, her ribbon) as she’s flying along. Every time she loses something, an animal helps her find it and asks if there is room on the broom for him/her. And each time, our lovely little witch says yes. Well, after a while, there are too many creatures on the broom and the broom breaks and that’s when trouble beings. But, it turns out, when you help others, they quickly come to your aid as well. Even when there’s a monster that thinks that “witch with french fries tastes delicious to me”!

Room on the Broom Activity Book

Room on the Broom Activity Book

Donaldson, who also wrote the marvelous The Gruffalo, is definitely an author to look for when you are looking for something new. This book is so much fun to read out loud that I actually used it for the read-aloud for my son’s 4th birthday party. In January.

According to Amazon, you can even get a Room on the Broom Activity Book or CD. Huh, who knew?

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