Ceora Brown LIBR 262A

Materials for Children 0-4

68) Leonardo, the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems

Willems, Mo. Leonardo the Terrible Monster. Hyperion, 2005. 48 pages. ISBN: 0-7868-5294-1.

Leonardo is a monster. Leonardo is a very small monster. Leonardo is a terrible monster because he cannot seem to scare anyone. This picture book showcases physical differences, as well as size differences. Leonardo is compared to other monsters that have the perfect characteristics for being scary monsters, but “He didn’t have 1,642 teeth, like Tony” “He wasn’t big, like Eleanor” “And he wasn’t just plain weird like Hector”. Leonardo wants to be a scary monster so much that he sets out to find someone weaker than him; A small boy named Sam. Leonardo hopes to scare the “Tuna Salad” out of him, but Sam is not afraid. Leonardo learns that Sam was crying because he had a  mean older brother who stole and broke his action figure, on purpose. Instead of trying to be monster, Leonardo decides to become a wonderful friend. Leonardo and Sam walk off the page hand-in-hand. Each spread is filled with drab colors–lavender purple, mint green, baby blue, light  pink, peach, tan and grey tones. The text includes an interesting font, with additional colored words highlighting  the main points of the sentence. A perfect story time book with large pages and over-sized illustrations.   Young children will enjoy hearing about the Leonardo’s determination to be a great monster, and the surprising ending, when he makes a new friend. (Picture book 3-6). Author-illustrator website can be found at

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65) The Little Red Hen [Board Book] by Byron Barton

Barton, Byron. The Little Red Hen [Board Book]. HarperCollins,  1993. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-0-694-00999-2.

An old Russian folktale has been condensed into this small board book. The illustrations are collage-like cutouts on top of solid primary colors for the background. The text is bold and simple words tell the story in simple steps. Every image is labeled with text, and simple two-word phrases are repeated to  introduce children to dialogue. The story includes a little red hen who believes that her friends–a pig, a duck, and a cat–will help her plant and harvest seeds. But, when the little red hen asks for help all of her friends repeatedly reply: “Not I” in their unique animal voices. Even though the hen’s friends refuse to help her plant the seeds, cut the stalks, thresh the wheat, grind the grains, make flour into bread, the little red hen does all the work herself. That is, until the bread was ready to eat. When little red hen asks “Who will help me eat this bread? All her friends reply “I will”. The tables are turned,as the little red hen refuses to let her friends eat the bread that she  made all by herself. A great little read-aloud story about the true meaning of friendship. Children will learn that a friend should help others when they are in need. (Folklore Picture Book 1-6). No author/ illustrator website.

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60) The Hiccuping Hippo [Pop-Up Book] by Keith Faulkner

Faulkner, Keith and Jonathan Lambert. The Hiccuping Hippo [A Pop-Up Book]. 16 pages. Dial Books, 2004. ISBN: 0-8037-2963-4

“Hic!…Hic!…Hic!…” says the Hippo, because he has horrible hiccups. The Hiccuping Hippo needs help to stop his hiccups from erupting. The opening spread is a pop-out of a blue hippo, illustrated with blue water color, including different brush-strokes of blue, purple, and lavender,  as well as green sponge-speckles for added texture. Animal friends give the Hippo friendly advice on how to cure his hiccups. A pop-out of an upside-down Orangutan suggests for the hippo to drink water upside-down. A python pop-out suggests “Try holding your breath”  because it has previously worked for him. Too bad it did not work for the hippo. “Try this cure”  said the Stork, in which he pulled the Hippo’s tongue, assisted by the Orangutan. This cure does not work, either. A pop-out of the Orangutan, the python, and the stork are linked together, and as they think together they develop an idea that will cure the hippo of his hiccups.  With closed eyes, the hippo awaits. Then, BOO! The Orangutan, the python, and the stork startle the Hippo, curing his hiccups.  This is a great read-aloud-pop-up book, that presents the idea of helping others solve problems. A fun visual dynamic with a surprising end, that will  help to prepare toddlers for thinking and problem solving skills. (Pop-Up Book 3-5). No author/illustrator website.

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57) The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania Alabdullah

Al Abdullah, Raina and Kelly DiPucchio. The Sandwich Swap. Illustrated by Tricia Tusa. 32 pages. Hyperion, 2010. ISBN-10: 1423124847

Everything was perfect until lunchtime. Lily and Salma are best friends at school who did everything together–“drew pictures together,” “played on the swings together,” “jumped rope together,” and “ate their lunches together”. At lunchtime, Salma and Lily have private thoughts about each others sandwich–Lily thinks Salma’s hummus and pita sandwich is “Ew. Yuck,” and Salma thinks Lily’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich is “Ew. Gross”. The two girls keep their thoughts to themselves everyday at lunch, until one day. Finally, Lily blurted out that Salma’s sandwich “looks kind of yucky”. She hurt Salma’s feelings. So, Salma returned the negative remark, by stating that Lily’s sandwich “looks gross, and smells bad”. A fight erupts that ends the friendship between the two girls, and a food fight amongst the entire school starts. When the girls eat in front of each other again, Lily thinks of a grand idea–to sandwich swap. Once they each take a bite of each others  sandwich they declare them delicious. Lily and Salma  become friends again, and suggested an idea to the principal: to have a potluck of food from all their classmates cultural backgrounds. This book is perfect for multicultural story time because it shows how the smallest differences can separate people and destroy friendships. By embracing everyone’s cultural differences we build tolerance for ethnicity.   Other added features in this picture book is the introduction of dialogue. (Picture Book 3-6). Author’s website can be found at and . No illustrator website.

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