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Boris and Bella
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Boris and Bella

5.0 3
by Carolyn Crimi, Gris Grimly (Illustrator)
 

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Bella Legrossi is the messiest monster in all of Booville. Her slime is the slimiest and her grime is the grimiest. Alas, she is neighbors with Boris Kleanitoff, a persnickety ghoul so tidy he vacuums his vampire bats. What could ever bring these two together? Why, a hoppin' Halloween party, of course!

Overview

Bella Legrossi is the messiest monster in all of Booville. Her slime is the slimiest and her grime is the grimiest. Alas, she is neighbors with Boris Kleanitoff, a persnickety ghoul so tidy he vacuums his vampire bats. What could ever bring these two together? Why, a hoppin' Halloween party, of course!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The diametrically different Bella Legrossi and Boris Kleanitoff find love on the dance floor of Harry Beastie's ultimate Halloween bash. PW wrote, "Crimi's corpse-fresh text and Grimly's fiendish visual details make an equally pleasing pair." Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Two very different characters star in a love story particularly appropriate for Halloween but fun any time. Bella Legrossi, "the messiest monster in Booville," lives alone because no one can stand her chaotic household. Her complete opposite, Boris Kleanitoff, also lives alone because no one can stand his fussy cleanliness. As neighbors they argue constantly. One Halloween, when Bella decides to have a party, she invites everyone but Boris. So Boris plans his own party, without Bella. But no one will attend either party. They all want to go to Harry Beastie's party, since his place is clean but he is not persnickety about it. Bella and Boris still manage to find their happy ending amid a swirling party and a multitude of puns and great fun. Although the linguistic inventiveness is sure to create smiles, more profound humor is generated by the colored ink and watercolor drawings, which provide the details of our protagonists' lives. Even Halloween clichés like gauze-wrapped mummies and peripatetic bats are given fresh twists. There is a pacing to the sequence of illustrations that produces a cinematic quality emphasizing the oddly human undertones to this superficially ghoulish tale. 2004, Harcourt, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Boris Kleanitoff is terrifyingly tidy while Bella Lagrossi is monstrously messy. These neighbors don't get along until a Halloween dance brings them together. The story of this monster romance is predictable, but told with tongue-tickling prose. The description of the party is characteristically spunky, as "Cy Clops bebopped and the Fang flip-flopped. The Boogeyman boogied while the trolls twirled round." Grimly's illustrations, which are similar to those in Marilyn Singer's Monster Museum (Hyperion, 2001), perfectly complement the text. The characters are creatively drawn with ink and watercolor in subdued hues. Young readers will delight in the ghoulish details like the "Pizza Glut" box in Bella's house and the shrunken heads by the punch bowl at the shindig. This is a bewitching choice for libraries looking to boost their Halloween offerings.-Donna Cardon, Provo City Library, UT Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Two monsters with very different habits find common ground in this boo-tiful friendship tale. So obsessively neat is Boris Kleanitoff, and such a world class slob is his neighbor Bella Legrossi, that all the other creatures in town decline invitations to their rival Halloween parties in favor of a looser but not so disgusting shindig at Hairy Beastie's. Furiously stomping off to give Hairy what-for, the two reluctantly join the wild dance instead-and discover that together, they can really cut the rug. Readers who find the ghouls and behavior in Adam Stower's similarly themed Two Left Feet (p. 638) a bit too sweet may go for this edgier rendition, with its cuisine that includes maggot muffins and chocolate-covered gargoyle boils, and its spiky Addams Family-style illustrations. (Picture book. 7-9)
From the Publisher
"Young readers will delight in the ghoulish details . . . A bewitching choice."
School Library Journal
"Devilishly clever."—FamilyFun Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152025281
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.00(w) x 10.00(h) x (d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

CAROLYN CRIMI is the author of four other picture books, including Tessa's Tip-Tapping Toes, illustrated by Marsha Gray Carrington, and Don't Need Friends, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

GRIS GRIMLY is the illustrator of several picture books, including Monster Museum and Creature Carnival, both by Marilyn Singer, as well as his own Gris Grimly's Wicked Nursery Rhymes. He lives in Los Angeles, California.

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Boris and Bella 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MichelleS1 More than 1 year ago
Great humorous book for kids that also teaches about accepting differences in others.
Homeschool_SuperMom More than 1 year ago
It is a funny, sweet story that teaches a lesson. I find it the perfect Halloween week story. I use voices to tell the story, and the kids really enjoy it. I haven't met anyone that didn't love this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite stories to read to my children.