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Mostly Monsterly
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Mostly Monsterly

4.0 1
by Tammi Sauer, Scott Magoon (Illustrator)
 

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Bernadette might seem like an ordinary monster, but sometimes she likes to do some very unmonsterlike things, like pick flowers. And pet kittens. And bake.

When the time comes for Bernadette to go to Monster Academy, she's just a teensy bit nervous. Her classmates just don't understand her. They'd rather uproot trees than sing friendship songs. And they

Overview

Bernadette might seem like an ordinary monster, but sometimes she likes to do some very unmonsterlike things, like pick flowers. And pet kittens. And bake.

When the time comes for Bernadette to go to Monster Academy, she's just a teensy bit nervous. Her classmates just don't understand her. They'd rather uproot trees than sing friendship songs. And they prefer fried snail goo to Bernadette's homemade cupcakes with sprinkles. Can Bernadette find a way to make friends at school and still be herself?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The familiar saga of a child who doesn't fit the norm is given a twist in this story about monster Bernadette, who looks the part and "caused mayhem of all kinds," but who also has a penchant for flowers, kittens, and group hugs. Bernadette's classmates are horrified by her cutesy tendencies--even rejecting her offering of cupcakes because they'd rather have bug parts or fried snail goo. By book's end, Bernadette conforms to expectations, while indulging her giving spirit, by making each classmate a gross card ("eeny, meeny, miney, mo. this clipping's from my pinky toe!"). Despite her ingenuity, readers may be more drawn to her outlandish classmates. Ages 4-8. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
From Ferdinand the Bull to the heroic mouse Despereaux, children’s books focus to good effect on an
individual whose appearance seems at odds with his or her nature. Bernadette is one of those creatures: a fierce-looking little monster, complete with turquoise skin, fangs, claws, and pointy ears. “On the outside,” the text begins, “Bernadette was mostly monsterly. She lurched. She growled. She caused mayhem of all kinds.” The next spread reveals her dark secret: she also liked to pick flowers, pet kittens, and bake. The rest of the story follows Bernadette at Monster Academy, where she first tries to fit in and then manages to steer the group in her direction. For her crowning achievement, she gets her fellow young monsters to wreak havoc on an arts-and-crafts project. Magoon’s digital illustrations are the highlight of this book—Bernadette’s colorful classmates feature all sorts of appealing extras, like multiple eyes, horns, and feet. A green one even has four heads, and they’re all smiling by the end. - BOOKLIST, July 1, 2010

"The writing reveals just enough, allowing the artwork to fill in the rest of the story. Magoon's whimsical cartoon illustrations featuring rough lines are reminiscent of those in Mo Willems's Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005). This artistic style proves effective in conveying the look of monsters without the frightening attributes. In fact, the art complements humorous tone of the story, and the interplay of text and illustration is such that the book comes across as the product of one mind instead of two. A fun and delightful read for all children who have both a monsterly and a kind side."—SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, August 2010

"The monsters are an inventively designed crew, with a generous and Halloween-friendly helping of horns, protruding pointy teeth, and extra eyes...audiences of little monsters will relish the opportunity to join in on the lurching and grossing out. —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Sept. 2010

"Sauer’s turnabout story of a square peg trying to fit into a round hole isn’t particularly new, but her telling, with just the right amount of repetition and sophisticated vocabulary planted in simple sentences, is winning. Magoon’s monster-hued cartoons pay a little homage to Sendak but also revel in such details as prep-school uniforms and a Monster Moves Class with yoga mats and monster-themed hydration bottles—and Bernadette’s a fanged, horned charmer." - KIRKUS

Children's Literature - Dawna Lisa Buchanan
"On the outside Bernadette was mostly monsterly. She lurched. She growled. She caused mayhem of all kinds. But underneath the fangs and fur, Bernadette had a deep...dark...secret. Sometimes, when she was all by herself, she liked to pick flowers." (unpaged). So begins the saga of a little monster who has a "sweet" side and thus does not do so well when it is time for her to go to school with other monsters. She tries to give group hugs, sings, and builds things instead of breaking them. She makes cupcakes with sprinkles, which, for her classmates, is the last straw and they go out to recess without her. Finally Bernadette makes gross cards for each monster, featuring clips from her toe nail and a hairball, among other unpleasant things. These are a hit with her classmates, and they give her a gold star for "best mayhem." Lively cartoon images sprint across the pages in bold colors that will charm young readers. Reviewer: Dawna Lisa Buchanan
School Library Journal
Gr 2—With her pointy ears, claws, and fangs, Bernadette is mostly monsterly. She lurches, growls, and causes mayhem. However, she also likes to pet kittens, pick flowers, and bake. This side of her personality doesn't go over well with her classmates at the Monster Academy, until she shows them that she can hold her own with the best of them. Sauer tells a well-paced story in simple, repetitive phrases. The writing reveals just enough, allowing the artwork to fill in the rest of the story. Magoon's whimsical cartoon illustrations featuring rough lines are reminiscent of those in Mo Willems's Leonardo, the Terrible Monster (Hyperion, 2005). This artistic style proves effective in conveying the look of monsters without the frightening attributes. In fact, the art complements the humorous tone of the story, and the interplay of text and illustration is such that the book comes across as the product of one mind instead of two. A fun and delightful read for all children who have both a monsterly and a kind side.—Kim T. Ha, Elkridge Branch Library, MD

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781416961109
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date:
08/31/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
620,176
Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
AD270L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Tammi Sauer is the author of Mr. Duck Means Business, Mostly Monsterly, Chicken Dance, Cowboy Camp, and other books. She has worked as both a teacher and library media specialist. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and two children. Visit her at TammiSauer.com.

Scott Magoon is the author-illustrator of Breathe, a Kirkus Reviews Best Read Aloud, a Huffington Post Best Book of 2014, and Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2014; and The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot, which Kirkus Reviews called, “Entertaining and clever—and that’s no lie.” Among the many books he has illustrated is Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer, which School Library Journal called, “A fun and delightful read for all children who have both a monsterly and a kind side.” Scott lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons. Visit him online at ScottMagoon.com.

Customer Reviews

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Mostly Monsterly 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
On the outside Bernadette is mostly monsterly. She has point ears, huge eyes, fangs and even a creepy necklace. She can lurch, growl and cause all kind of mayhem. But underneath the fangs and the fur, Bernadette has a deep, dark secret. Sometimes, when she's all alone, Bernadette likes to pick flowers, and pet kittens, and do all kinds of things that aren't monsterly at all. When Bernadette starts school all of her classmates act like total monsters but with a few secret weapons and some quick thinking Bernadette should be able to win them over and still get to be herself in Mostly Monsterly (August 2010) by Tammi Sauer and Scott Magoon (illustrator). Sauer's writing is perfect for reading aloud with built in pauses for suspense and surprises and a lot of humor. Bernadette is a lovable monster who learns that sometimes being different is okay but some concessions might be needed to make friends. The message is never heavy handed or otherwise over the top. Magoon's illustrations add the perfect blend of creepiness and cuteness to the story to create a book that will be perfect for any monster fans but not too scary for younger readers. Excellent possibility for a storytime program about being yourself. Possible Pairings: A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan and Tom Murphy, Bark, George by Jules Feiffer, Presenting . . . Talulah by Tori Spelling and Vanessa Brantley Newton This book was received for review at Simon and Schuster's Fall 2010 preview in May.