Sunday, October 15, 2017

Worry-Warts, Unite! Sam the Most Scaredy-Cat Kid in the Whole World by Mo Willems

Sam was scared of anything and everything.

Really. The PLINK of a raindrop scares him stiff. A tiny spider scurries away out of Sam's sight, but he's still terrified. Even the Pigeon driving the school bus spots Sam and snarkily says SHEESH!

Sam is the world's biggest scaredy cat, all right. Everything frightens him....

Except for his friend Leonardo, the Terrible Monster.

Leonardo is a terrible monster, scarcely scarier than the raindrop, but he tries his best. Sam may be the biggest scaredy-cat known to man, but he's not afraid of Leonardo. (Nobody is, but still....) But it seems that Sam is not the ONLY scaredy-cat of note in the neighborhood.

One day Sam made a particularly scary discovery.

He and Leonardo meet up with a girl named Kerry and her feline monster named Frankenthaler. (Kerry was the second most scaredy-cat kid in the world.) Of course, Sam and Kerry are terrified.



Both of the kids hurl themselves to the ground and curl up, teeth chattering.

But strangely, Frankenthaler and Leonardo hit it off right from the start. Sam and Kerry, on the other hand, are scared spitless--but not of each other's monsters!

They are scared of strange KIDS! They are afraid of EACH OTHER.

But this time their monsters have had it with their scaredy-cat charges. Leonardo and Frankenthaler buddy up and head off, page right, for some fear-free fun on their own.


It's time for some tough love from Sam and Kerry's mild-mannered monsters, in three-time Caldecott winner Mo Willems' latest, Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World: A Leonardo, the Terrible Monster Companion (Hyperion Books, 2017). In this companion book to his hit, Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, Mo Willems doesn't abandon his cowardly kids, even slyly giving them a chance to join forces to turn the tables on their monsters. Overcoming fears of the unknown is a popular theme, and in this one Willems adopts the wide-open style of its companion title, using muted colors, spare text, and hand-lettering to good advantage to tell his tale of finding some social courage. "Visually and narratively, this story is a lovely bookend to Leonardo," says Publishers Weekly.

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