cover image Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World

Sam, the Most Scaredy-cat Kid in the Whole World

Mo Willems. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-368-00214-1

Twelve years after Leonardo, the Terrible Monster, Willems brings back Leonardo the monster and Sam, the boy who’s afraid of everything (except Leo). Sam grabs the spotlight in this sequel, but he has competition: after running into a girl named Kerry and her monster pal, Frankenthaler, both of the young humans start screaming, terrified of each other. Annoyed, the monsters ditch the kids. “Figure it out,” says Leonardo, strolling off the page with Frankenthaler. And they do: Kerry and Sam’s timidity gives way to appreciating their differences and similarities—including a mischievous streak. Visually and narratively, this story is a lovely bookend to Leonardo; Willems makes use of the same sketchy cartooning, drab palette, distinctive fonts, and expanses of open space as he demonstrates that starting a new friendship—scary as it might seem—is worth it. Ages 3–5. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Sept.)