Monday, February 23, 2015

DAY 10: Mostly Monsterly by Tammi Sauer (Patterns)

Read, study, and share 14 picture books in 14 days
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Welcome to DAY 10. Today's lesson is on...

Mostly Monsterly
by Tammi Sauer
Title: Mostly Monsterly
Author: Tammi Sauer
Illustrator: Scott Magoon
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Year: 2010
Word Count: 348
Top 10 Element: #8, Patterns

On the outside, Bernadette is a lot like the other monsters in her class, but when she shows that she can be sweet, her classmates reject her until she finds a way to fit in again.
Opening Spread:

This book utilizes the patterns of THREES to structure the story.

  1. She lurched. 
  2. She growled. 
  3. She caused mayhem of all kinds.
"Sometimes when she was all by herself..."
  1. she liked to pick flowers.
  2. And pet kittens.
  3. And bake

When it was time to go to school, she was nervous.

  1. everyone lurched, except Bernadette (she wanted to hug)
  2. everyone growled, except Bernadette (she wanted to sing)
  3. everyone caused mayhem and destroyed buildings, except Bernadette (she built a "tinker toys" I Love You monster)
When she noticed she needed help, she pulled out her secret weapon, TREATS! The other monsters asked,
  1. Bug parts?
  2. Fried snail goo?
  3. Fish heads dipped in hot sauce?!
But the other monsters did not like her cupcakes with sprinkles, so they ran off to recess and acted like monsters.
  1. They stomped.
  2. They slobbered.
  3. They scared the leaves off the trees.
Then she got an idea...and made everyone a card.

Even the artist worked in threes. On one spread, it shows this card in the center and one on either side of it, with no other text.

And the ending?

Everyone DID finally give her a group hug. Most of the time, Bernadette did lurch and growl and cause mayhem. But sometimes...
She was just Bernadette. And that was okay too. (shows her watering a flower)
If one of your manuscripts isn't quite gelling, try using the pattern of threes, and see if it helps the story come alive or feel more structured. Grrrrr.... 

Keep on keepin' on...

Here's the link to add your own DAY 10 blog posts...


  1. Such a great way to get across the message of be yourself while still making it fun and interesting for younger readers!

  2. The pattern of 3 is usually used one or twice in a PB. This is an interesting example of using it throughout the story.

  3. this is definitely a perfect example of using the rule of threes, and it does it over and over and over again (notice my three "overs")

    thanks for introducing me to this book

  4. Good choice for patterns. But what I really like is that the monster is really a nice girl inside. I'm sure it gives hope to parents of preschoolers who might seem like monsters sometimes!

  5. Love love love this book...see, I'm using the pattern of three as well. ;)
    It's got a great message...and you did a wonderful job of laying out the text so we could really see the pattern of three. Thank you, Christie!

  6. Hmm! I think SOMEBODY deserves a cupcake with sprinkles.

    Thanks for including Mostly Monsterly. :)

  7. 1) Thank you all so very much. 2) Glad you liked it. 3) Kudos to Tammi!

    I'll take a milk chocolate cupcake, with dark chocolate icing, and white chocolate sprinkles.

  8. Thanks for featuring all the 3s and showing us the power! Now for 3 cupcakes please, please, please! and thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  9. Love the layers that the repeating threes create in this story. The many ways patterns can construct expectation, then shift the reader a bit to make a point about character, cause-effect, etc. is the magic of patterns. Tammi is an artist and architect. Loved this review, Christie.

    1. (PS Christie...I doubled on my linky entry. The 2nd one goes directly to the post...the first could be deleted for Extraordinary Music...)


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