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AWFUL OGRE’S AWFUL DAY by Jack Prelutsky Kirkus Star

AWFUL OGRE’S AWFUL DAY

By Jack Prelutsky (Author) , Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-688-07778-1
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

In 18 poems, grisly enough to delight the taste for the macabre in any child, Prelutsky takes the Awful Ogre through his predictably awful day. From early rising to evening rest, everything that is grotesque is Ogre’s idea of grand . . . breakfast of “ghoul on toast,” a beloved ogress with greasy green tresses, a garden of well-sharpened thorns and poisonous plants, a precious collection of bones. The rhymes are wickedly rich in vocabulary (his weeds are scrofulous) and wordplay (at TV time, Ogre adores “The Chopping Channel”), and the scansion rarely goes wrong. As depicted gleefully by Prelutsky and Zelinsky, this ogre is a huge, lovable innocent who is unaware of any offense he might give. He seems not to notice that his left nostril houses a skunk. Happily, the illustrations are as blissfully unfettered by the demands of good taste as the poems. They command repeated and close scrutiny, containing ironic humor never mentioned in the text (the limbs on the fire have feet and most of Ogre’s household appointments are satisfyingly monstrous). Far different from the painterly style we associate with the Caldecott-winning Zelinsky, his looser style reveals a surprisingly fiendish sense of humor with only the formal borders to remind you of his other renowned works. Of course, even the borders are filled with various forms of unpleasantness. Programmers, let yourselves go, this is a dramatic reader’s delight and you’ll find your listeners in your lap, not trembling with fear but with laughter, and clamoring to get a closer look at the illustrations. A bad day has never been a better romp. (Poetry. 6-10)