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Meaner Than the Meanest
     

Meaner Than the Meanest

by Kevin Somers, Diana Cain Bluthenthal (Illustrator)
 
In a rickety old hovel in a wooded swamp lives an evil old hag, who is the second-meanest creature alive. She is only the second meanest because her cat, Hisss, is even meaner than she is. And this Halloween, the hag is determined to make a creature that will be the meanest creature yet! But when she slips up and leaves out the eye of newt out of her recipe, the hag's

Overview

In a rickety old hovel in a wooded swamp lives an evil old hag, who is the second-meanest creature alive. She is only the second meanest because her cat, Hisss, is even meaner than she is. And this Halloween, the hag is determined to make a creature that will be the meanest creature yet! But when she slips up and leaves out the eye of newt out of her recipe, the hag's worst fears are realized. Out of the bubbling brew comes--ugh!--the sweetest little girl she never wanted to meet, Daisy. How long will the hag be able to stand this little ray of sunshine?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
When brewing "slimy sweat from a speckled frog," scorpions and snakes, a crone must never, ever forget the eye of newt. In Somers's children's debut, a hunchbacked, green-faced hag omits that magic ingredient from her monster recipe and accidentally concocts Daisy, a cloyingly cute girl. Blumenthal (Matilda the Moocher) gives Daisy confectionary-pink tresses and pictures the child cuddling Hisss, a vicious black cat who steals the show with his wicked eyes and needle fangs. This haunted farce's punchline the witch smiles suggests that kindness trumps "meaner than meanest." Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Some "evil old hags" are just plain mean! This laugh-out-loud funny story introduces us to Hag, the second meanest creature in the world. Only Hisss, her cat, is meaner. This Halloween, Hag is determined to create a creature even meaner than Hisss. An old recipe book gives her a wonderful idea. In her largest cauldron, she stirs the ingredients until they form a cocoon. While it ripens, she tells it stories (horror, of course) and commands it to grow mean. As it begins to open, she notices her jar of Eye of Newt. She had left it out of her monster mixture! Oh, well, nothing can be done now, and¾oh no! It's hatching! Here it comes! Her monster is a sweet little girl! Named Daisy! Poor Hag! Well, she knows how to make the rotten best of a bad situation, and locks the child with Hiss in the dark, damp basement, along with three wormy apples, and the resident rats. Daisy is a resilient child, but how can she get Hag to be her friend? Now Halloween has come, and Hag can't face anyone, so she is sulking in her bed. Does Daisy win Hag over? Even though the end is fairly predictable, it's cute, and funny, and although it teaches several moral lessons, it is never preachy. Any parent may have a Hag in the house occasionally. 2001, Hyperion Books for Children, $15.99. Ages 4 to 7. Reviewer: Judy Silverman
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-An entertaining concoction is brewed up in this Halloween offering. A far-from-fetching, green-faced, warty old hag lives in a hovel in the middle of a wooded swamp. She is a thoroughly mean creature, second only to her evil cat named Hisss, and they delight in their mutual disdain of one another. When the hag realizes that Halloween is approaching, she decides to create the most evil creature in the world to make the holiday truly festive. She consults a tome entitled Monster Recipes for Witches, Hags, and Mean Old Bats. Into the cauldron go scorpions, sticky spiders, snakes, squishy snails, and a host of other nasty ingredients. The hag realizes too late that she has left out an essential part of the recipe so out of the monstrous cocoon pops a little girl who introduces herself as Daisy. The child's saccharine disposition drives the hag wild, but when extreme measures such as locking her in the damp, dark cellar with Hisss result in a tea party, the witch takes to her bed. It is only on Halloween that Daisy finds a way to make even the Queen of Mean smile. Appropriately wacky cartoon illustrations enhance the humor of this light Halloween foray. Libraries that need jovial Halloween tales will want to purchase it.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780786805778
Publisher:
Disney-Hyperion
Publication date:
09/15/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.37(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.37(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

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