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Shrek! (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Shrek! (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

by William Steig

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Shrek, a horrid little ogre, goes out into the world to find adventure and along the way encounters a witch, a knight in armor, a dragon, and, finally, a hideous princess, who's even uglier than he is!


Shrek, a horrid little ogre, goes out into the world to find adventure and along the way encounters a witch, a knight in armor, a dragon, and, finally, a hideous princess, who's even uglier than he is!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
No doubt about it, Shrek is the ugliest guy in town. Everywhere he goes, people and animals flee. If his hideous appearance does not immediately fell them, the smoke belching from his ears and his ``putrid blue flame'' sends even the mighty--including ``a whopper of a dragon''--packing. Yet Shrek is inordinately proud of his green knobby head and loathsome figure, and he roams the countryside having the kind of fun that only tormenting the vulnerable can provide. Hearing a witch prophesy that he will marry a princess who is even uglier than he is, Shrek is intrigued, and he sets out to find this repulsive bride. When they finally meet, the two break into heartfelt declarations of mutual admiration. (``Your horny warts, your rosy wens, / Like slimy bogs and fusty fens, / Thrill me.'') Of course, they ``got hitched as soon as possible.'' Steig's epigrammatic genius is given full rein in this engrossing and satisfying tale. The implicit promise (or threat) of a sequel--perhaps detailing the exploits of the pair's offspring--is indeed delicious to contemplate. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-- Argh, it's Shrek, spitting flame and venting smoke, even uglier than his parents, who kick him goodbye and send him off in the world. He's off on a linear journey to find his true love, foretold by a witch after she recovers from the sight of him. In a maniacal version of the hero's quest, he finds helpers and perils along the way: a dragon, a dream, a donkey, and more. The text rolls right along, here breaking into rhyme, there into knightish talk (``You there, varlet . . . why so blithe?''), there into outright silliness (``Pheasant, peasant? What a pleasant present!'') Perfectly pleased with his hideous self, Shrek finally gains entrance to the ugly princess' castle, and after an operatic duet, the two are united, the bride carrying a cactus for a bouquet. The pictures are just as nutty as the story, blending with the text so thoroughly, sometimes echoing, sometimes expanding it, that it's hard to imagine one without the other. It's all here for Steig fans: magic, animism, chaos, self-reliance, hope, and fulfillment, and from one offbeat episode to the next, it all hangs together to make Shrek's destiny seem just right. The fast-forward movement of the story and the inventive , challenging language, full of surprises, make this especially fun to read aloud. --Karen Litton, London Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada
Children's Literature - Cynthia Levinson
This ode to self-acceptance, re-issued in honor of the twentieth anniversary of its initial publication, is as joyous and loopy to read as ever. Proud of his ugliness as well as of his abilities to glare so hard at peasants carrying pheasant presents that they faint, repel trees and flowers merely by striding by them, swallow lightening (which strikes him because he is so disgusting), breathe "putrid blue flames" between the eyes of a carnivorous dragon so that it, too, faints, and rejoice at his own hideousness in a hall or mirrors, Shrek is the epitome of the anti-hero made hero. Little else could reassure an child lacking confidence so much as Shrek when, before hundreds of mirrors, he "faced himself, full of rabid self-esteem, happier than ever to be exactly what he was." The only experience that frightens him is a nightmare of frolicking children who hug and kiss him, undoubtedly the bane of many children engulfed by rapaciously affectionate aunts. After glaring, breathing fire, smiting, and otherwise handily dispatching gruesome foes, he completes his quest, foretold by a witch, to find "a princess who is even uglier than you." They woo each other with lovingly repellant descriptions ("Your lumpy nose, your pointy head . . .") and wed. Appropriately, "they lived horribly ever after." This edition retains the colorful and gleefully repulsive illustrations and dastardly deeds of the original in a sturdy high-quality production. It remains a classic, even after being re-interpreted by the movie, and will be welcomed by families whose 20-year-old copies have been read and re-read to oblivion. Reviewer: Cynthia Levinson

Product Details

Turtleback Books
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Product dimensions:
(w) x 10.75(h) x (d)
AD540L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

William Steig (1907–2003) published his first children’s book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, and received the Caldecott Medal for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble (978-1416902065) in 1970. His works also include The Amazing Bone, a Caldecott Honor Book, and Abel’s Island and Doctor De Soto, both Newbery Honor Books.

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