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The Monster Who Lost His Mean

( 1 )


Everyone knows that the M in “monster” stands for MEAN. But what happens when a monster can’t be mean any more? Is he still a monster at all?

One young monster's attempts to live up to his name go hilariously awry as he discovers—with a little help from new friends—that it's not what you're called but who you are that counts.

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Everyone knows that the M in “monster” stands for MEAN. But what happens when a monster can’t be mean any more? Is he still a monster at all?

One young monster's attempts to live up to his name go hilariously awry as he discovers—with a little help from new friends—that it's not what you're called but who you are that counts.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Every monster carries a kind of genetic code that consists, conveniently, of the letters in “monster” (“Mean, Observant, Noisy, super Strong, and Tough to please,/ Envious, Remarkable: A monster’s all of these”). So when one chartreuse, horned creature loses his “M” and becomes just “The Onster,” the other monsters kick him out of their bullying gang. Losing his M, however, turns Onster into a mensch: “The Onster thinks, I’ll throw some eggs at Mr. Lander’s van!/ But winds up cooking brunch for the entire Lander clan.” He may be exiled from monsterdom, but his upstanding behavior wins him popularity with the in-crowd that matters: kindhearted human kids. Debut author Haber’s rhymes hammer home lessons about peer pressure and nice guys finishing first. The obviousness of the message is mitigated by Edmunds’s (So You Want to Be a Rock Star) cheeky digital drawings. Her Onster, who resembles an oversize, overstuffed pillow, looks truly liberated by his loss of fierceness. There’s no need to be told, “He’s happier in every way!”—his goofy grin and eager eyes say it all. Ages 4–8. Agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (July)
From the Publisher

"...listeners and readers will delight in the Onster’s search for his place in the world.”--School Library Journal

"Readers will chime in with the ‘hip, hip hooray’ this cuddly-looking creature earns when he finally embraces and celebrates his differences.”--Kirkus

Children's Literature - Barbara Troisi
Monsters are characterized in this takeoff of letter-word associations as Mean, Observant, Noisy, Super Strong, Tough-to-please, Envious, and Remarkable, but what happens if the letter M for Mean is missing? The multicolored monster crew of Monsterwood won't tolerate the chartreuse mutant, not even while eating eyeball soup. Try as he might to find the M and be mean (view his delightful but vain search attempts in the endpapers), Onster's behavior is altered. A new identity brings an array of friends that leave footprints on his heart. Bold digital illustrations on white backgrounds illuminate Onster's antics. This clever picture book by Tiffany Strelitz Haber in her debut as an author features a lively rhyming text and portrays appealing monster creatures sure to pique young reader's enthusiasm. Reviewer: Barbara Troisi
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—"Mean, Observant, Noisy, super Strong, and Tough-to-please, Envious, Remarkable: A monster's all of these." But, what happens when a little monster loses his "M" and can't be mean anymore? He's now just an "Onster" and is ostracized by his friends. Instead of pulling out all of Mrs. Power's flowers, he waters them. Instead of egging Mr. Lander's van, he cooks brunch for the whole family. He helps with chores and joins the children on the soccer field, the basketball court, and at the lake. When they throw him a surprise party to show their appreciation, he realizes that while he may have lost his "M," he's found amazing friends. The upbeat, lively, rhyming text reads aloud perfectly and is skillfully complemented by digitally created illustrations. Even the meanest monsters are playful. Young listeners and readers will delight in the Onster's search for his place in the world.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL
Kirkus Reviews
Although there are many stories about the perils and rewards of a monster's turning nice, this one goes a little further, touching upon being rejected by peers, being bullied and eventually being at ease with who one is. Supposedly each letter in the word "monster" stands for a valuable character trait that all these creatures share: M is for mean, O is for Observant, N is for Noisy, S is for Super Strong, T is for Tough-to-Please, E is for Envious and R is for Remarkable. Sadly, the lime green, rectangular protagonist loses his "M" and his ability to be truly mean. Now he is "just The Onster." Without his "mean," he becomes the target of teasing and feels embarrassed when he is caught by the monster pack doing good deeds and fitting in with the more kindhearted and accepting young humans. Even when he purposely tries to do something bad, such as pulling "the flowers out of Mrs. Power's yard," he "just can't bear to harm them, so he waters them instead." The rhyming text proceeds at a steady clip, and Edmunds digitally renders scenes that aptly depict the monster's back-and-forth feelings about becoming a nonthreatening, thoughtful and friendly Onster. Readers will chime in with the "hip, hip hooray" this cuddly-looking creature earns when he finally embraces and celebrates his differences. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805093759
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 7/17/2012
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 36
  • Sales rank: 166,898
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD670L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Tiffany Strelitz has eaten fried bugs, jumped out of airplanes and lives for adventures. She grew up in NYC, but is now located in central NJ with her incredible husband and their two hilarious and amazing little boys.

Kirstie Edmunds lives near the woods with her husband, Jonathan, and their two tomato plants, Tom and Frank.  She was born in Wales, the land of the red dragon, and moved to London to go to art school. Though she's never seen a monster, Kirstie loves to paint them.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    The monster who lost his mean

    Beacause at the end it start geting good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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