Three Nasty Gnarlies

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Overview

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is the theme of this hilarious self-help satire that doubles as a fun-to-sing operetta.

Based on an obscure operetta by the composer Funguso Smellagrossi, this is a story of three nasty gnarlies who love their lives in the dump until a snooty butterfly comes along and convinces them that they have to look like her to be beautiful. So they wrap themselves in bits of silk and hang upside down from a tree. In the spring, when they discover they are still nasty gnarlies, they ...

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Overview

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" is the theme of this hilarious self-help satire that doubles as a fun-to-sing operetta.

Based on an obscure operetta by the composer Funguso Smellagrossi, this is a story of three nasty gnarlies who love their lives in the dump until a snooty butterfly comes along and convinces them that they have to look like her to be beautiful. So they wrap themselves in bits of silk and hang upside down from a tree. In the spring, when they discover they are still nasty gnarlies, they must draw on all of their inner strength to appreciate their true selves.
Musical score and recipe for Mud Puddle Surprise (a treat made of chocolate pudding, peanut butter, & gummy worms!) are included.

In an effort to improve their cleanliness and appearance, three nasty gnarlies follow a butterfly's advice.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this underdeveloped be-yourself story in verse, three junkyard monster songsters grow self-conscious about their looks after meeting a know-it-all butterfly. Ordinarily, the bulbous pink Grubby Gurgle, the stubbly-haired and acid-green Stanky Stoo and amoebic, three-eyed Ooga-Mooga spend their days caterwauling from atop a sludgy garbage pile. (Musical notation for their operatic song, "We're the Nasty Gnarlies" by "Fungoso Smellagrossi," appears on a weathered-looking spread.) But after purple-winged Snooty Judy Butterfly, who's dressed in a boucl cardigan and cat's-eye glasses, flutters down to inform them that they smell bad and look funny, the Gnarlies question their grungy lives. Judy, who confesses that she used to be a caterpillar, recommends her beauty regimen: "I wrapped myself in silk./ .../ My body was rebuilt." Graves's (Loretta: Ace Pinky Scout) acrylic paintings show the Gnarlies dutifully creating chrysalises out of gym socks, banana peels and Band-Aids, dangling inside them from a tree. But when they emerge unchanged, they overcome their initial disappointment with a sudden insight: "Our beauty is our gnarliness./ We were pretty all along!" Pictures depict the three aliens in a landscape of ochre, blue and violet goo. The oddball Gnarlies recall the yucky Garbage Pail Kids or the grotesque hero of Timothy Basil Ering's The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone. The old adage about beauty and the eye of the beholder (featured on the flap copy) might seem a little fresher to kids given this gross-out get-up. Ages 7-10. (Nov.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Deliriously happy and pungent, dump denizens Grubby Gurgle (soprano), Stanky Stoo (bass), and Ooga-Mooga (foot stomping/yodeling) revel in their mucky existence until Snooty Judy Butterfly tells them that they "exude a rank bouquet." Devastated, the three friends attempt to mimic Judy's metamorphosis from muddy peasant bug to lovely butterfly. They wrap themselves up in junk cocoons only to emerge sorrowfully in early May as their old unrefined selves. But good self-esteem rescues their happiness and they celebrate the fact that they're just plain gnarly and they love it that way. Loudly cartoonish and weirdly distorted, Graves's acrylic paintings on illustration board are eye-poppers. Illustrations, concept, and rhyming text (often in word bubbles) mesh to form a unified stinky nest of fun. Music by Funguso Smellagrossi for the aria "We're the Nasty Gnarlies" is reproduced on faux slimed pages at the story's end. The song gives the Gnarlies a chance to compare themselves rightfully to "garbage cans in bloom." As the jacket notes say, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."-Liza Graybill, Worcester Public Library, MA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The author of Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance (1999) and other grotesqueries proposes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder--funky though that beauty may be. Dwelling amid mounds and puddles of sloppy garbage done up in typically oogy colors, three grimacing, pop-eyed, happy-go-lucky creatures resembling mutant roaches are cast into gloom when Snooty Judy Butterfly criticizes their looks. Following her lead, they cocoon themselves in various substances and wait for miraculous transformations--in vain, natch. But their disappointment is short-lived; with quickly restored senses of self, they caper off, singing, "We're the Nasty Gnarlies. / We're dirty and we reek! / We're gloopy-gloppy-glamorous. / We're positively chic." Graves casts the entire episode in verse, inviting readers to bellow out the lyrics to an operatic musical arrangement. A yucky, mucky crowd-pleaser. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439240901
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.52 (w) x 8.80 (h) x 0.37 (d)

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