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The Beast of Monsieur Racine

The Beast of Monsieur Racine

by Tomi Ungerer

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A suspicious pear-thieving beast becomes fast friends with a lonely man who proudly presents him to the prestigious Academy of Sciences.


A suspicious pear-thieving beast becomes fast friends with a lonely man who proudly presents him to the prestigious Academy of Sciences.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Monsieur Racine's mysterious beast is the toast of France, until its true identity is revealed in the funniest of all possible practical jokes. PW hailed this for ``the charm of its storyit's pure Ungererand that's the very best kind.'' (All ages)
The New York Times Book Review - Maria Russo
With many outré visual details hidden in plain sight…this 1970s classic is Ungerer at his sweetly subversive best…
From the Publisher

This 1970s classic is Ungerer at his sweetly subversive best." – New York Times Book Review"

Tomi Ungerer’s drawing talent was and is prodigious and he is mercurially inventive with words and ideas. His lengthening rack of children’s books have become genre classics." – Man of the World

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Two charmers from this inimitable picture-book artist. The first title, which was dedicated to Maurice Sendak, features a retired tax collector with a prized pear tree. When the man awakens one day to find his precious fruit has been stolen, he is determined to capture the culprit. He succeeds in catching the thief, but instead of vengeance, he is consumed with curiosity about and affection for gentle, lumpy beast. "I lost my pears but found a companion" says the old tax collector. When he takes his rare, unusual specimen to Paris to present to the Academy and a hoax is revealed, a media circus of monumental proportions ensues. This quirky story defies expectations and charms with its wit and subtle wisdom. The art is uproarious and as appealing as ever. One, Two is as playful and engaging as it is brilliantly executed, making a visual seek-and-find game of the simple rhyme. Kids will never look at shoes the same way again. Both stories were originally published in German in the early 1970s and have been out of print in the U.S. for years.

Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.47(w) x 12.24(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Born in Strasbourg, in the Alsace region of France, in 1931, Tomi Ungerer started drawing as a small boy. Growing up in Nazi—occupied Strasbourg, drawing caricatures was for him a form of resistance. Described on his school–leaving certificate as a "depraved and rebellious character", he hitch—hiked around Europe, getting as far as Lapland, rather than going to university. Inspired by his heroes Saul Steinberg, James Thurber and Charles Addams, Ungerer landed in New York in 1956, with only $60 dollars in his pocket and a suitcase full of drawings. He quickly found success as an illustrator and caricaturist, becoming a star almost overnight. He published his first book for children, The Mellops Go Flying, in 1957, and went on to publish 80 books over the next ten years, covering all aspects of his work.

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