An Alphabet of Animals for this didactic tale centering on a hideous creature, so repellant tha"/>
 

THE BIG UGLY MONSTER AND THE LITTLE STONE RABBIT

Christopher Wormell, Author
Christopher Wormell, Author . Knopf $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-82891-1
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-375-92891-8
Paperback - 30 pages - 978-0-09-945595-0
Hardcover - 32 pages - 978-0-224-07003-4
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Wormell makes a departure from the linoprint-style artwork of his An Alphabet of Animals for this didactic tale centering on a hideous creature, so repellant that all of nature flees his presence. An omniscient narrator cautions readers to "be careful when you turn the page," where the first of several extreme close-ups of the monster awaits. The fellow resembles a cross between Yoda and a Sendak beast, covered in wrinkles, warts and scraggly bristles, with one jutting yellow snaggletooth. The text then begins a series of "He was so ugly that..." repetitions ("all the animals and birds ran and flew away," "all the flowers dropped their petals and the trees shed their leaves," etc.). Even when he decides to create animal friends from rocks, "the monster was so ugly that when he smiled, the stone animals cracked and shattered." All except one rabbit. Its presence fills the monster with joy, but the bleak message to readers is that the ugly fellow is destined to spend his days with no living companion, and after the monster dies, "that very day the sun came out and green grass began to grow," as if the earth itself were celebrating the ugly hero's passing. Ages 5-8. (Sept.)

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