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The Odious Ogre [Hardcover]

Norton Juster , Jules Feiffer

RRP: 10.81
Price: 9.89 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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The Odious Ogre + Alberic the Wise and Other Journeys + The Dot and the Line: A Romance in Lower Mathematics
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Michael Di Capua Books; First Edition edition (Sep 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545162025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545162029
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 23.3 x 30 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,315,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They're back. Why were they gone for so long? 1 Sep 2010
By Jim Palmer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is a certain poignancy to reading "The Odious Ogre." Norton Juster, the writer, and Jules Feiffer, the illustrator, jointly created "The Phantom Tollbooth" five decades ago, and in doing so, created one of the most perfect children's books in history. Juster's copy and Feiffer's illustrations fit seamlessly together--so seamlessly that you'd think the two men shared the same brain. Words and pictures alike shared a wry, slightly ironic yet simultaneously very earnest sensibility and complemented each other perfectly. Among children's book geniuses, only Dr. Seuss was able to marry words and pictures as effectively. Their work combined to form what is truly a work of wonder--a very New York-Jewish magical allegory, the unmistakable subtext of which is, "Learning stuff is cool," without even a hint of preachiness, self-righteousness, or sanctimoniousness. Kids can see right through that and instinctively despise it, but no one in his or her right mind has ever despised "The Phantom Tollbooth."

The poignancy of reading "The Odious Ogre" comes in when you wonder why it took these two guys fifty years to do another book. Now, at (what is hopefully not) the twilight of their lives, I suppose they figured, "Well, we did one classic. Maybe we'd better knock out another one before it's too late." I'm glad they did, but I wish they'd done a lot more together.

"The Odious Ogre" is lush where "The Phantom Tollbooth" is spare. Juster's language is deliriously self-indulgent ("I am invulnerable, impregnable, insuperable, indefatigable, insurmountable!" the ogre bellows at one point), perhaps a little too much so for younger readers (but if read aloud with the right gusto, they won't notice it). And Feiffer's trademark skinny line has been fleshed out with eye-tickling and visually satisfying watercolors. It's a beauty to look at, and beautiful to read.

But best of all, "The Odious Ogre" retains the knowing, savvy, and ever so slightly subversive morality of "Tollbooth." People are easily cowed and buffaloed by bullies, and the bullies know this. But bullies are stupid--slaves to their own methods of intimidation and to routine. The unexpected throws them off-kilter, as does the realization that the object of their bullying may just turn out to be tougher than they are.

"The Odious Ogre" ought to be on the bookshelf of every bright and bookish parent who's trying to raise a bright and bookish child. I truly hope that this isn't the last hurrah of Team Juster-Feiffer, but if it is, they went out with a bang.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is so much fun to read aloud. 15 Oct 2010
By Spreitzer in Missouri - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read this book to three grandchildren, ages 3,4&5. They all just love the story and just literally eat up the wonderful vocabulary. We are babysitting this week for grandchildren ages 3 & 5 and after three nights of the story they already have several lines memorized and can't hardly wait to say them out-loud along with Grandma. They are literally clamoring for the Odious Ogre reading to begin. If you love reading to your kids and relish stories with dialogue lines that you can "act out" for your little listeners, believe me, this is one humdinger of a story with marvelous illustrations that are fun for the young and "young at heart".
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun picture book for all ages! 14 Oct 2010
By Ilse B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I used it with my Gifted and Talented L/A class as a read aloud (each taking a page or two). I am using it to demo types of books. They found the author's use of words just as amusing as in Phantom Tollbooth.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Tedious Ogre 26 Jan 2011
By M. Heiss - Published on Amazon.com
How can a book with such amazing illustrations be so TEDIOUS?

The size and quality of the art in this book deserve five stars, for sure. It looks like ink and watercolor, and the illustrations are memorable and full of motion.

But the story? An ogre goes about terrorizing the countryside until he finds a maiden out in the forest, someone who doesn't know enough to be frightened of him; instead she uses good manners and appreciation on the ogre, to his utter bewilderment. Then the rest of the book (12 pages) is her offering the ogre refreshments and appreciation, and the ogre throwing a temper tantrum because she is not afraid. Slightly funny... but really, my kids need no help in how to behave badly. In the end, the ogre drops dead and the villagers rejoice. Big deal.

William Steig's "Shrek" is more entertaining, by far.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power of Kindness 2 Nov 2010
By Catherine W. Hughes - Published on Amazon.com
An odious ogre wreaks havoc through towns and villages, until he wanders off to a cottage deep in the woods. He expects to scare and eat the young girl in the cottage garden. Yet, the ogre becomes overwhelmed by the girl's kindness and generosity, and finally collapses to his death. Reminding readers of the overwhelming power of kindness, the young girl and the odious ogre present a good lesson for all children, especially those ages 5-8.
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