William Steig (1907-2003) was a cartoonist, illustrator and author of award-winning books for children, including Shrek!, on which the DreamWorks movies are based; the Caldecott Medal-winner Sylvester and the Magic Pebble; The Caldecott Honor book The Amazing Bone; and the Newbury Honor Books Abel's Island and Doctor De Soto. Stieg also published thirteen collections of drawings for adults, including The Lonely Ones, Male/Female, and Our Miserable Life.
Gr 2-4-A hideous fire-breathing monster sets off to find a suitably ugly princess with whom he can live "horribly ever after." Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended. (Dec. 1990)
No doubt about it, Shrek is the ugliest guy in town. Everywhere he goes, people and animals flee. If his hideous appearance does not immediately fell them, the smoke belching from his ears and his ``putrid blue flame'' sends even the mighty--including ``a whopper of a dragon''--packing. Yet Shrek is inordinately proud of his green knobby head and loathsome figure, and he roams the countryside having the kind of fun that only tormenting the vulnerable can provide. Hearing a witch prophesy that he will marry a princess who is even uglier than he is, Shrek is intrigued, and he sets out to find this repulsive bride. When they finally meet, the two break into heartfelt declarations of mutual admiration. (``Your horny warts, your rosy wens, / Like slimy bogs and fusty fens, / Thrill me.'') Of course, they ``got hitched as soon as possible.'' Steig's epigrammatic genius is given full rein in this engrossing and satisfying tale. The implicit promise (or threat) of a sequel--perhaps detailing the exploits of the pair's offspring--is indeed delicious to contemplate. Ages 3-up. (Oct.)
"Sure to enchant any child lucky enough to read it . . . Such an ingratiating, cheery book that no one will be able to resist it." --The Washington Post Book World "Steig's epigrammatic genius is given full rein in this engrossing and satisfying tale." --Publishers Weekly "An original--and comical--reexamination of the reverse world of monsterdom." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review "Steig's inimitable wit and artistic dash have never been sharper or more expertly blended." --School Library Journal