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Awful Ogre's Awful Day
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Awful Ogre's Awful Day  by Jack Prelutsky 
 
A most wretched story of an Ogre who is so awful that even his name is Awful Ogre.  This big, hugh, giant-sized, one-eyed green haired Ogre is taking us on a daily stroll from sunrise to sunset.  He begins the day by rising with the help of his animals ("My rattlesnake awakens me,/I swat its scaly head./My buzzard pecks my belly/Till I fling it from the bed.") and precedes to groom himself by brushing his ("hair with gargoyle oil") and cleaning his ("face with weasel grease,"). 
 
Awful Ogre spends a captivating day by standing in a thunderstorm, dancing, writing a letter to his sweetie, singing and cutting the pretty flowers in his garden while ("growing carnivorous roses and oceans of overblown mold.").  After checking on his ("finest specimen/an unblemished griffin skeleton,") in his bone collection, and ranting and raving all day, Ogre settles down to sleep ("upon the stony pollow/atop my rocky bed.") with all sorts of creepy crawlies and a catcus plant to snuggle up too. 
 
Awful Ogre dreams of a bright blue sky and butterflies with different colored wings and he ("wakens with a shudder./I am terrified! I roar-/I have never had a nightmare/Nearly half this bad before.")  Our beautiful world is his nightmare and in turn, his beautiful world seems like our nightmare.
 
Jack Prelutshy, an author of more than 30 books of poems, has fallen to the depths of grotesqueness to delight us with a tale of Awful Ogre.  Prelutsky's imaginative verse book about Ogre's day will grab the attention of anyone who likes to believe that the really awful things in life are sometimes awfully funny.  Boys and even girls come away chanting ("I am awful in the morning,/I am awful in the evening,/I am awful every solitary/second in between.")
 
Paul O. Zelinsky, the 1998 Caldecott Medal winner, has included so many little details in his outrageous and hilliarious illustrations.  Watercolors, ink and pen were used to create such grotesque items such as a screaming bowl of wheat, a bowl with an open mouth screaming out of it; to a green man runnng away from his hotdog cart because the Ogre's dragon has eaten it; to even having a dead cow upside-down on a plate, in the kitchen, with crows flying over it.  Zelinsky's illustrations will have you returning just to catch details that you missed before.
 
People will be coming back to this poem book time and time again because Awful Ogre is just as lovable as he is awful. 
 
 
Prelutsky, Jack.  2001.  Awful Ogre's Awful Day.  Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky.  USA: Greenwillow Books.  ISBN: 0688077781.
 

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