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The Monster Who Lost His Mean
Contributor(s): Haber, Tiffany Strelitz, Edmunds, Kirstie (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0805093753     ISBN-13: 9780805093759
Publisher: Henry Holt Books for Young Readers
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Binding Type: School And Library
Published: July 2012

Annotation: Compelled to live up to his reputation but lacking all desire to be mean and nasty, a little monster finds his efforts going hilariously wrong before making new friends who help him discover the value of staying true to himself.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Stories in rhyme.
Monsters; Fiction.
Self-acceptance; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Social Issues | Friendship
Dewey: [E]
LCCN: 2011029046
Lexile Measure: 670
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 1-2, Age 6-7
Book type: Easy Fiction
Physical Information: 11.25" H x 9.50" W x 0.25" (1.00 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 152901
Reading Level: 2.7   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): IV>

Tiffany Strelitz has eaten fried bugs, jumped out of airplanes and lives for adventures. She grew up in NYC, but is now located in central NJ with her incredible husband and their two hilarious and amazing little boys.

Kirstie Edmunds lives near the woods with her husband, Jonathan, and their two tomato plants, Tom and Frank. She was born in Wales, the land of the red dragon, and moved to London to go to art school. Though she's never seen a monster, Kirstie loves to paint them.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring)
When a monster loses his letter [cf2]M[cf1] (for "mean"), he becomes "Onster," incapable of being nasty. His friendly behavior results in ridicule from his fellow monsters but makes him popular with humans, and Onster decides his new personality suits him. The bouncy rhymes and digitally created illustrations are amusing, though the well-meaning lessons about individually and kindness are a bit obvious.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2012 May #4)

Every monster carries a kind of genetic code that consists, conveniently, of the letters in "monster" ("Mean, Observant, Noisy, super Strong, and Tough to please,/ Envious, Remarkable: A monster's all of these"). So when one chartreuse, horned creature loses his "M" and becomes just "The Onster," the other monsters kick him out of their bullying gang. Losing his M, however, turns Onster into a mensch: "The Onster thinks, I'll throw some eggs at Mr. Lander's van!/ But winds up cooking brunch for the entire Lander clan." He may be exiled from monsterdom, but his upstanding behavior wins him popularity with the in-crowd that matters: kindhearted human kids. Debut author Haber's rhymes hammer home lessons about peer pressure and nice guys finishing first. The obviousness of the message is mitigated by Edmunds's (So You Want to Be a Rock Star) cheeky digital drawings. Her Onster, who resembles an oversize, overstuffed pillow, looks truly liberated by his loss of fierceness. There's no need to be told, "He's happier in every way!"—his goofy grin and eager eyes say it all. Ages 4–8. Agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (July)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2012 August)

PreS-Gr 1—"Mean, Observant, Noisy, super Strong, and Tough-to-please, Envious, Remarkable: A monster's all of these." But, what happens when a little monster loses his "M" and can't be mean anymore? He's now just an "Onster" and is ostracized by his friends. Instead of pulling out all of Mrs. Power's flowers, he waters them. Instead of egging Mr. Lander's van, he cooks brunch for the whole family. He helps with chores and joins the children on the soccer field, the basketball court, and at the lake. When they throw him a surprise party to show their appreciation, he realizes that while he may have lost his "M," he's found amazing friends. The upbeat, lively, rhyming text reads aloud perfectly and is skillfully complemented by digitally created illustrations. Even the meanest monsters are playful. Young listeners and readers will delight in the Onster's search for his place in the world.—Rachel Kamin, North Suburban Synagogue Beth El, Highland Park, IL

[Page 76]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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