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Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age

3.55  ·  Rating Details  ·  177 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
To the dismay of his parents and friends, a prehistoric boy continually thinks of making things softer, warmer, and nicer, rather than being content in a world of stone.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 8th 2002 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published 2001)
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12th out of 75 books — 15 voters
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27th out of 190 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 323)
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Dominick
Sep 18, 2014 Dominick rated it really liked it
Another unique, amusing and simply weird book by the inestimable Raymond Briggs. The basic plot follows caveboy ("why do we liv ein caves, mum? couldn't we build something outside?") Ug, who tries to invent all sorts of things, despite the general bafflement, contempt, and even anger of literally everyone else in his world. It's unusual for Briggs to focus on a smart character but not at all unusual for him to satirize ignorance, which he does here with rather less tragic effect than in many of ...more
Charlotte
This comic style book is about a boy ahead of his time.

While this book is listed as for ages 5+ and it looks like a young children's book, I think that older students could appreciate and identify with this book more. As an easy, illustrated read, this book could be used well in a humanities course to model how we read books and respectfully discuss ideas. The reading level is low enough to include special needs or english language learners and the ideas in this book are sophisticated enough to
...more
Andrew
Feb 20, 2015 Andrew rated it did not like it
I found this in my school of all places and thought I might add it to my graphic novel canon. I don't think I will. It's very odd. Very British, I guess you could say. Unless you were British - in that case you would call it good if you liked it, and "more American" if you didn't.

Michelle McBeth
I was confused by the book on every level. It is written in the graphic novel style. But I didn't get the point. Ug spends the whole book questioning the way they live back in the stone age. He comes up with good ides but everyone thinks he is crazy and none of his ideas work. Mom spends all her time in the cave all day, half naked, and pulling out the guts of dead animals. Dad doesn't seem to do anything at all except to talk about back in his day. Interestingly enough, they all talk as if they ...more
T.
To the dismay of his parents and friends, a prehistoric boy continually thinks of making things softer, warmer, and nicer, rather than being content in a world of stone.

Raymond Briggs's funniest creation-the Boy Wonder of the Stone Age. This funny, sad, yet wonderfully life-affirming story is about a misunderstood boy genius who refuses to accept the limitations of the world in which he lives. Young Ug is upwardly mobile, always on the brink of finding a better way, a nicer way of getting thru
...more
April
Mar 31, 2015 April rated it it was amazing
Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age
Written and Illustrated by: Raymond Briggs
2001, Alfred A. Knopf
32 pages
Historical Fiction / Fantasy



This book features a central character who thinks outside the box. Ug lives in the Stone Age and everything is made of stone. His pants are made of stone. His bed is made of stone. He has to play with stones. Although, his father and mother insist that Ug be happy with what he has, Ug is constantly thinking of new ways to live. He wants pants made of soft animal skin
...more
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
A clever idea to have a boy genius in the Stone Age. Ug doesn't like his stone pants and wants nice, comfortable soft ones. Fair enough too. Ug also doesn't like the stone bed he sleeps on, or the stone blanket he sleeps under. And the cold, raw ""dead animal bits"" well they don't seem that appealing either. Somehow though the book falls a bit flat, even the concepts behind it are quite imaginative.
Ellee
Kind of sad for a picture book that seems at first like it should be funny. I'd say it's more directed at parents than children since it demonstrates a parent's ability to either embrace or squelch a child's creativity.
Alicia
Dec 04, 2008 Alicia rated it really liked it
Brilliantly witty.
Alex Blose
Oct 16, 2011 Alex Blose rated it really liked it
Ug is a young boy, with thoughts way ahead of his time. All Ug wants is soft, warm trousers. Is that so much to ask for? In the stone age, it seems so. Everything that Ug does or says, his parents (especially his mom) think is stupid. Ug tries to create a boat (but fails because he makes it out of stone, until he later realizes that maybe he could use "bits of tree"), he invents the wheel and has thoughts about "the hot", how to "bend the stream", "stop animals from running away" and creating "s ...more
John Foakes
Oct 24, 2014 John Foakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a big fan of Raymond Briggs books and this one is no exception.

Ug is an extremely smart young boy living in the Stone Age. All he wants is a soft pair of trousers but he can't seem to persuade his family or friends that it's a good idea.

This book shows us that although some people may not agree with our ideas, we should never give up; that thinking ahead may be scary to some but it's important nonetheless.

Classic Briggs at it's best.
Emkoshka
Jun 05, 2014 Emkoshka rated it liked it
A very clever look at one little boy who lives well before his time. All Ug's attempts to innovate beyond the Stone Age are met with resistance from his parents, friends and the harsh stony environment. Plenty of puns, knowing jokes and an endearing hero. Typical Briggs!
Zinzan Zhao
Nov 01, 2011 Zinzan Zhao rated it it was amazing
i chose this book after seeing it in the library.

this book fits under the category 'a book that teaches you about another time in history'

ug is about a little boy called ug who is sick of everything being based on stones e.g stone trousers, stone beds, stone bouncy balls. he wants to have soft trousers and warm beds but everyone else just mocks him about his ambitions to have a softer, warmer environment but even against the ridiculing of his neighbours he pursues his dream of one day having sof
...more
Emily
Dec 21, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok
Ug, who lives in the stone age, longs for a pair of soft trousers, and imagines a world where things are nice and soft and warm as opposed to cold and hard and dreary. His curiosity and forward-thinking throw his mom and dad and friend Ag for a loop and in the end all of his ideas (irrigation, cooking and heating using fire, boats, and the wheel) result in nothing but a frustrated grown-up Ug. I read this with my 6-year-old, but I think he might understand it better in a few years. He loved the ...more
Jonathan
Feb 08, 2015 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wearing stone trousers does seem to be a bit harsh. Whenever I get frustrated by the world's desire for more and more technological 'improvements' I will try to remember that once upon a time we all had to wear clothes made of stone, and sleep under stone blankets - apparently.
Heather
There really wasn't any ending or resolution to the problem posed by the narrator at the beginning of the book. Very awkward. Mostly it seemed like the book was simply a collection of jokes about the stone age. Some are clever, some are odd or off putting. I think that it would be a hard book for most young children to understand, though, particularly with the lack of an ending.
Gretchen
Jun 30, 2012 Gretchen rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
Another one of those "kid" books that's really for adults! A stone age boy laments living in the stone age because, well, everything is made of stone. His parents are dismayed over him not accepting things as they are. The ending is hilarious and not the expected end of the tale.
Debra
Jul 14, 2012 Debra rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, fiction
I loved the fact that there is always someone who is not content with the way things are and seeks to find a way to make his ideas work and make life better for himself and others. An encouraging book for any child who feels he thinks differently than his friends.
Peacegal
Mar 26, 2012 Peacegal rated it it was ok
Not much of a story here, although I did appreciate the naming of "meat" by its much more proper title, "dead animal bits." I thought it was more than a little odd that Mom spends the entire story running around topless.
Joshua Gross
Apr 06, 2012 Joshua Gross rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sam Shepherd
May 25, 2013 Sam Shepherd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be required reading for all children to ensure they grow up asking the right kind of questions. Brilliant written and fantastic illustration.
Anne
Nov 25, 2008 Anne rated it really liked it
Stone age boy wants things that are "nice and soft and warm" - much to the consternation of his parents, especially his mother.
Seianna
Dec 15, 2013 Seianna rated it liked it
Disappointing ending. Just use long strips of hide to tie the two sides together... No new technology required.
Amanda Smith
Dec 06, 2012 Amanda Smith rated it liked it
This was the first graphic novel I have read. It was cute, but not overwhelmingly amusing.
TwoDrinks
Good book but not really suitable for reading to a small child as it's in comic format.
Emily
Jan 18, 2009 Emily rated it liked it
Read this while waiting for the bus. My favorite are the anachranisms.
Eeboo
Jan 28, 2010 Eeboo rated it liked it
Really wants warm things, Ug.
Sara
Sara marked it as to-read
Feb 04, 2016
Teresa Banks
Teresa Banks marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
TheDiamondMinecraft Jr
TheDiamondMinecraft Jr marked it as to-read
Feb 03, 2016
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Raymond Redvers Briggs is an English illustrator, cartoonist, graphic novelist, and author who has achieved critical and popular success among adults and children. He is best known for his story "The Snowman", which is shown every Christmas on British television in cartoon form and on the stage as a musical.

His first three major works, Father Christmas, Father Christmas Goes on Holiday (both featu
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