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The Odious Ogre

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  282 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
The author and the illustrator of THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH--together again!

This is the story of a really rotten Ogre who is extraordinarily large, exceedingly ugly, unusually angry, constantly hungry, and absolutely merciless. He terrorizes the entire countryside and all the surrounding towns, wreaking havoc, sowing confusion, and dining happily on the hapless citizens. Nothi
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Michael di Capua Books (first published 2010)
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(showing 1-30)
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Lisa Vegan
Dec 05, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all kids & the young at heart; for discussion about bullying; fans of the author & illustrator
I’ve been very excited about this book. The Phantom Tollbooth has always been one of my very favorite books, ever since it was first published; I still have my original edition from 1961, from nearly a half century ago.

I was not at all expecting this book to be its equal. Not even close. And it isn’t. But I did like it. I’d say 3-1/2 stars. It was hard for me to decide whether to give this 3 or 4 stars. I think it was the humor, the illustrations, and the fun with words that tipped it up to 4 st
This is the story of an odious ogre, whose reputation always precedes him and whose job of pillaging and plundering villages and munching up tasty villagers is always easy since most nearly die of fright before he even does anything. But, one day, he meets a sweet maiden in a village--one that has never heard of him before. And, since she doesn't *know* he is the odious ogre, she doesn't treat him like one. She treats him quite nicely, in fact. With very surprising consequences!

This was a hard o
Nov 21, 2010 Rachel rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010, childrens
When I found out Norton Juster, author, and Jules Pfeiffer, illustrator, were back together again for a new children's book, I was thrilled. Their masterly collaboration, 1961's The Phantom Tollbooth, has stayed with me for years, and I recommend it to everyone I know who either knows the secret of looking at the world with magic, or needs to learn it.

49 years after The Phantom Tollbooth, Juster & Pfeiffer's The Odious Ogre brings Juster's mastery of descriptive English and Pfeiffer's lyrica
Sarah BT
Mar 09, 2011 Sarah BT rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
If you're a fan of Norton Juster (The Phantom Toolbooth) and wry humor, you will enjoy this book. The book reads like a fable or fairy tale and it makes a great picture book for older readers. (The ogre does eat people, so if you have sensitive readers, this might not be the book for them.)

The narration is hilarious. The ogre has a large vocabulary "due mainly to having inadvertently swallowed a large dictionary while consuming the head librarian in one of the nearby towns." The ogre's encounte
Abeer Hoque
Dec 03, 2012 Abeer Hoque rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-recommend
Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, the author and illustrator of the fantastic children's book classic "The Phantom Tollbooth" have teamed up once again, 50 years later, for "The Odious Ogre." It's about an "invulnerable, impregnable, insuperable, indefatigable, insurmountable" ogre - who once swallowed a dictionary, accounting for his awesome vocabulary - and what happens when he meets a kind young girl in the woods.

The large full colour illustrations are gorgeous - playful, lush, sly - perfectl
Oct 15, 2010 Marcie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Marcie by: Horn Book
Norton Juster's language is wonderful in this humorous read-aloud. I just read it to Don and he laughed out loud 4 times. What a wonderful story for exposing kids to rich language. Upon finishing the first read I thought that even if the kids don't know the vocabulary they will get the story from just the illustrations. The humor is sophisticated enough to please their parents, but I think the kids will laugh as well.
Apr 30, 2011 Joan rated it did not like it
I expected more, considering the author and illustrator. I also didn't realize this was a picture book and was expecting a chapter book like the phantom tollbooth. This was too obviously moralistic and unrealistic for my taste (kindness will win out). The illustrations were delightful.
Liza Fireman
Oct 31, 2016 Liza Fireman rated it really liked it
A story about an Ogre who is extraordinarily large, exceedingly ugly, unusually angry, constantly hungry, and absolutely merciless, and has a pretty impressive vocabulary too.

The fun synonyms and beautiful language is part of what you get reading Norton Juster. The giant is scary, and doesn't need to do much to make everybody shutter, so usually his life are easy. But one day he does to a new place, a bit far away, where his reputation did not proceed him. And there's a sweet sweet kind lady, th
Eva Leger
Jul 06, 2011 Eva Leger rated it liked it
Shelves: julias-books
3.5 - Julia and I both really liked this ogre story. It starts out about the same as most ogre stories and what any reader would expect but soon goes into more detail about the ogre which is fairly rare from what we've read. The ogre considers himself many things, invulnerable, impregnable, and many other words that readers will hear for the first time.
The ogre does have a taste for the local population so parents and adult readers may want to be careful with very young kids and/or really sensit
Judy Desetti
Feb 13, 2011 Judy Desetti rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-book-k-3
I don't know it lacked something for me.

Illustrations are good.

From Library Media
Library Media Connection (January/February 2011)

The villagers are terrified, frightened, and petrified of the odious ogre and his ravaging rampages. He has the run of the countryside, and all of the villagers are his smorgasbord. He also possesses an extensive vocabulary thanks to his partaking of a librarian and her dictionary. He meets his match in a beautiful young girl who is so kind and sweet that the ogre is
Oct 24, 2015 Josiah rated it did not like it
More than fifty years after The Phantom Tollbooth was first published, author Norton Juster and illustrator Jules Feiffer were still working together to produce new literature, and The Odious Ogre is one of the books that came from their continued collaboration. Featuring some of the same type of clever wordplay evident throughout The Phantom Tollbooth, The Odious Ogre is fun and entertaining, and the pictures and text fit together well.

The story is that of a terrible ogre who causes vast dest
Jul 17, 2011 Sherry rated it it was amazing
Love it! A picture book for older readers. Juster has loads of fun with big words like invulnerable, impregnable, insuperable, indefatigable, etc. Lots of text,(suitable for ages 8-12), and a moral, or lesson to boot. An odious ogre terrorizes the countryside. All men fear him, as he puts on quite a horrific display and eats everyone in sight. He wanders deep into the woods and encounters a peasant maiden. Not knowing the reputation of the terrible ogre, but quickly assessing the ogre for what ...more
Jun 23, 2012 Laura rated it liked it
This book was pretty entertaining in the very beginning. I really liked the verbiage and definitely thought children would eagerly snatch up the foreign words. But after the ogre met the girl, it seemed like that part of the story was taking too long. I was a little exasperated that he kept going on and on about himself. The ending was nice (for most people) but a little anti-climatic and a bit of a letdown. It was different than what I wanted to happen. The last page also confused me for a ...more
Just read this to SK as their Mystery Reader for the day. Their teacher definitely enjoyed it a little more than the kids; it's got a lot of adult humor in it, but that also made it fun for the kids because they gleaned meaning for some of the complicated words from my tone or expression (or of course, the illustrations). I was a little nervous about the harsh ending of the story, but it really spurred a great conversation about reputation, being nice and how sometimes being mean can cause ...more
What a lot of fun this one was...the words are amazing...stupendous...massive. The story is a delight. The odious ogre scares everyone...he takes handsfull of towns people for a snack, like the Cyclops. He has no conscience and loves to frighten others. He has an exceedingly large vocabulary because of eating the dictionary an unfortunate librarian was holding as he gobbled her...he uses his odiousness and his size and his voice to intimidate everyone....well, not everyone.

The words by Juster an
Sarah Souther
Nov 24, 2010 Sarah Souther rated it really liked it
There once was an ogre with such a fearsome reputation that no one bothered to resist him. When they heard he was in the neighborhood, people stuffed their ears with stale cake, blindfolded themselves, and hid under the table, a buffet for the ogre. Then he meets a girl with excellent manners who doesn't undersand what the fuss is all about. Feiffer's light, doodle-y illustrations keep the odiousness from becoming too scary. This book is a little long for the younger set, but they'll enjoy the ...more
Feb 13, 2014 Karen rated it really liked it
Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer of the Phantom Tollbooth teamed up again! I checked this book out for my five-year-old son.

I liked this new book, but I did not love, love, LOVE it like I do the Phantom Tollbooth. There is some of Juster's intriguing and wry humor present, and even a little (but not nearly enough) wordplay. The story itself is even quite good, but... it is no Phantom Tollbooth.

The illustrations, also, are very good, but without all the wordplay and puns in the text, it is hard
Apr 01, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, library, 2011
This is a strange story about an ogre who is beaten by the kindness, generosity, and understanding of a young girl. The ogre is frightening and odious indeed, but the young girl's good and sweet character overcomes his ugly and fearsome one. We enjoyed reading this story together at bedtime. The vocabulary is quite advanced for young children and I found myself explaining several of the words. It's interesting and enlightening to see the mix of descriptive words, but can be disruptive to explain ...more
Apr 23, 2011 Robin rated it liked it
An odious ogre who has terrorized a neighborhood for years meets his match in a young girl who literally kills him with kindness. Her deliberate misinterpretation of his actions and unfailing politeness prove his undoing. Nice use of language in this one: as in describing the ogre "He was, it was widely believed, extraordinarily large, exceedingly ugly, unusually angry, constantly hungry, and absolutely merciless." And in his own mind, he is "invulnerable, impregnable, insuperable, ...more
The Brothers
I had great hopes for this book because Norton Juster (The Phantom Tollbooth) was one of my favorite authors as a kid. It's the story of a horrible ogre who likes to eat people. He comes across a very self-possessed young woman who isn't frightened of him, but instead causes him all sorts of self-doubt. An okay story, but a tad disappointing. Perhaps my expectations where too high.

Illustrations are okay.
Jun 30, 2013 Barbara rated it it was amazing
A unique and entertaining take on "kill them with kindness". As we expect from Julius Norton, there is a lot of vocabulary and humor in this story about an ogre who generally scares (and eats) everyone in his path, and the young girl who, unintentionally, kills the ogre by being kind to him (he cannot wrap his brain around this). It would be lots of fun for a class visit, or an older preschool group.
Eric Hinkle
Mar 05, 2014 Eric Hinkle rated it really liked it
A rare collaboration by the author and illustrator of The Phantom Tollbooth, this book naturally had to be great. And it is. It's very, with great illustrations and even a bit of Juster's classic wordplay thrown in. The scope of the book is much smaller, and the target age group is a bit younger, so it doesn't quite hit as hard as Phantom, but I doubt they had any intention of doing so, anyway. So cheers to them for another success.
Whole And
Nov 21, 2014 Whole And rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
This is not an ordinary story, yet quite wonderful.
Especially, I think for a young girl to read.
The maiden in the story out does the towns people when it comes to facing the feared ogre by being kind, being herself and being hospitable.

Lots of new, big fun words to expand vocabulary and rich discussion can be had exploring the qualities the young maiden demonstrated.

Overall message drawn from the story for us was be not afraid, but to be yourself!
Jill Furedy
Aug 30, 2016 Jill Furedy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
That Ogre has a great vocabulary. I guess a man eating ogre is no scarier than some of the original fairy tales, so hopefully the kids I give this one to aren't too bothered by that. But I thought it was an amusing story. In fact, I may pick up a copy to keep on my own shelf for when I have younger visitors that need entertaining.
Oct 18, 2010 Beth rated it liked it
The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my favorite books of all time. This new picture book shows the legendary cleverness of Norton Juster. This would be a great book to use as a springboard for talking to kids about bullying.
Mar 12, 2012 Kid rated it it was amazing
Shelves: preschool, k-3
The Phantom Tollbooth is one of my all-time favorite books, so I thought I'd try this one. We loved it. It's a fun story about a ferocious ogre killed by kindness. One of the best parts is the ogre's large vocabulary and penchant for synonyms, owing to the fact that he "inadvertently swallowed a large dictionary while consuming the head librarian in one of the nearby towns."
Aug 04, 2012 Paul rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Juster's story has a few of his word explosions that populated PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH, but the story centers on the ogre's menace and the maiden's unruffled glad-to-be-with-you simplicity that the ogre cannot survive. So there! Feiffer's reputation for his cartoons and illustrations is well established, but it's still refreshing to see how primal and expressive they are.
Nov 27, 2010 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Great for a read-aloud to a 2nd grade class! The odious ogre is resting on his reputation for fierceness, ugliness, and general overbearing meanness, when he comes across an isolated cabin where the pretty girl hasn't heard of his awful reputation. So instead of running and hiding like everybody else, she treats him w/ kindness and consideration.
Legends Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer collaborate on their first book since The Phantom Tollbooth. A horrible ogre, who terrorizes the countryside, meets his match in a gentle, polite, generous farm girl.
Strings of alliterative adjectives and exciting word choices make this a fun book to read aloud.
May 15, 2011 Shannon rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011
I can't decide whether I love this book or whether I think its message is overpowering. I feel like I need a copy of this book for me to read when I've had a bad day. Either way, the illustrations are brilliant. Great to show if you're doing a lesson on contour drawings or gesture drawings. I also wonder if it might be neat to study this book alongside David Wisnewski's Golem?
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Norton Juster is an architect and planner, professor emeritus of design at Hampshire College, and the author of a number of highly acclaimed children's books, including The Dot and the Line, which was made into an Academy Award-winning animated film. He has collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on the libretto for an opera based on The Phantom Tollbooth. The musical adaptation, with a score by Arnold ...more
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