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Edwardo: The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Edwardo is an ordinary boy who does his best to live up to grown-ups' expectations. So when they rant at him for being the clumsiest, noisiest, nastiest, cruelest, messiest, and dirtiest boy in the whole wide world, he becomes all those things with a vengence, thus earning the title of the horriblest boy in the whole wide world. How Edwardo becomes the nicest boy in the wh ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 13th 2007 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published April 5th 2006)
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Showing 1-30
3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  250 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Petra Eggs
Dec 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, reviewed
This is a story about a typically-naughty, noisy, dirty little boy who lives down to every expectation voiced to him. He's told he's the noisiest, the dirtiest, the rudest, the wickedest little boy and so he becomes so. Through a series of fortuitious accidents, such as throwing his clothes out of the window instead of tidying his room and his clothes landing on a truck collecting clothes for charity, he gets a lot of praise and he lives up to that too. He eventually ends up the nicest little bo ...more
Fiona Hill
Slightly mixed thoughts about this book. At the start it teaches us to think about what we say to people, as even if we are joking words can have a very negative impact on the thoughts and feelings people have about themselves! However, towards the end of this book Edwardo was trying to do nasty things to people, which accidentally became helpful and good things (not sure this gives the right message to children). It is perhaps teaching us to look for the good and to try and praise what people h ...more
Dec 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: RachelAnne
Shelves: picture-books
This is a delightfully universal story with an English flair about the power of language. What we say does matter, and it shapes the reality of those around us, especially the young and impressionable.

[spoilers] (Yes, really.)
Whenever Edwardo does something wrong, adults employ hyperbole to tell him how awful he is. And so he becomes. Until some other adults use different language to describe some of his happy accidents. He becomes normal/wonderful again.
Oct 04, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-s-books
Kind of a cute idea, although I'm not sure about the message. Basically when he was doing things that he thought were being mean, like pouring a bucket of water on a dog, he was thanked for it because the owner said the dog was dirty and needed a bath. No real explanation for how doing something mean goes to being thanked for it and then... being asked to have more responsibility, ie watching kids, taking care of dogs in the neighborhood, etc. OK, but shaky in terms of it's teaching...
Felicity Gibson
This book is great for showing children the impact of what we say to others. I would read this during a Key Stage One PSHE lesson and discuss with the children the importance of thinking before you speak.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first book review is on 'Edwardo'

Edwardo is a very rebellious child who appears to enjoy causing havoc on his surroundings often resulting in being told off by the adults in his life. This does not affect his behavior and he simply carries on which would keep children very curious at this stage in the book because there appears to be no consequences for bad behavior. I like the book because it is very cleverly written and the twist in the second half of the book will allow children to look a
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story allows the reader to consider the impact of their language and how someone can grow their self-esteem based on people changing their wording. This is not to say Edwardo is always perfect, but the positivity allows him space to be himself, and grow in his personality, rather than falling into the persistent negative comments. Edwardo is persistently told he is behaving in a way the adults dislike and eventually is deemed to be the "the horriblest boy in the whole wide world". The separ ...more
Feb 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Edwardo was an ordinary boy, until people started being critical of the things he did, which only led to his increasing negative behavior, but once people starting noticing the good things he did on accident lead to positive compliments, and a well behaved Edwardo.
This would appeal to lots of children who get told they are messy, dirty, etc. Edward becomes the loveliest boy which he was all along but people had to see it.
Jennifer B.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A pretty good reminder of how important words are, and the dang of labeling others.
Jane G Meyer
May 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
The Power of Words! The power of seeing someone for what they can be... A creative example showing how words and tone can affect the behavior of a person, especially a child. How encouragement, love, and cheerleading can send a child along a better road. The art is spare, but poignant, and the storyline goes like this:

"Like most children, Edwardo made a lot of noise.

'You are a very noisy boy, Edwardo. You are the noisiest boy in the whole wide world.'
Edward became noisier and noisier."

[Then, a
Sarah Adamson
This is an interesting read with lessons for kids and parents alike. Edwardo misbehaves, is messy and noisy and rude like other kids of a young age. However instead of being properly disciplined, he is just told over and over that he is the worst boy in the world and so he starts to believe it. But then things change. His bad behaviour backfires, seeing him doing good deeds, helping those around him and saving a life. Then he realizes he isn't that bad after all.
Kids - it's expected that someti
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Fantastic book about positive encouragement.

Edwardo is a normal boy, and like normal boys he sometimes acts up....kicking things, chasing things, etc. All the grown-ups tell him he is the Horriblest boy in the WORLD! until one day when he kicks a pot of flowers and it lands in some dirt, and a kind grown-up sees him starting a then, Edwardo becomes good at gardening...and so on, until Edwardo is the nicest boy in the whole world.

I love love love John Burningham's illustrations, they
Apr 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Edwardo lives up to people's expectations. Edwardo is told he is the roughest, noisiest, nastiest, cruelest, messiest, clumsiest, dirtiest, most rude boy in the whole wide world. As you can see, one criticism leads to another in an exponential fashion and there he is--just what everybody said. Then, one day everything changed. He was doing one of his outrageous tricks when something good accidently happened, someone saw it and commented about it. So he did more of that one good thing and everybo ...more
Jan 10, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
While I think our girls got something out of this book, I'm not sure it was the right idea. They thought that perhaps some good will come out of their naughtiness, even if only by accident. I, however, saw that negative critcism only reinforced Edwardo's bad behavior and positive compliments encouraged his good behavior. Bad begets more bad; good begets more good. I get it, like a punch between the eyes, especially after yelling at our girls for being naughty all day. Sigh... tomorrow's another ...more
Vicki Purbrick
I have a few of John Burninghams books, although I did not really enjoy this book as much as his other work. This book is a story about a young boy who isn't particularly nice to anybody and in return he also gets negative thoughts and comments about his appearance and attitude. Although this changed half way through the book where he became helpful and a more round nicer young boy.

The white background of the book enabled the characters to stand out which draws the readers eye. But this wasn't a
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book illustrates my deeply held belief that the words you use with people determine in large part how they behave. If you tell a child he or she is rough, noisy, nasty, cruel, messy, or dirty, they will become more so. However, if you tell a child they are good at growing things, or good with animals, or generous, clean, smart, good with children, they truly will become the nicest children in the whole wide world!
Carol Ekster
I like the concept of this book...but it's more for adults than children. It's wise advice for parents and others interacting with children to rephrase how we speak to young ones. They will see themselves as we see them....if we call them messy, or unkind...they will be so. I can't see myself reading this to a child or group of children, but I could see a principal reading it to his/her faculty and at an open school night for new parents.
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a new favorite author/illustrator, and his name is John Burningham. Although this isn't the book that made me fall in love with Burningham's work, this book is still very good in its own right.

There is a quote that essentially says that how we talk to (our) children becomes there inner voice. Edwardo only ever heard how horrible he was until one day. And that one day changed everything.
Lindsey Beck
Dec 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
This book displays how others words can bring someone down and make them believe it. In a classroom, this would be a good introduction to discuss how we should be careful with what we say, we all make mistakes and learn from them, and how we should not let others tell us how we should Or should not be. This would be an example of civil practices to make children be aware of.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Burningham uses watercolors, pencil sketches, and an ordinary boy to remind readers about the power of their words.

We often forget about the impact that our words have on others, especially children; this book is a nice way to address the topic.
Feb 15, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting exploration of how criticism of a child can lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy, but all it takes is someone to focus on the silver lining for that child to change for the better. A perfect example of reframing!
Edwardo's behaviour gets worse the more he is criticised until someone mistakes his bad behaviour for a good deed. Nice moral to the story for the adult reading it and the story's pretty interesting for a child.
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: edu-365, fiction
This book is a story of a boy who transforms from the "horriblest" boy in the whole word to the nicest boy in the whole world. This story can show children the power of transformation and give them hope for transformation in their own lives and families.
Maggi Rohde
Apr 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh. Oh oh oh. What we tell children becomes truth.

This book is full of "sometimes" words like "occasionally," but it's also full of superlatives like "horriblest." Admittedly not a word, but a powerful message. This is a book I will read at the beginning of the year.
May 12, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Great because Edwardo becomes what people tell him he'll become: rude, dirty, cruel, etc. Then, quite by accident, Edwardo discovers that he can also become kind, responsible, clean, etc. In the end, he's nicest boy in the whole wide world.
May 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think it is a good book for parents, teachers, nannies . . . basically anyone that takes care of a child. If you were told this over and over again you'd start to believe it was true. Makes me so sad. Poor Edwardo!!
Edwardo is messy and an adult tells him he's the messiest kid in the word. So he becomes messier and messier. Repeat with rude, cruel, dirty, etc and we observe how kids live up to our expectations of them.
Beyond the Pages
There's a great lesson in this book for kids and caregivers alike. I really appreciated the reminder.

We should all be mindful of what we say and how we act. Both have a bearing on the type of fruit that is produced in the lives of others. Every situation can turn into a teachable moment.
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Married to Helen Oxenbury They have one son and two daughters.

John Burningham was born in 1936 in Farnham, Surrey, and attended the alternative school, Summerhill. In 1954 he spent two years travelling through Italy, Yugoslavia and Israel, working at a variety of jobs.

From 1956-1959, he studied at the Central School of Art, after which he designed posters fo