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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  4,725 ratings  ·  448 reviews
Shrek, a horrid little ogre, goes out into the world to find adventure and along the way encounters a witch, a knight in armor, a dragon, and, finally, a hideous princess, who's even uglier than he is!
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1993 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published October 17th 1990)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,725 ratings  ·  448 reviews

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I read this to the family. If you are expecting the movie you will be disappointed. This is different, but the characters and the thrust of the story is about the same. There are no real puns, but he uses some tongue twisting great language. It’s not easy to read, or… I’m tired; one or the other.

Shrek enjoys being repulsive. This is the 90s and most stories are about good things, so this is one of the first children’s books I can think of with an anti-hero.

The artwork is repulsive too and it r
Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
In Shrek's case, it's safe to say I prefer the movie. Although I'm not a big fan of that either. I'm more of a classic-fairy-tale kind of person. I like my prince and princess beautiful.


“Shrek!” is another memorable classic book from the great mind of William Steig and it is about how Shrek, a repulsive ogre, tries to find the princess to marry after he leaves his parents’ home. “Shrek!” is a great book for children who love reading books about monsters.

William Steig has done a great job at both illustrating and writing this modern day fairy tale that is full of attitude. William Steig’s illustrations are truly beautiful and hilarious especially of the images of Shrek himself a
Vicente Ambou
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Once upon the time there was a greenish-ugly ogre in love…” It would be the beginning of this childlike illustrated book for children which, as a modern fairy tale, gives us, through its outlandish little characters and drawings the story of an repugnant ogre who, following the order of his repugnant and greenish parents of getting out to spread the evil, leaves his home to see world and, after many adventures, he ends up by saving an enchanted princess with whom, being uglier tha
This is about the delightfully dreadful Shrek--the ORIGINAL Shrek. Yes, Shrek is a hideous and vastly unpleasant (and stinky!) ogre, yes there is a donkey, and yes there is an (ugly) princess waiting to be rescued. But, the similarities between the movie end there. This is basically the tale of how Shrek goes around causing havoc, delighting in disgusting people, once he is (literally) kicked out out of the house, er, hole in the ground, by his parents. When he meets a witch who gives him a prop ...more
This has been on my 'to read' list ever since the first movie came out... (yeah, I'm slow).
And although I didn't really expect anything like the Pixar movie story, this still took me a bit by surprise. But in a good way.
William Steig's story is delightfully horrendous and wondful love story, and I'm sure the kids will love it, after I can explain that, no, this is not the movie-Shrek, this is the original....
R.S. Carter
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
I went to see Shrek the Musical this evening with my children and we bought the book at the concession stand. I had no idea that the original movie was based on a children's book.

Loosely based. Very loosely.

But Shrek is still our beloved ogre in this book and he revels in his hideousness and delights in his horrible ogre ways. Perfectly Shrek!
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Readers Who Like Gross Stories About Disgusting Monsters
I always think of the German word "schrecklich" - meaning awful or terrible - when I run across a reference to this book, its "hero," or the film based upon them, and that seems completely appropriate (perhaps it was even intentional, on Steig's part?), as Shrek! is the story of one nasty ogre! Uglier even than his ugly parents, with a foul stench that causes flowers to wilt, and a penchant for letting off steam through his ears, Shrek, having been booted from his home, embarks on a quest to fin ...more
Jan 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
"Fat raindrops began sizzling on Shrek's hot knob." -- from Shrek.

You tell me, picture book or porn?

I've only seen snippets of the film but I can't even imagine what the two have to do with one another. I usually go for odd little stories but this was more off than I'm okay with. Picture book Shrek is REALLY, really ugly and mean. He makes movie Shrek look handsome and the princess might make your kid have nightmares.

There's also a [Book: It's a Book] moment with a "jabbering jackass". Look a
Nov 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Read it when the kids were younger... love the film.
Jul 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
thoroughly entertaining and everyone should read it because shrek is love, shrek is life
Mar 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I was just watching Shrek 4 ( movie) and it occurred to me that although some intellectuals says that the realization that we are all one being instead of many kills romance because romance can on lt be between two people ACTUALLY realizing our oneness with spirit is the most deeply emotional romance of all .

Just imagine that God is like Shrek before traded his married life with his kids and good friends and admirers to be a solitary feared ogre again --just for a day--- Just as Shrek had the pe
Malina Skrobosinski
Okay, so, I can't be the only one that didn't realize that the Shrek we all know and love originated from this book?

As with many children's books, there is a HUGE leap between the book and the movie. There would have to be right? I mean, how can you fit 32 pages into a movie... there's not much to tell. So in keeping with the premise of the book, you have an Ogre, a donkey, a princess, and even a dragon. All the rest... well... you can imagine.

One thing was definitely clear to me when I read t
Taylor C
Jun 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I find it amazing how the director and writers made such a lengthy movie based off a 32 page book. I think the room of mirrors has to be my favorite. Something so "repulsive" facing himself so many times. It was amusing and entertaining how much he liked looking at himself. :)

Overall, if you're a huge fan of the movies like me, just take 10 minutes to read the book and see what the original Shrek was like, with his pink jelly bean looking shirt and yellow trousers.
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
Rather horrid. I fart in his general direction.

Give me movie Shrek.
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when they were deciding to make this into a full-length movie. It's rather Addams Family-esque, in truth, but who doesn't enjoy a twisted tale now and then? ...more
Donna Davis
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book came long before the movie. We bought it for daughter #2 (who came 14 years after #1; we have a large family, laden with sons). It is amusing in that it shows that not only fashion models, Cinderellas, and Barbie dolls get to find true love.

Shrek is not depicted as a dandy guy with a few cosmetic issues. He chortles as the flowers wilt when they see him coming. This is a very funny book, but because those who are less lovely are shown as being antithetical to nature itself, I withheld
Feb 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Shrek! by William Steig
William Steig's Shrek! is one of my favorite books to read aloud.

I would love it for the Pheasant, Peasant!? section alone if that were all there were to it, but thankfully it is a crazy word play throughout!
Jan 28, 2019 rated it did not like it
This may seem harsh, but I'm kind of attached to the movie. I mean, there isn't even a lord Farquaad in this book! ...more
Sara Bakhshi
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked animation more!:)))
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
uh maybe 3.5 because i was fully chortling
Feb 13, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hilarious and hands down one of the best picture books I’ve ever read.
To check out my reviews:

The book that inspired the all-time classic that won the first Oscar for Best Animated Feature and whoop Disney in the butt. A film that has made countless sequels and spinoffs and you would think that the book provided enough material to make a feature animated film but you want to know the honest truth... the movie was better than the book!!!!!

I found this book to be bland, the illustrations to be weak, and not much of plot. I have t
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2014 rated it did not like it
In the picture book Shrek, the main character Shrek who is very ugly is on a mission to find a princess who turns out to be uglier than he is. It follows a hero theme story and along the way he makes friends and runs into small problems. Eventually he makes it to his ugly princess and they live happily ever after.

Personally I could not relate to illustrations. I understand the characters are supposed to be ugly but I feel that a child also wouldn’t relate due to they way the characters are illu
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Shrek is a terrible ogre who goes out into the world to find adventure (actually he was kicked out into the world by his parents.) Along the way, he meets a witch who says he'll meet a donkey who will take him to a Knight and there he will find a very ugly princess.

I read this because I love, love the Shrek movies. I just had to read the book that started it all.

Shrek is an ogre with an attitude and very much loves that he frightens people. It makes him so happy. I thought the book was interesti
Lauren Stoolfire
The original Shrek! picture book is much different than the film. In the book, Shrek is proud of his appearance and behavior so he begins a quest to find a princess just as ugly with the help of a donkey which was all predicted by a witch. Although Shrek is pretty bad, he accepts himself for who he is and does not attempt to change himself for anyone. The text includes lots of rhyming and alliteration. As for use with children since the Shrek films have become so popular, it would be a good poin ...more
Shannon Brasher
Oct 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
I did not care for this book at all. It is not due to the fact that I watched the movie before I read the book. While the story is an ok story, I think my displeasure has to do with language use more than anything. The book contains several uses of words that are questionable in a children's picture book, such as the word jackass, horny, and the phrase thrill me. Now while these words can be homophones and are not meant in a perverse way, I would not feel comfortable reading this story to childr ...more
Oct 13, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a creative and fun read about a completely disgusting, smelly, repulsive, fire-breathing, laser-eyed green monster named Shrek. I enjoyed the verse.

Incidentally, I've never heard any controversy around this book, but it uses the same word (jackass) in the same context (to a donkey) as It's a Book. It is not, however, the punchline of the whole book; just in a passing phrase.
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William Steig was born in New York City in 1907. In a family where every member was involved in the arts, it was not surprising that Steig became an artist.

He published his first children's book, Roland the Minstrel Pig, in 1968, embarking on a new and very different career.

Steig's books reflect his conviction that children want the security of a devoted family and friends. When Sylvester, Farmer

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