Pretty Ugly

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Pub Date Feb 27 2024 | Archive Date Feb 14 2024

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A hilariously quirky monster tale about appreciating beauty—in all its weird and wonderful forms!— by the creator of the iconic Olivia books and bestselling humorist David Sedaris.

Sedaris and Falconer make a spectacular splash with this tale of a monster turned ugly—stuck with a human face!

In this beautifully gross picture book, Anna Van Ogre’s lovely monster face turns into that of a sickeningly adorable, rosy-cheeked little girl—and it’s not switching back! Can she find a way to stop looking like an ugly human and regain her gorgeous monstrosity of a face?

In this incredible story about beauty standards, owning your uniquessness, and developing self-esteem, nationally acclaimed comedian and perpetual bestelling author David Sedaris and renowned creator of the Olivia picture boook series Ian Falconer come together to ponder the eternally relevant question: is true beauty really on the inside?
A hilariously quirky monster tale about appreciating beauty—in all its weird and wonderful forms!— by the creator of the iconic Olivia books and bestselling humorist David Sedaris.

Sedaris and...

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EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781662665271
PRICE $18.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 20 members

Featured Reviews

I have been a huge fan of David Sedaris going back to The Santaland Diaries days. The best way to enjoy his adult books is to listen to the author himself read it; however, I’m happy to make an exception when it comes to a picture book this unforgettable. Ian Falconer has provided the perfect illustrations for this hilarious tale.

Pity poor unfortunate Anna Van Ogre! Ignoring the warning from her grandmother to not make faces because they might freeze that way, Anna’s face actually does freeze that way. Worst of all, her face is frozen as that of a human girl! What could be uglier than that? Why she had turned into a monster!

How can Anna regain her beautiful ogre self? Read to find out her imaginative solution. Touchingly, the book is dedicated to Sedaris’ late sister, Tiffany.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from NetGalley and TOON Books in exchange for an honest review.

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Kids will love this hilarious book! Anna loves making faces and is told be careful her face might stay that way. One day the cute girl face stays. Anna says I’m a monster and hides. She’s told “real beauty is on the inside.” So, Anna knows what to do. She sticks her hand down her throat and…

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Quirky, irreverent book about how beauty is only skin deep and entirely subjective with a comedic spin. So hilarious! I think kids will love it and get the message to not value other people's opinions about your appearance. In full David Sedaris style, this book teeters on the edge of, "did he go too far, or is this still funny?" Spoiler: it's still funny.

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When I first read it I was a bit stunned. I didnt know how to review this book. Do I read this to kids? Is this for adults? But I will say as an adult it is funny and the more times you read it the funnier it gets somehow.

Have you ever heard "Dont make that face or it will stick like that?" Well this is what happened to young Anna Van Ogre when she made her face turn into a little girls. How does she get herself out of this predicament?

Well you need to read it to find out!

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it gave Shrek. it was adorable. I wanted the book to keep going and to see what her life would be like after the resolution. PLEASE let there be a sequel. i need to keep going on with the lore!

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I was able to read an advanced copy of this gross but wonderful story. It is about a girl who learns that as long as you love what is inside you, you will find a way to persevere. Through humor this book will really offer a chance to lead meaningful discussions. I can't wait to add this to my classroom library and read it to my students.

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While I'm sure that many will adore this quirky picture book, I don't feel like it's the best fit for my Elementary Library.

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Pretty Ugly is about a young ogre named Anna who likes to make silly and scary faces. Her family keeps warning her that if she keeps it up, her face will get stuck that way. When her face gets stuck in the form of a human child, the other ogres keep telling her how ugly she is. Anna has a very unique and hilarious way of solving her problem! Kids and adults will both like this cute story about embracing your inner beauty.

Thanks to TOON Books, NetGalley, and LibroFM for review copies of this book and audiobook.

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As a long time fan of David Sedaris' work, I was very excited to get to review this children's book. Reminiscent of a particularly famous Twilight episode, the short book had me laughing out loud. It's perfect for any child you know who would see something gross and be DELIGHTED by it. As a fan of David and Amy Sedaris, it was in no way shocking that Amy inspired this book. The dedication to David's other sister was lovely and heartbreaking if you are up on his most recent work or just follow his life.

Ian Falconer was the author illustrator of Olivia so the art is beautiful, even the gross bits.

I loved it.

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a very cute and entertaining picture book~ with an unexpected and fun ending! even makes you think a little bit, which I love. highly recommend.

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Part Twilight Zone episode, part fun romp, this book is not for the squeamish. Its topsy-turvy take on self image and beauty is as funny as it is fresh. Fans of David Sedaris will find what they expect in his first foray into picture books while Olivia fans may be a little surprised by Falconer's turn. Kids who love gross and silly stories will love this one.

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This is a silly book that would be a good read-aloud for older elementary kids who will get the humor of the conclusion. I love both David Sedaris and Ian Falconer but wasn't sure what to expect from a collaboration: this book has the off-the-wall humor of both.

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Pretty Ugly is a silly story with an important message -- your beauty is found on the inside and these standards are always changing. Who even gets to decide what's beautiful or not anyway?

Honestly, the inside-out version of Anna Van Ogre is actually creepy and I'm sure there are many kids who will love it.

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This was both hilarious and the perfect middle school level of cringe that kids will love. David Sedaris is pretty hit or miss. But this picture book is sure to grab some kids!

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