This blog is a continuation of a class assignment for the TWU course 5603, Literature for Children and Young Adults. Subsequent entries are for TWU course 5653, Multicultural Literature for Children and Young Adults. The new entries are for TWU course 5663, Poetry for Children and Young Adults.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Awful Ogre Running Wild

Awful Ogre Running Wild
By Jack Prelutsky

Cover image retrieved 4/26/13 from

Prelutsky, Jack, and Paul O. Zelinsky. Awful Ogre Running Wild. New York, N.Y.: Greenwillow Books, 2008. Print. ISBN 9780066238678 

Critical Analysis

What could be more appealing to readers of children’s poetry than an over-sized hero with a naughty side? Jack Prelutsky takes that thought and runs with it in this entertaining romp through the world of a lovable ogre. Awful Ogre recounts his escapades in light rhyming verse that flows freely with natural rhythm and meter. The easy flow of the poems adds to their enchanting appeal. Full double page illustrations add to the sensory delight for the reader.

The underlying impishness of Awful Ogre appeals to the child in all of us. Ogre seems to know that he is doing wrong from time to time, but is not too concerned about it. Most children will find that totally relatable, though they must make the choice to behave that Ogre does not. Creative word choice will add to children’s understanding of multiple meanings. Common daily events are described, Ogre-style. All of these ingredients lead to a delicious selection that will be a feast for readers of all ages.

Book Reviews
Carolyn Phelan (Booklist, Sep. 1, 2008 (Vol. 105, No. 1))
The huge but rather childlike character featured in Prelutsky and Zelinsky’s Awful Ogre’s Awful Day (2001) returns in a new volume of light verse accompanied by full-page and double-page illustrations. Prelutsky shows his sure sense of rhythm and rhyme as well as his child-pleasing sense of humor in this series of 17 clearly written poems. Most appear on double-page spreads, accompanied by large ink-and-watercolor illustrations that reflect the tone of the verse. Highlighting the barely controlled chaos of this amiable ogre’s world, the pictures create a visually imaginative setting where anything can happen and, in the fun-to-discover details, something often does. A crowd-pleasing encore.

Greg M. Romaneck (Children's Literature)
Jack Prelutsky is the first formally-designated Poet Laureate for Children in the United States. His work is typified by a winsome rhyming scheme, delightful subject matter, and an ear for a laugh. In his latest work, Prelutsky maintains his good form and provides young children with a touching look at the life of an unusual character. Awful Ogre is a playful being who is thrilled that summer has finally arrived. Throughout this set of whimsical poems, youngsters will be entertained not only by Awful Ogre’s actions but also by the rhythm of the poetry. Prelutsky uses a standard meter that helps children pick up on the musical nature of the poems. In addition, the beautiful and fetching illustrations crafted by Paul O. Zelinsky make this a wonderful book to share.

Best Book Lists
Children's Catalog Supplement to Nineteenth Edition, 2009 ; H. W. Wilson Company; United States

Poetry Break!
Spotlight Poem
Awful Ogre All Alone

I’m atop Old Ogre Mountain,
And I’m gazing all around.
Clouds are floating far below me.
I can’t hear a single sound.
Birds are nowhere in attendance,
They could never fly this high,
So there’s nothing to disturb me
As I almost scrape the sky.

Here upon the very apex
Of this monumental hill,
I’m contented, calm, and peaceful,
And I’m sitting very still.
Thought it took a while to get here,
It was clearly worth the climb-
On occasion, even ogres
Need a little quiet time.

Learning Extensions
·      Ask students to picture the lovable ogre, Shrek. What are some qualities of ogres? Are they real? Why do we write stories about make-believe characters/
·      Invite students to sit back and enjoy this poem about a wild and crazy ogre who decides to take a peaceful day.
·      Share the poem orally, with students imagining the scene/setting Awful Ogre is a part of.

·      This poem makes a wonderful choral reading selection. Distribute copies of the poem to all students, or display via Document camera. Read the poem chorally, with the teacher reading two lines, then the students reading the next two line.
·      Vary the presentation by having students pair up to present the poem to the class. Reader one will read the first two lines, alternating with the other reader in two line segments. Encourage students to read with inflection, to capture the emotion of the poem.

Other Books by Jack Prelutsky
Author’s website:  
A Gopher in the Garden and Other Animal Poems (2008) (first book illustrated by Robert Leydenfrost)
The Good Tiger (1970) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
Toucans Two and Other Poems (1970) (illustrated by José Aruego)
Circus (1974) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
Nightmares: Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1976) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
It's Halloween (1977) (illustrated by Marylin Hafner)
The Mean Old Mean Hyena (1978) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
The Queen of Eene (1978) (illustrated by Victoria Chess)
The Headless Horseman Rides Tonight: More Poems to Trouble Your Sleep (1980) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
Rolling Harvey Down the Hill (1980) (illustrated by Victoria Chess)
It's Christmas (1981) (illustrated by Marylin Hafner)
The Sheriff of Rottenshot (1982) (illustrated by Victoria Chess)
Kermit's Garden of Verses (1982) (illustrated by Bruce McNally)
The Baby Uggs are Hatching (1982) (illustrated by James Stevenson)
It's Thanksgiving (1982) (illustrated by Marylin Hafner)
Zoo Doings: Animal Poems (1983) (illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky)
It's Valentine's Day (1983) (illustrated by Yossi Abolafia)
The Random House Book of Poetry for Children (1983) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
It's Snowing! It's Snowing! (1984) (illustrated by Jeanne Titherington)
The New Kid on the Block (1984) (illustrated by James Stevenson)
Ride a Purple Pelican (1984) (illustrated by Garth Williams)
My Parents Think I'm Sleeping (1985) (illustrated by Yossi Abolafia)
Read Aloud-Rhymes for the Very Young (1986) (illustrated by Marc Brown)
Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast: Dinosaur Poems (1988) (illustrated by Arnold Lobel)
Beneath a Blue Umbrella (1990) (illustrated by Garth Williams)
Something BIG Has Been Here (1990) (illustrated by James Stevenson)
For Laughing Out Loud: Poems to Tickle Your Funnybone (1991) (illustrated by Marjorie Priceman)
There'll Be a Slight Delay: And Other Poems for Grown-ups (1991) (illustrated by Jack Ziegler)
A. Nonny Mouse Writes Again! (1993) (illustrated by Marjorie Priceman)
The Dragons Are Singing Tonight (1993) (illustrated by Peter Sís)
Monday's Troll (1996) (illustrated by Peter Sís)
A Pizza the Size of the Sun (1996) (illustrated by James Stevenson)
The Beauty of the Beast: Poems from the Animal Kingdom (1997) (illustrated by Meilo So)
Hooray for Diffendoofer Day! (1998) (with Dr. Seuss; illustrated by Lane Smith)
Dog Days: Rhymes around the Year (1999) (illustrated by Dyanna Wolcott)
The Gargoyle on the Roof (1999) (illustrated by Peter Sís)
The 20th Century Children's Poetry Treasury (1999) (illustrated by Meilo So)
It's Raining Pigs and Noodles (2000) (illustrated by James Stevenson)
Awful Ogre's Awful Day (2001) (illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky)
The Frogs Wore Red Suspenders (2002) (illustrated by Petra Mathers)
Scranimals (2002) (illustrated by Peter Sís)
If Not for the Cat (2004) (illustrated by Ted Rand)
Wild Witches' Ball (2004) (illustrated by Kelly Ashbury)
Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant and Other Poems (2006) (illustrated by Carin Berger)
I'm Glad I'm Me: Poems About You (2006)
What a Day It Was at School! (2006) (illustrated by Doug Cushman)
Good Sports: Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More (2007) (illustrated by Chris Raschka)
In Aunt Giraffe's Green Garden (2007) (illustrated by Petra Mathers)
Me I Am! (2007) (illustrated by Christine Davenier)
The Wizard (2007) (illustrated by Brandon Dorman)
Awful Ogre Running Wild (2008) (illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky)
My Dog May Be a Genius (2008) (illustrated by James Stevenson)
Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face and Other Poems (2008) (illustrated by Brandon Dorman)
Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry: How to Write a Poem (2008)
The Swamps of Sleethe: Stories from Beyond the Solar System (2009) (illustrated by Jimmy Pickering)
The Carnival of the Animals (2010) (illustrated by Mary GrandPré)
There's No Place Like School (2010) (illustrated by Jane Manning)
I've Lost My Hippopotamus (2012) (illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic)
Sardines Swim High Across the Sky and Other Poems (2013) (illustrated by Carin Berger)

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