Cover image for Shrek!
Steig, William, 1907-2003.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Pine Plains, N.Y. : Live Oak Media, [1998]

Physical Description:
1 audiocassette : analog + 1 book.
Horribly hideous Shrek leaves home and terrifies everyone he encounters in his search for his equally ugly bride.
Reading Level:
AD 540 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.9 0.5 5910.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.4 2 Quiz: 10374 Guided reading level: Q.
Format :
Sound Cassette

Sound Recording


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library CASSETTE KIT 1111 Juvenile Media Kit Media Kits
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library CASSETTE KIT 1111 Juvenile Media Kit Media Kits
Frank E. Merriweather Library CASSETTE KIT 1111 Juvenile Mass Market Paperback Paperback

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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!

Author Notes

William Steig was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 14, 1907, and spent his childhood in the Bronx. Steig found an outlet for his talent by creating cartoons for the high school newspaper. After high school graduation, Steig spent two years at City College, three years at the National Academy, and five days at the Yale School of Fine Arts before dropping out.

During his early days as a free-lance artist, he supplemented his income with work in advertising, although he intensely disliked it. He illustrated for the The New Yorker, beginning in 1930. During the 1940s, Steig's creativity found a more agreeable outlet when he began carving figurines in wood; his sculptures are on display as part of the collection in the historic home of Franklin D. Roosevelt in Hyde Park, New York, and in several museums in New England. In 1967, Bob Kraus, a fellow cartoonist at The New Yorker, was in the process of organizing Windmill Books, an imprint for Harper & Row. Kraus suggested that Steig try writing and illustrating a book for a young audience. The result was Steig's letter-puzzle book entitled C D B!, published in 1968.

Roland the Minstrel Pig, was published the same year. With his very next title, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, he won the Caldecott Medal. The Amazing Bone was also a Caldecott Honor Book.In 1972, Steig published his first children's novel, Dominic, which won the Christopher Award. Abel's Island followed and was a Newberry Honor Book.

William Steig died in October 3, 2003 in Boston Massachusettes.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 6-9. Steig turns from obstreperous boys like Spinky (Spinky Sulks [BKL Ja 15 89]) to obstreperous monsters in this weird fantasy featuring a warty green horror who loves to be ugly and mean. So vile is he that "any snake dumb enough to bite him instantly got convulsions and died." Kicked out of the black hole of his birth by mom and dad, Shrek sets off on a cross-country trek to find the ugly princess whom a local witch has prophesied he will marry. He finds her, but only after he scares half the countryside, defeats a knight by heating his armor with blasts of fiery breath, and frightens himself delightfully when he stumbles into a room full of mirrors. As usual, Steig is clever and irreverent. Here, though, that's not enough. Isolated goings-on are certainly funny, as is some of Steig's odd verse. But many of his flights into doggerel fall flat, and his poke at fairy tale and quest conventions will seem odd to children still new to the genre he seems to be aping. There's no denying that Shrek's ugly visage is deliciously terrifying and his nastiness ever so splendid. Like Gantos' well-known Rotten Ralph, he is thoroughly despicable and self-concerned. But where Ralph is simply a spoiled, very childlike, bratty cat, Shrek is complex, sly, and ruthless, and there's an adult undertone to his antics that will make his adventures and his character difficult for some children to wholeheartedly enjoy. ~--Stephanie Zvirin

Publisher's Weekly Review

No doubt about it, Shrek is the ugliest guy in town. Everywhere he goes, people and animals flee. If his hideous appearance does not immediately fell them, the smoke belching from his ears and his ``putrid blue flame'' sends even the mighty--including ``a whopper of a dragon''--packing. Yet Shrek is inordinately proud of his green knobby head and loathsome figure, and he roams the countryside having the kind of fun that only tormenting the vulnerable can provide. Hearing a witch prophesy that he will marry a princess who is even uglier than he is, Shrek is intrigued, and he sets out to find this repulsive bride. When they finally meet, the two break into heartfelt declarations of mutual admiration. (``Your horny warts, your rosy wens, / Like slimy bogs and fusty fens, / Thrill me.'') Of course, they ``got hitched as soon as possible.'' Steig's epigrammatic genius is given full rein in this engrossing and satisfying tale. The implicit promise (or threat) of a sequel--perhaps detailing the exploits of the pair's offspring--is indeed delicious to contemplate. Ages 3-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-- Argh, it's Shrek, spitting flame and venting smoke, even uglier than his parents, who kick him goodbye and send him off in the world. He's off on a linear journey to find his true love, foretold by a witch after she recovers from the sight of him. In a maniacal version of the hero's quest, he finds helpers and perils along the way: a dragon, a dream, a donkey, and more. The text rolls right along, here breaking into rhyme, there into knightish talk (``You there, varlet . . . why so blithe?''), there into outright silliness (``Pheasant, peasant? What a pleasant present!'') Perfectly pleased with his hideous self, Shrek finally gains entrance to the ugly princess' castle, and after an operatic duet, the two are united, the bride carrying a cactus for a bouquet. The pictures are just as nutty as the story, blending with the text so thoroughly, sometimes echoing, sometimes expanding it, that it's hard to imagine one without the other. It's all here for Steig fans: magic, animism, chaos, self-reliance, hope, and fulfillment, and from one offbeat episode to the next, it all hangs together to make Shrek's destiny seem just right. The fast-forward movement of the story and the inventive , challenging language, full of surprises, make this especially fun to read aloud. --Karen Litton, London Public Libraries, Ontario, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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