Pretty Ugly (Hardcover)

Pretty Ugly By David Sedaris, Ian Falconer (Illustrator) Cover Image
By David Sedaris, Ian Falconer (Illustrator)
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“David Sedaris fans will love Pretty Ugly, a story about true beauty, family, and character. Ian Falconer’s illustrations are perfection. And honestly, who hasn’t wanted to lock themselves in a wood shed for three days?!”
— Jessica Nock, Main Street Books (NC), Davidson, NC


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?

About the Author

David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays such as Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, and When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Sedaris’s pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in The Best American Essays. There are more than ten million copies of his books in print, and they have been translated into 25 languages.

Ian Falconer was an author and illustrator of children’s books, a designer of sets and costumes for the theater and creator of 30 covers for the New Yorker as well as other publications. The fine artist and designer was best known for his witty and bestselling picture books about the precocious piglet Olivia, a children’s book series with over 10 million sales worldwide.

Praise For…

Most Anticipated Books of 2024 List, Kirkus Reviews
Most Anticipated Kids Books List - February, Barnes & Noble

★“Disgustingly hilarious….Adult readers will recognize hints of Maurice Sendak and William Steig and maybe even a smattering of Tim Burton in this remarkable outsider tale….Consider this little monstrosity a much-needed corrective to smarmy platitudes.”Kirkus Reviews, STARRED

“[..] Demonstrates an appealing, Olivia-esque joie de vivre.” —The New York Times

“For every kid out there who HOPED their face would stick when Gramma said "If you keep making that face, its going to stick like that." Well, this one's for them." Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

 “The kids you read this to …. will LOVE YOU for grossing them out in this way.” —Elizabeth Bird,

“Clever + funny – your next read aloud. Hilarious.” Imagination Soup

“A book with hints of William Steig and Quentin Blake and Roald Dahl….that’s going to make the kids you read this story to (and make sure it’s a group of kids for maximum effective) scream and laugh all at the same time. It’s gonna blow their little freakin’ minds and they will LOVE YOU for grossing them out in this way.”Elizabeth Bird,

“You’re absolutely going to love it – it looks ridiculous and gross and funny and wonderfully different to so much that we see in kids’ books nowadays.” —

“Sedaris fans will love PRETTY UGLY, a story that will spark conversations about true beauty, family and character. Illustrations are perfection.  And honestly, who hasn't wanted to lock themselves in a wood shed for three days?!” — Jessica Nock, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

“Delighted young audiences ... will be demanding repeat readings.” —Booklist

“The brainchild of the literary dream team we never knew we needed….this uproarious tale is already a classic.” —Kirkus Reviews

“I wish you could have seen my daughter’s expression at the reveal—equal parts shock and horror and delight—at the end of PRETTY UGLY (ages 5-7). I’m talking the kind of reaction that could fuel you for another year of reading aloud [...] that’s picture book magic for ya.” —Melissa LaSalle, @thebookmommy

“As children we have all been warned if we keep making an ugly face, it might just stick that way.  Pretty Ugly explores this age old warning while teaching us that beauty comes from the inside and is often in the eye of the beholder.” —Manager, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

“For any reader who craves a celebration of individuality with a high yuck quotient.” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers will cackle over this one….displays the author’s wicked sense of humor. Falconer’s artwork perfectly channels the story with his simple yet masterful line drawings with a touch of color….for elementary school kids who like wicked humor.” —Youth Services Book Review

”Stresses that a person's true beauty is on the inside, not on the surface... with a gross-out ending that will make kids squeal as well as laugh. Kids raised on Goosebumps and Shrek will have no trouble enjoying a monster family that acts like a conventional human one -- except opposite in every way but being loving and supportive.” —Common Sense Media

“Disgustingly hilarious. Hilariously disgusting. You can never tell where David Sedaris is going and that's what makes his work so charming.” —Jessica Lordi, Dover Free Library, VT
Product Details
ISBN: 9781662665271
ISBN-10: 166266527X
Publisher: TOON Books
Publication Date: February 27th, 2024
Pages: 32
Language: English