by John Burningham
Edwardo is a regular kid. He eats, goes to school, plays, and goes to bed. He sometimes makes too much noise or a mess. But when Edwardo is told that kicking cats is a cruel thing to do, he is admonished as the cruelest boy in the whole wide world. When he forgets to wash himself, he is chastised as the dirtiest boy in the whole wide world. Hearing these negative superlatives, Edwardo soon becomes the cruelest, the dirtiest, the noisiest, the messiest, etc., boy, living up (or down) to each person’s idea of him until he is the horriblest boy in the whole wide world. Then someone acknowledges something Edwardo does as being kind, which is the start of another—more positive—transformation in a funny picture book illuminating the sometimes powerful and edgy relationship between language, self-perception, and behavior. (Ages 5–8)
CCBC Choices 2008. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008. Used with permission.
Edwardo is an ordinary boy who does his best to live up to grown-ups' expectations. So when they rant at him for being the clumsiest, noisiest, nastiest, cruelest, messiest, and dirtiest boy in the whole wide world, he becomes all those things with a vengence, thus earning the title of the horriblest boy in the whole wide world. How Edwardo becomes the nicest boy in the whole wide world will be appreciated by ordinary little boys everywhere. John Burningham's amusing illustrations bring a lighthearted touch to the power of positive reinforcement.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.