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Children's Fiction Monsters

Taming Horrible Harry

by (author) Lili Chartrand

illustrated by Rogé

translated by Susan Ouriou

Initial publish date
Apr 2006
Monsters, Books & Libraries, Paranormal
Recommended Age
4 to 8
Recommended Grade
p to 3
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2006
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


This is a charming story about one really bad monster who learns to change his ways. Written originally in French, and illustrated with delightfully ghoulish paintings by the Québecois artist known simply as Rogé, Taming Horrible Harry is a wonderful tale about the power of stories.

At the gates of a beautiful forest, Harry the monster lies in wait. One day, as monsters are wont to do, he frightens a little girl, who runs away leaving behind a peculiar object. Harry picks it up, turns it over, bites it … spits it out, and throws it down in a fury! He wonders what kind of a thing he has found. As it turns out, the object is a book … and one way or another, Harry learns to read it, and his life is changed forever.

This delightful story will enchant both young readers and their parents, teachers, and librarians, as they discover together, the magic of reading.

About the authors

Lili Chartrand is a published author of children's books. A published credit of Lili Chartrand is Taming Horrible Harry.

Lili Chartrand's profile page

As a child, Rog� (Roger Girard) knew that he wanted to be an artist. After earning a degree in graphic design at Universit� Laval, he worked in advertising for five years before working in international cooperation in the Dominican Republic. While there, he created large murals in a local village. He returned to Montreal, changed by this experience, and decided to devote himself to illustration. Since then, his creations have illustrated ad campaigns, posters and magazines, but it is the world of children's literature and its lack of constraints that has given him the freedom to create, and develop his own style. He was a GG finalist in 2002. Rog� lives in Montreal.

Rogé's profile page

Susan Ouriou is an award-winning literary translator who has translated the fiction of Quebec, Latin-American, French and Spanish authors. She won Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Translation in 2009 for Pieces of Me by Charlotte Gingras, after first being shortlisted for The Road to Chlifa by Michèle Marineau and then for Necessary Betrayals by Guillaume Vigneault. The Road to Chlifa was also awarded an honour list placing by IBBY (International Board of Books for Youth) as were Naomi and Mrs. Lumbago by Gilles Tibo, This Side of the Sky by Marie-Francine Hébert and Pieces of Me. Necessary Betrayals was also voted one of the 100 best books of 2002 by the Globe and Mail. Another translation, The Thirteenth Summer by José Luis Olaizola, was runner-up for the John Glassco Translation Prize. She has worked as the director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre and as faculty for the Banff Centre's Aboriginal Emerging Writers residency. She is the editor of the 2010 anthology Beyond Words – Translating the World.

Susan Ouriou's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Taming Horrible Harry:
“The talent and imagination the pair [Lili Chartrand and Roge] let loose are about as magical as magic gets.”
Time Out New York

“Roge’s splashy artwork includes plenty of grinning monsters with varying numbers of eyes and heads, plates and jars full of monster eyeballs, and enough monster details to beguile the picture-book crowd.”
Publisher’s Weekly

“The art is the strong point in this story that promotes literacy…. The pictures have that ghastly but humorous quality so enjoyed by children…. Sharp teeth, eyeballs, and two-headed creatures abound. Children will find Harry a delight.”
School Library Journal

“For any parent keen to make a lifelong reader of their child... a delightful story…. Children... will be captivated by the sight of the many-eyed monsters...”
The National Post

Librarian Reviews

Taming Horrible Harry

Horrible Harry is a mean monster from the great forest who scares humans with his terrible roar. One day, he is ignored by a little girl reading a book. Confused and furious, he screams again and scares the girl who leaves her book in the forest. Dolores del Dragon finds Harry enjoying the book, and agrees to teach Harry to read. “From then on, Harry did nothing but read.” Since he was busy reading, he no longer scared people, but instead of becoming a monster outcast, the other monsters ask Harry to read to them! And so, the forest becomes a very different place, with monsters no longer scaring people but dreaming about princesses and knights.

The graphic elements are absolutely breathtaking! The font does not detract from the wacky yet wonderfully vibrant illustrations. Horrible Harry’s bright red body, blue tongue, and yellow plaid pants are truly horrible! In addition, the illustrations have a lot of information which is not in the text itself: Harry’s big teeth and scary cave, Dolores del Dragon’s tiny reading glasses, and the scary eyes of the other monsters.

Providing excellent links to literacy for young readers, this book explores the power of the printed word while still telling an interesting story of discovery, scary monsters, and deep dark forests. Even the scariest monster can become a lifelong reader!

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Summer 2006. Vol.29 No. 3.

Taming Horrible Harry

Horrible Harry’s job is to scare humans. One day he finds a book, sets out to learn to read it, and his life is forever changed. A charming story with delightfully ghoulish paintings.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Canadian Children’s Book News. 2007.

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