“This is a book about mean people. Some mean people are big. Some little people are mean.”
In Toni Morrison’s second illustrated book collaboration with her son Slade, she offers a humorous and insightful look at how children experience meanness and anger in our world. The Morrisons recognized that the world and its language can be confusing to young people. To a child, meanness can have many shapes, sizes, and sounds. The wise young narrator shows that meanness can be a whisper or a shout, a smile or a frown as the list of mean people grows to include parents, siblings, and bullies of several varieties.
Today’s young readers certainly know about meanness and will feel satisfied by having their perspective championed in The Book of Mean People as well as heartened by the book’s message of embracing optimism, kindness, and joy despite any meanness they encounter. And adult readers will no doubt recognize some of these situations from their own life.
With whimsical yet sophisticated art by bestselling illustrator Pascal Lemaitre, The Book of Mean People is as relevant today as it was when it was originally published 20 years ago.
Features a new cover and back matter that includes an afterword by bestselling and critically acclaimed author Jewell Parker Rhodes.