The Worst Book Ever (Hardcover)

By Elise Gravel

Drawn and Quarterly, 9781770463639, 48pp.

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover, French (5/1/2019)

List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Elise Gravel wants to write a totally drab book; her characters want to let loose. Who’s gonna win?

Don’t take the title as a metaphor: it really is the worst book ever. The winner of the Governor General Literary Award and children’s book author and illustrator Elise Gravel takes readers on an unexpected journey through the world’s most boring book in The Worst Book Ever. The characters and omniscient readers alike quickly become annoyed by the author’s bland imagination and rebel against her tired tropes and stale choices, spouting sass in an attempt to get her attention and steer the narrative in a more interesting direction. After all, you don’t even have to buy the book, but the characters? They’re stuck in there for an eternity, and they’re going to do their best to make the most of it, or at least have a little fun when they can.

As the charming and bizarre true nature of the characters overpowers the dry attributes given to them by the author, this once blasé story quickly picks up speed, transforming into something much more unique than originally promised. With Gravel’s signature goofy characters behind the wheel, no silly twist or rude body function is off the table.

About the Author

Having completed her studies in graphic design, Elise Gravel found herself quickly swept up into the glamorous world of illustration. She is the author and illustrator of Jessie Elliot Is a Big Chicken. Her old design habits drive her to work a little text here and there into her drawings and she loves to handle the design of her assignments from start to finish. She is inspired by social causes and is turned on by projects which can handle a good dose of eccentricity. She lives in Montreal.

Praise For The Worst Book Ever

"Discerning readers of any age should find plenty to like about The Worst Book Ever, which is, in actuality, the very best kind of worst book —the kind that is actually secretly good."—School Library Journal

"A fourth-wall-breaking showcase of picture book “don’t”s... an intentionally dull fairy tale [introduced] with great skepticism."—Publishers Weekly

"It's not every book that can be trite, dull, sexist, gross, kissy, violent, nondiverse, and replete with misspellings. Of course Gravel does it all deliberately and to such comical effect that "I'm wondering if anyone is still reading this book!" from one of the motley blobs providing reactions to each successive literary malfeasance will definitely be a rhetorical question... A clever, ingenious author's "wurst" work yet."—Kirkus Reviews

"[The Worst Book Ever is] cute and funny, but it also helps readers to be more explicitly aware of the messages we’re presented with in other stories, which I think is a valuable lesson."—Geek Dad