The Beast of Monsieur Racine

The Beast of Monsieur Racine by Tomi Ungerer cover, a man and a mysterious creature

The Beast of Monsieur Racine

Written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer

New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971

9.75" x 12.5"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

Tomi Ungerer grew up during the 1940s along the war-torn French-German border and adopted an outsider's stance that prepared him well for a career in satirical illustration. In New York in the mid-1950s, he applied his talents to advertising, editorial illustration, and picture-book making. Together with Maurice Sendak, he soon emerged as one of the latter field's most provocative figures. Ungerer enjoyed hiding surprises in his illustrations: an octopus with seven tentacles, or a man with a hole in his skull. The goal was always to amuse children and shock grown-ups. This book, the story of two costumed youngsters who trick adults into believing they are a rare creature, prompted letters of complaint from parents. Ungerer's forays into erotic art further tarnished his reputation in the juvenile field and resulted in numerous bans by libraries.


Click on any image to enlarge

The Beast of Monsieur Racine by Tomi Ungerer interior page, a court of law that has fallen into chaos, children are running around and knocking over people
Emile by Tomi Ungerer cover, green octopus on a blue background

Emile

Written and illustrated by Tomi Ungerer

New York: Harper, 1960

Kerlan Collection, Children's LIterature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

Raising a Ruckus
The Beast of Monsieur Racine