Edwardo, The Horriblest Boy in the Whole Wide World
Publisher: Random House
Edwardo is an ordinary boy – sometimes rough, occasionally noisy and often untidy. But the adults around him are constantly critical, pointing and shouting, and calling him the cruellest, dirtiest, nastiest boy in the whole world. Edwardo soon takes on the role he has been given.
The turning point comes when kinder adults interpret Edwardo's actions in a positive light. Being given responsibility, and being thought well of, reveals that Edwardo is actually… the loveliest boy in the world.
The adult message is that how you are perceived affects how you ultimately behave. However, there is much humour for children in the exaggerated outcome of ‘lovely’ Edwardo's behaviour and in the suggestion of the folly of adults, which is reflected by the inventiveness of Burningham's characterisation and wonderful illustrations.