The Book of Mean People (20th Anniversary Edition)


By Toni Morrison

By Slade Morrison

Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD


Hardcover (Special Edition)


Hardcover (Special Edition) $18.99 $23.99 CAD

A new edition for a new world of one of literary legend Toni Morrison’s first picture books with her son, Slade Morrison. With an afterword by the inimitable Jewell Parker Rhodes.

“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.


On Sale
Nov 8, 2022
Page Count
48 pages

Toni Morrison

About the Author

Toni Morrison (1931–2019) was a Nobel Prize–winning American author, editor, and professor. Her contributions to the modern canon are numerous. Some of her acclaimed titles include: The Bluest EyeSong of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature 1993.
Slade Morrison, a painter and musician, was born in Ohio and educated in New York. He studied fine art at the State University of New York at Purchase. Slade co-authored eight illustrated books for young people with his mother, Toni Morrison.

Pascal Lemaitre is a freelance author and illustrator based in Belgium. His illustrations for children and adult books can be found in the catalogs of many American, Belgian, and French publishers such as L'École des Loisirs/Pastel, L'Aube, Simon & Schuster, Scholastic, and Penguin Books.

Learn more about this author