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Cautionary Tales for Children

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For readers of any age, a witty and strikingly irreverent collection of moral guidance Most notable among prolific English satirist Hilaire Belloc's writings are the sharp and clever admonishments he composed for children. Collected here and illustrated to wonderful haunting effect by Edward Gorey, these short, funny pieces offer moral instruction for all types of mischief For readers of any age, a witty and strikingly irreverent collection of moral guidance Most notable among prolific English satirist Hilaire Belloc's writings are the sharp and clever admonishments he composed for children. Collected here and illustrated to wonderful haunting effect by Edward Gorey, these short, funny pieces offer moral instruction for all types of mischief makers—from a certain young Jim, "who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion," to the tale of Matilda, "who told lies and was burned to death”—and add up to a delightful read for any fan of Roald Dahl or Shel Silverstein. 


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For readers of any age, a witty and strikingly irreverent collection of moral guidance Most notable among prolific English satirist Hilaire Belloc's writings are the sharp and clever admonishments he composed for children. Collected here and illustrated to wonderful haunting effect by Edward Gorey, these short, funny pieces offer moral instruction for all types of mischief For readers of any age, a witty and strikingly irreverent collection of moral guidance Most notable among prolific English satirist Hilaire Belloc's writings are the sharp and clever admonishments he composed for children. Collected here and illustrated to wonderful haunting effect by Edward Gorey, these short, funny pieces offer moral instruction for all types of mischief makers—from a certain young Jim, "who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion," to the tale of Matilda, "who told lies and was burned to death”—and add up to a delightful read for any fan of Roald Dahl or Shel Silverstein. 

30 review for Cautionary Tales for Children

  1. 4 out of 5

    Cecily

    Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. Snuggled in a cuddly, loving lap. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. Pictures for full multi-sensory immersion. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. Two voices: sometimes taking turns, sometimes in unison. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. This is the stuff of formative childhood memories. My father regularly read these poems to me with melodramatic intonation when I was a child. He read (and sung) other things, but these were always the favourites. To this day, I know many of them by heart and I Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. Snuggled in a cuddly, loving lap. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. Pictures for full multi-sensory immersion. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. Two voices: sometimes taking turns, sometimes in unison. Rhyme, rhythm, repetition. This is the stuff of formative childhood memories. My father regularly read these poems to me with melodramatic intonation when I was a child. He read (and sung) other things, but these were always the favourites. To this day, I know many of them by heart and I can only hear or read them with his delicious intonation. Cautionary Perhaps I have Belloc to thank for the fact I haven’t (yet) died as a result of chewing bits of string, slamming doors, telling dreadful lies, playing with a loaded gun, or running away from my nurse/nanny into the jaws of a hungry lion. Not that I was ever scared by these tales, perhaps in part because each one opens with a spoiler, and thereafter, I knew them anyway. Nor have I suffered deleterious consequences of making faces, throwing stones, or being unable to read. Matilda Matilda told such Dreadful Lies, It made one Gasp and Stretch one’s Eyes; … For once, towards the Close of Day, Matilda, growing tired of play, And finding she was left to alone, Went tiptoe to the telephone And summoned the Immediate Aid Of London’s Nobel Fire-Brigade. ... [Another evening] That Night a Fire did break out- You should have heard Matilda Shout! You should have heard her Scream and Bawl, ... For every time She shouted "Fire!" They only answered "Little Liar!" And therefore when her Aunt returned, Matilda, and the House, were burned. For a slightly more adult slant on this idea, in prose, see Saki's brilliant short story The Open Window, which I reviewed HERE. Variety The cautions are a quirky mix of bizarre, gory, hyperbolic, and (just occasionally) sensible. A few good children do well (obedience leading to inheritance, for example), but they’re less fun. This volume also includes a Moral Alphabet and shorter poems about peers (aristocrats) and beasts, but for us, it was and is about the Cautionary Tales. Inevitably there are a few duffers, but the best are sublime. Then again, it’s impossible for me to rate these objectively (but I don’t care). Join in These are written for performance. Even if you’re alone, read them aloud. The Frog Be kind and tender to the Frog, And do not call him names, As ‘Slimy skin,’ or ‘Polly-wog,’ Or likewise ‘Ugly James,’ Or ‘Gape-a-grin,’ or ‘Toad-gone-wrong,’ Or ‘Billy Bandy-knees’: The Frog is justly sensitive To epithets like these. No animal will more repay A treatment kind and fair; At least so lonely people say Who keep a frog (and, by the way, They are extremely rare). They’re so familiar to me, that it’s easy to give partial quotes and expect others to pick up with instant familiarity. Of course, few do. (It’s similar with Monty Python, Not the Nine O’Clock News, Flanders and Swann, and Yes Minister, amongst others.) Age Many of these poems do not sit easily with modern sensibilities, especially the colonial, class, and gender assumptions. The first were published in 1907 as parodies of earlier fare. Even the concept of moralistic tales is perhaps too preachy nowadays. But that’s their charm. Lord Finchley Lord Finchley tried to mend the Electric Light Himself. It struck him dead: And serve him right! It is the business of the wealthy man To give employment to the artisan. There’s also a dash of knowingness: a cautionary tale (Rebecca, Who Slammed Doors For Fun And Perished Miserably) that includes children being summoned to hear the story just told, and another (R, in the Moral Alphabet) about a reviewer of this very book. Illustrations The editions with Edward Gorey illustrations look excellent for anyone wanting a first taste, but they’re not for me. When I strive for objectivity, I grudgingly acknowledge that they’re more aesthetically appealling and skillful. But it’s Lord Ian Basil Gawaine Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood’s (yes, really) line drawings that are indelibly imprinted in my mind, accompanied by my father’s voice. The Porcupine What! Would you slap the Porcupine? Unhappy child—desist! Alas! That any friend of mine Should turn Tupto-philist.* * From the "tupto"=I strike; "philo"=I love; one that loves to strike; The word is not found in classical Greek, nor does it occur among the writers of the Renaissance—nor anywhere else. See also You can read nearly a dozen of the cautionary tales, with BTB’s illustrations, HERE. The other comic poems/songs that were the bedrock of my childhood and then my own child’s, are in the Flanders and Swann Songbook (my review HERE). For a modern and darker twist on these, see Tim Burton's Melancholy Death of the Oyster Boy (my review HERE).

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Thanks to Cecily for pointing me to this book! It was available online at Gutenberg, and I wasted no time in reading it. It is sarcastic, creepy and hilarious in a very English way. About Jim, who ran away from his nurse: With open Jaws, a Lion sprang, And hungrily began to eat The Boy: beginning at his feet. Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes and then your heels, And then by gradual degrees, Your shins and ankles, calves and knees, Are slowly eaten, bit by bit. No wonder Jim detested it! M Thanks to Cecily for pointing me to this book! It was available online at Gutenberg, and I wasted no time in reading it. It is sarcastic, creepy and hilarious in a very English way. About Jim, who ran away from his nurse: With open Jaws, a Lion sprang, And hungrily began to eat The Boy: beginning at his feet. Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes and then your heels, And then by gradual degrees, Your shins and ankles, calves and knees, Are slowly eaten, bit by bit. No wonder Jim detested it! Matilda, the liar: That Night a Fire did break out— You should have heard Matilda Shout! You should have heard her Scream and Bawl, And throw the window up and call To People passing in the Street— (The rapidly increasing Heat Encouraging her to obtain Their confidence)—but all in vain! For every time She shouted “Fire!” They only answered “Little Liar!” And therefore when her Aunt returned, Matilda, and the House, were Burned. But Lord Lundy, who never learned to keep a stiff upper lip as befitted a gentleman, is easily my favourite. It happened to Lord Lundy then, As happens to so many men: Towards the age of twenty-six, They shoved him into politics; In which profession he commanded The income that his rank demanded In turn as Secretary for India, the Colonies, and War. But very soon his friends began To doubt if he were quite the man: Thus, if a member rose to say (As members do from day to day), “Arising out of that reply ...!” Lord Lundy would begin to cry. A Hint at harmless little jobs Would shake him with convulsive sobs. While as for Revelations, these Would simply bring him to his knees, And leave him whimpering like a child. It drove his Colleagues raving wild! They let him sink from Post to Post, From fifteen hundred at the most To eight, and barely six—and then To be Curator of Big Ben!... And finally there came a Threat To oust him from the Cabinet! The Duke—his aged grand-sire—bore The shame till he could bear no more. He rallied his declining powers, Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers, And bitterly addressed him thus— “Sir! you have disappointed us! We had intended you to be The next Prime Minister but three: The stocks were sold; the Press was squared: The Middle Class was quite prepared. But as it is!... My language fails! Go out and govern New South Wales!” The Aged Patriot groaned and died: And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried! A note: This edition contains illustrations by Basil T. Blackwell. I need to still find the one with illustrations by Edward Gorey.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darwin8u

    One wonders who, with options wide would name their screaming, new born baby Clyde? Or Even Hilaire -- a name so florid, French, and rude, Seems pre-destined to start a feud. Or Inspire a Belle Edward of francs and also quids, to scribble moral poems to reckless, dirty kids. But Scribble poems Hilaire he did, and books and also letters, This funny man Belloc would often best his betters. One wonders who, with options wide would name their screaming, new born baby Clyde? Or Even Hilaire -- a name so florid, French, and rude, Seems pre-destined to start a feud. Or Inspire a Belle Edward of francs and also quids, to scribble moral poems to reckless, dirty kids. But Scribble poems Hilaire he did, and books and also letters, This funny man Belloc would often best his betters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Majenta

    Beware of the spacing that jarringly breaks up some limericks! But I'm glad I've read Hilaire Belloc.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    If only more parents read this to their little hooligans they might learn to be bad in more original ways.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca McNutt

    This hilarious albeit dark book is both imaginative and witty, and an excellent one for parents as well as children that they can both enjoy.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    I know many of these well enough to recite them. Some of my favourite quotes: [Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion:] "Now just imagine how it feels when first your toes and then your heels and then by gradual degrees your insteps, ankles, calves and knees are slowly eaten, bit by bit! No wonder Jim detested it! No wonder that he shouted Hi! The honest keeper heard his cry Though very stout, he almost ran to help the little gentleman!" [Henry King:] "Physicians of the utmost fame Were sum I know many of these well enough to recite them. Some of my favourite quotes: [Jim, who ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion:] "Now just imagine how it feels when first your toes and then your heels and then by gradual degrees your insteps, ankles, calves and knees are slowly eaten, bit by bit! No wonder Jim detested it! No wonder that he shouted Hi! The honest keeper heard his cry Though very stout, he almost ran to help the little gentleman!" [Henry King:] "Physicians of the utmost fame Were summoned swiftly but they came and answered as they took their fees There is no cure for this disease Henry will very soon be dead His parents stood beside his bed lamenting his untimely death..." [Charles Augustus Fortescue:] "And as for finding mutton fat unappetising, far from that He often of his own acccord Would stand beside his father's board and beg for, if he would not mind the greasiest morsels he could find"

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette (Again)

    Crikey! No wonder British children were so well-behaved a hundred years ago. They were scared out of their wits by gruesome accounts of what might happen to youngsters who stepped out of line. Assuming, that is, that the book was actually used for the purpose of cautioning children. At the beginning of the book it says "Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years." So it seems the author's intent was clear. For adult readers, it's more of a shabby cousin t Crikey! No wonder British children were so well-behaved a hundred years ago. They were scared out of their wits by gruesome accounts of what might happen to youngsters who stepped out of line. Assuming, that is, that the book was actually used for the purpose of cautioning children. At the beginning of the book it says "Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years." So it seems the author's intent was clear. For adult readers, it's more of a shabby cousin to some of Shel Silverstein's genius--like a Victorian era version of Sarah Sylvia Cynthia Stout Would Not Take the Garbage Out. There's Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse and was eaten by a Lion. And Matilda, Who told Lies and was Burned to Death. And Rebecca, Who slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably. And quite a few others, including one child who suffers for chewing bits of string. Was that a common form of misbehavior in 1907? Finally we come to Charles Augustus Fortescue Who always Did what was Right, and so accumulated an Immense Fortune. He's the one held up as a shining example of the rewards of being virtuous. He seems like one of those pretentious, self-righteous little turds that everyone, including the adults, secretly hates. This is a fun-ish quick read made available thanks to Project Gutenberg.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    CAUTIONARY TALES FOR CHILDREN, written by Hialaire Belloc, and illustrated by Edward Gorey. (Naturally, it was the Edward Gorey part that had me purchasing this in the first place.) The stories/punishments for children were amusing--the deadly ones, better ;), but the illustrations by Gorey are what really makes the book a collectible! 3* for text, 5* for illustrations.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    And so I stumble through another book of classic children's verse. I do try and educate myself although it is not my express reason for reading it does help fill in the gaps as it were. And I have to say its jolly good fun along the way (I am sure the content and style of this book is rubbing off on me - which I suspect is not a bad thing depending on who you speak to). I make no secret that poetry and verse confound me - not through choice I say rather I am just not wired that way. So books like And so I stumble through another book of classic children's verse. I do try and educate myself although it is not my express reason for reading it does help fill in the gaps as it were. And I have to say its jolly good fun along the way (I am sure the content and style of this book is rubbing off on me - which I suspect is not a bad thing depending on who you speak to). I make no secret that poetry and verse confound me - not through choice I say rather I am just not wired that way. So books like this are of huge help to me as they demonstrate that all is not lost. There are many tales here I recognise either directly or as re-interpreted tales told by others - either way there is a reason why this is the Children's Classics Library and each page turned seems to reveal a new wonder.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kaethe Douglas

    Belloc's Tales were originally published in 1907. They're amusing. They are a perfect text for Gorey: a little Old Possum's, a little Gashlycrumb. They are so perfect a text for Gorey's art that I couldn't believe the edition was first published in 2002. I spent longer looking up Belloc and the various editions than I did reading the short book. This just seems so very much like something Gorey would have done in the 50s. Come to that, he may have done. The Estate released the illustrations for Belloc's Tales were originally published in 1907. They're amusing. They are a perfect text for Gorey: a little Old Possum's, a little Gashlycrumb. They are so perfect a text for Gorey's art that I couldn't believe the edition was first published in 2002. I spent longer looking up Belloc and the various editions than I did reading the short book. This just seems so very much like something Gorey would have done in the 50s. Come to that, he may have done. The Estate released the illustrations for publication without specifying (as far as I can tell) when it was he actually drew them. Maybe they had been lying about for 50 years. Perhaps he drew them even earlier. Isn't it pretty to think so? Library copy

  12. 4 out of 5

    C-shaw

    After reading the review of my GR friend Orinoco Womble, I downloaded this little freebie and read it today. There were no illustrations in my copy and the little verses but amusing, but pretty gruesome and certainly not suitable for children!

  13. 4 out of 5

    BAM The Bibliomaniac

    Dated but cute Evil side of me would love to give these to kids ad scare the living bejesus out of them for doing the actions mentions I know that’s not what a nice auntie would do

  14. 4 out of 5

    Suzannah

    I read this before breakfast and laughed my head off.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)

    Ostensibly a children's book, but obviously for adults. It's the kind of thing that would be published in the popular magazines of the day such as Punch or the Spectator. Thanks to Project Gutenberg for this trip down memory lane. Many years ago when I was a kid, there were a lot of programmes on PBS to encourage kids (and others) to read. I remembered the poem about the boy who slips away from Nanny at the zoo and gets eaten by a lion. I even remembered the illustration; but remember the author Ostensibly a children's book, but obviously for adults. It's the kind of thing that would be published in the popular magazines of the day such as Punch or the Spectator. Thanks to Project Gutenberg for this trip down memory lane. Many years ago when I was a kid, there were a lot of programmes on PBS to encourage kids (and others) to read. I remembered the poem about the boy who slips away from Nanny at the zoo and gets eaten by a lion. I even remembered the illustration; but remember the author I could not, and over the past decades I came to the conclusion I might have dreamed the whole thing. Reading the whole short book took about 15 min, and I also made the acquaintance of "Matilda" who "told such dreadful lies it made one gasp and stretch one's eyes"--a character referenced in a 1970s Masterpiece Theatre play called "Esther Tells Such Dreadful Lies"--when the liar was in reality her elder brother, who told her a lot of codswallop and then laughed when she got in trouble for spreading it. Ah yes...the joy of heartless siblings.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chrystal

    You know these poems will be amusing just by reading the titles: 1) JIM, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion 2) HENRY KING, who chewed bits of string, and was early cut off in dreadful agonies 3) MATILDA, who told lies, and was burned to death 4) FRANKLIN HYDE, who caroused in the dirt and was corrected by his uncle 5) GODOLPHIN HORNE, who was cursed with the sin of pride, and became a boot-black 6) ALGERNON, who played with a loaded gun, and, on missing his sister was reprimanded by You know these poems will be amusing just by reading the titles: 1) JIM, who ran away from his nurse, and was eaten by a lion 2) HENRY KING, who chewed bits of string, and was early cut off in dreadful agonies 3) MATILDA, who told lies, and was burned to death 4) FRANKLIN HYDE, who caroused in the dirt and was corrected by his uncle 5) GODOLPHIN HORNE, who was cursed with the sin of pride, and became a boot-black 6) ALGERNON, who played with a loaded gun, and, on missing his sister was reprimanded by his father 7) HILDEBRAND, who was frightened by a passing motor, and was brought to reason 8) LORD LUNDY, who was too freely moved to tears, and thereby ruined his political career 9) REBECCA, who slammed doors for fun and perished miserably 10) GEORGE, who played with a dangerous toy, and suffered a catastrophe of considerable dimensions 11) CHARLES AUGUSTUS FORTESCUE, who always did what was right, and so accumulated an immense fortune

  17. 5 out of 5

    Izzy

    This book lives at my grandparents house. I remember always asking my Grandpa to read it to me whenever I stayed over night. The tales were fun and for a child my age (5-7?), they were believable and frightening in a silly/fun way. I know my grandpa enjoyed reading these to me as much as I enjoyed listening to them, this will always be a childhood book I will remember, with fond memories of staying round my grandparents at such a young age. It’s one of those memories where you remember what thin This book lives at my grandparents house. I remember always asking my Grandpa to read it to me whenever I stayed over night. The tales were fun and for a child my age (5-7?), they were believable and frightening in a silly/fun way. I know my grandpa enjoyed reading these to me as much as I enjoyed listening to them, this will always be a childhood book I will remember, with fond memories of staying round my grandparents at such a young age. It’s one of those memories where you remember what things looked like and seemed like as a child. I remember the house seeming very different and much bigger as a child, all the rooms seemed different. Things change as well as our perspectives as we grow older...but it’s fun to remember how we viewed things and places as a young child. A very nostalgic book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sylvester

    5* art 4* poems I had to watch Squirt's face while I read this one to him. Would he be upset by the idea of a lion eating a child? Apparently not. What about a child burning to death in a house fire? No reaction. Well, he was doing somersaults on the bed in between looking at the pictures, if that can be considered a reaction. Then there was the one about a boy who was playing with a loaded gun and aimed it at his sister (and missed)...yeah. That one got a response. "If you see a gun or a match, M 5* art 4* poems I had to watch Squirt's face while I read this one to him. Would he be upset by the idea of a lion eating a child? Apparently not. What about a child burning to death in a house fire? No reaction. Well, he was doing somersaults on the bed in between looking at the pictures, if that can be considered a reaction. Then there was the one about a boy who was playing with a loaded gun and aimed it at his sister (and missed)...yeah. That one got a response. "If you see a gun or a match, Mom, leave it alone. Don't touch it. Put it in the garbage." Well. I'm not sure what to think. I'm probably a Very Bad Parent for reading this to Squirt. It's interesting, back in the day when this was written, a book with the title "Everybody Poops" would've been scandalous.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    I love this book, but only gave it 4 stars because it was entirely too short. It took 5 minutes to read! With that said, the poems in here were illustrated by Edward Gorey, and are highly Goreylike aside from that. I almost suspect he wrote these under a pen name despite the fact that Belloc is a well-known author and even Gorey wouldn't dare. It would be like making your own movie and calling yourself Alfred Hitchcock. But I digress. This is a great volume of poetry for those who value reading I love this book, but only gave it 4 stars because it was entirely too short. It took 5 minutes to read! With that said, the poems in here were illustrated by Edward Gorey, and are highly Goreylike aside from that. I almost suspect he wrote these under a pen name despite the fact that Belloc is a well-known author and even Gorey wouldn't dare. It would be like making your own movie and calling yourself Alfred Hitchcock. But I digress. This is a great volume of poetry for those who value reading material like Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes and More Ruthless Rhymes.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Knowlton Murphy

    I read these poems to my boys during dinner tonight. Almost didn't....but then my eldest was pretending to chop my feet off and I figured he was ready. Not exactly a treasure trove for good parenting or spiritual truths...but usually pretty entertaining! Recently, I created a Lego persona for my boys named Blockman...who always has dibiously planned adventures that end in tragic death (like skydiving without a parachute, or diving into am empty pool), so they were probably primed by that, too.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Anna Elizabeth

    What a delightful book! I have to admit, "Matilda," the first poem of Belloc's I ever read, is still my personal favourite, but the rest of this collection did not fail. I love all the illustrations as well. I can't wait to teach this in my classroom.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sadia Mansoor

    Tales about naughty kids & their tragic ends, to make them & other children learn a lesson. My favorite one was of Matilda's. This is the book >> https://www.gutenberg.org/files/27424... Tales about naughty kids & their tragic ends, to make them & other children learn a lesson. My favorite one was of Matilda's. This is the book >> https://www.gutenberg.org/files/27424...

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephen McQuiggan

    Delightfully dark and twisted - like all good books for kids should be.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sunny

    Brilliant little book probably published donkeys years ago about rhyming short snippets / tales for children to heed in life. One of my favourite which I read out to my kids was about a little kid called Jim who ran away from his nurse (carers in today speak) and got eatened by a lion  There was a boy whose name was Jim His friends were very good to him They gave him tea and cakes and jam And slices of delicious ham And chocolate with pink inside And little tricycles to ride They read him stories Brilliant little book probably published donkeys years ago about rhyming short snippets / tales for children to heed in life. One of my favourite which I read out to my kids was about a little kid called Jim who ran away from his nurse (carers in today speak) and got eatened by a lion  There was a boy whose name was Jim His friends were very good to him They gave him tea and cakes and jam And slices of delicious ham And chocolate with pink inside And little tricycles to ride They read him stories through and through And even took him to the zoo But there it was the awful fate Befell him, which I now relate You know (at least you ought to know For I have often told you so) That children never are allowed To leave their nurses in a crowd Now this was Jim's especial foible He ran away when he was able And on this inauspicious day He slipped his hand and ran away He hadn't gone a yard when BANG With open jaws a lion sprang And hungrily began to eat The boy, beginning at his feet Now just imagine how it feels When first your toes and then your heels And then by varying degrees Your shins and ankles, calves and knees Are slowly eaten bit by bit No wonder Jim detested it No wonder that he shouted "Ai" The honest keeper heard his cry Though very fat, he almost ran To help the little gentleman "Ponto," he ordered as he came For Ponto was the lion's name "Ponto," he said with angry frown "Down sir, let go, put it down!" The lion made a sudden stop He let the dainty morsel drop And slunk reluctant to his cage Snarling with disappointed rage But when he bent him over, Jim The honest keeper's eyes grew dim The lion having reached his head The miserable boy was dead When nurse informed his parents they Were more concerned than I can say His mother as she dried her eyes Said "It gives me no surprise He would not do as he was told." His father who was self-controlled Bade all the children round attend To James's miserable end. And always keep ahold of nurse For fear of finding something worse. Some of the other good verseses in this short book (which I shamelessly read so as to be able to hit my 100 book a year challenge) were: • Henry king – who would eat in between meals • Matilda – who lied all the time. • Charles August Fortescue – who always did what was right Cute little book worth a short half hour read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Like his Bad Child's Book of Beasts, this short collection will make you laugh out loud while reading it. Here, for instance, is the story of one Henry King:Henry King, Who chewed bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies. The Chief Defect of Henry King Was chewing little bits of String. At last he swallowed some which tied Itself in ugly Knots inside. Physicians of the Utmost Fame Were called at once; but when they came They answered, as they took their Fees, “There is no Cure for this Dis Like his Bad Child's Book of Beasts, this short collection will make you laugh out loud while reading it. Here, for instance, is the story of one Henry King:Henry King, Who chewed bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies. The Chief Defect of Henry King Was chewing little bits of String. At last he swallowed some which tied Itself in ugly Knots inside. Physicians of the Utmost Fame Were called at once; but when they came They answered, as they took their Fees, “There is no Cure for this Disease. Henry will very soon be dead.” His Parents stood about his Bed Lamenting his Untimely Death, When Henry, with his Latest Breath, Cried— “Oh, my Friends, be warned by me, That Breakfast, Dinner, Lunch and Tea Are all the Human Frame requires ...” With that the Wretched Child expires. The accompanying illustrations are excellent. All in all, a delightful appetizer!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ellinor

    The English version of Struwwelpeter. I definitely prefer the German version. In the English version the only story I really liked was the one about lying. The English version of Struwwelpeter. I definitely prefer the German version. In the English version the only story I really liked was the one about lying.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kwoomac

    Edward Gorey fastidiously illustrates these cautionary tales. One would be tempted to read one of these scary tales to a particularly bratty kid to cure him. Might work.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    You can find the complete book, with illustrations, online at Google Books or Project Gutenburg. As its title says, this book is full of gory poems celebrating the gruesome punishments (deaths! in some cases) of children who are just not well-behaved. I'm not sure if this is for young children--I'm not going to read it to my kids, at least not yet--but those 8 and up will probably find this book hilarious (if they can understand the language and references). The black and white illustrations are You can find the complete book, with illustrations, online at Google Books or Project Gutenburg. As its title says, this book is full of gory poems celebrating the gruesome punishments (deaths! in some cases) of children who are just not well-behaved. I'm not sure if this is for young children--I'm not going to read it to my kids, at least not yet--but those 8 and up will probably find this book hilarious (if they can understand the language and references). The black and white illustrations are fabulous and help reinforce the unrealistic outcomes in the poems. Super funny little book; I read through it in about 15 minutes, and when I wasn't shocked by the content of the poems I was laughing! It's worth flipping through just for the titles: Jim--Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion. Henry King--Who ate bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies. Rebecca--Who slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably. My favorite poem in the collection is "Matilda--Who Told Lies, and was Burned to Death." It sounds really awful, and I guess it is if you look at it in a strictly literal sense, but it was just so absurd. You really have to read it to appreciate it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    This volume has only 7 of the 12 cautionary tales that Hilaire Belloc wrote - which I discovered after reading reviews here, realizing I hadn't read all 12, and doing some Googling. The first 3 in this volume were my favorite of the 7: Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion; Henry King, Who chewed bites of String, and was cut off in Dreadful Agonies; and Matilda, Who told lies, and was Burned to Death. That sounds sort of awful, doesn't it? The illustration by Edward Gorey are a This volume has only 7 of the 12 cautionary tales that Hilaire Belloc wrote - which I discovered after reading reviews here, realizing I hadn't read all 12, and doing some Googling. The first 3 in this volume were my favorite of the 7: Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion; Henry King, Who chewed bites of String, and was cut off in Dreadful Agonies; and Matilda, Who told lies, and was Burned to Death. That sounds sort of awful, doesn't it? The illustration by Edward Gorey are a significant enhancement to the poems. They first appear deceptively simple, but if you look at the detail work it's rather impressive. I liked the basic, no-color drawings and the way each page's picture was boxed, with bits coming over the edges. I wish Edward Gorey had created illustrations for all 12 poems. (I presume he did not, since I can't find evidence of anymore than the ones in this printing.)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    This caught my eye when I saw "Illustrated by Edward Gorey" on the cover. It's a delightful book for children of all ages, and Gorey's drawings are, as always, magnificent and sublime. I LOVE his art and have ever since my dad introduced me to him at a very young age by way of the Treehorn books, which continue to be some of my favorite books ever. The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish Poetry: 4 stars Illustrations: 5+ stars Highly recommended!! This caught my eye when I saw "Illustrated by Edward Gorey" on the cover. It's a delightful book for children of all ages, and Gorey's drawings are, as always, magnificent and sublime. I LOVE his art and have ever since my dad introduced me to him at a very young age by way of the Treehorn books, which continue to be some of my favorite books ever. The Treehorn Trilogy: The Shrinking of Treehorn, Treehorn's Treasure, and Treehorn's Wish Poetry: 4 stars Illustrations: 5+ stars Highly recommended!!

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