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Cautionary Tales for Children

by Hilaire Belloc

One of Hilaire Belloc's most famous works, "Cautionary Tales for Children" satirizes a genre of admonitory children's literature popular in England in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The seven stories contained in this work are macabre parodies of childhood lessons, and will entertain more sophisticated readers who can appreciate these tales of disproportionate punishment. Presented in a classic picture book style, illustrators have captured the foibles of children like Jim, who let go of his nurse's hand and was eaten by a lion; Matilda, who told lies, and was burned to death; and Henry King who swallowed string. The consequences range from naughty children being whimsically eaten by lions, to stern reprimands for a boy who fires a loaded gun at his sister. Originally written nearly a century ago, Belloc's sprightly verses are a quick and cathartic read for teenagers, and reflect a trend of literature that is still popular today.

CAUTIONARY VERSES

by Hilaire Belloc

The Chief Defect of Henry King Was chewing little bits of String. At last he swallowed some which tied Itself in ugly Knots inside . . . A much-loved classic for children and adults alike since its first publication in 1939, this collection of poems is a truly unforgettable book of moral instruction. Take heed from the lessons learnt by Matilda, Who told lies and was Burned to Death, Jim, Who ran away from his nurse wand was eaten by a Lion, and Rebecca, Who slammed doors for Fun and Perished Miserably. . .

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