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The Pied Piper of Hamelin (Everyman's Library Children's Classics)

4.5 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0679428121
ISBN-10: 0679428127
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Browning's poem, a classic, is based on a legend from medieval times. It tells of a brightly-clad stranger who offers to rid the town of Hamelin of rats, for an agreed-upon sum of money. When he plays a haunting tune on his pipe, the rats follow him to their deaths in the river, but the mayor won't pay the piper. In revenge, the piper lures the children out of town into a cave, forever separated from their parents, though in a Utopian land of beauty. The poem's language is rich and lyrical, although spots are difficult for children to grasp, which is why many of the versions for children are adaptations. Here is a new, unabridged edition, dramatically illustrated in glowing colors (sometimes verging on gaudy). It's full of motion and expression, capturing the spirit of the poem and the details of the medieval town, as well as the Eden-like land where the children are taken.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 3 Up There is much to praise in this retelling of Browning's classic poem. The book is a small masterpiece of design, from the rat-interlaced vines on the endpapers to the fine quality of the paper. Verses are set off with calligraphy letters and delicate pen-and-ink designs which highlight the maroon of the cover. The detailed black-and-white illustrations evoke the despair and delight of the citizens of Hamelin more successfully than Kate Greenaway's classic illustrations, using touches of humor and action. Small has included a six-page introduction which provides some historical background for the legend and a brief rationale for his changes in the text (namely, that the poem is no longer understandable). The book jacket describes these as "slight" modifications; however in a number of places, including the first verse, changes are so major that Browning's words are completely lost. On a number of occasions words are altered when their meanings are understandable in the original text ("ever" is changed to "always" or "gowns lined with ermine" is changed to "fine gowns of ermine," for example). Small's retelling of the legend is clear; his verse is often sprightly and less cumbersome than Browning's. Those who prefer Browning's poem in the original should select the edition illustrated by Anatoly Ivanov (Lothrop, 1986). Because of the beautiful design of this book, librarians might offer it to young readers along with Ivanov's or Greenaway's versions so that they can do their own comparisons of the merits of illustrations and text. Barbara Chatton, College of Education, University of Wyoming, Laramie
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 2 - 4
  • Series: Everyman's Library Children's Classics
  • Hardcover: 104 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman's Library (November 2, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679428127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679428121
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.4 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #527,874 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
"Rats!
They fought the dogs, and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats,
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats."

Robert Browning (1812-1889) first published his poem "The Pied Piper of Hamelin, A Child's Story" in 1842, based on an old German legend which may or may not have had some basis in historical fact. Browning was a serious poet; even in a poem filled with playful rhymes written specifically for children, he did not "dumb down" his language, but expected his readers to do a little work in understanding some of his "big words."

Kate Greenaway (1846-1901) was one of the most famous and popular illustrators of children's literature in the latter part of the 19th Century. She had grown up loving Browning's poem, and shortly before his death she requested and received his permission to republish it accompanied by her own illustrations. This edition was initially published in 1888 under the imprint of George Routledge & Sons, which was at that same time in the process of splitting between Routledge and Frederick Warne. Starting in 1889 all subsequent editions carried the Warne imprint. The book continued to be popular, and Frederick Warne has issued reprints from time to time, well into the late 20th Century. This Warne edition is not in print at present, but used copies with various reprint dates are available from Amazon Marketplace sellers.
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6 Comments 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on July 6, 1998
Format: Hardcover
BUY THIS BOOK!! They hardly ever make them like this anymore! Just the type of book you remember from your childhood. Beautiful cover, layout, and illustrations. The poem is lyrical and mysterious, appropriate for all ages. A small jewel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
When you look at the preview of this book under the "Kindle" tab, all those great 19th century color illustrations are there, and they are goreous. It is at least half the reason I decided to get this editon rather than looking for it in a Robert Browning "Complete Works". I know, its free, so what's the big deal. The problem is that I see the Kindle, especially in color, is a great tool for delivering books to kids, and there are other similar classic kids books where all the great illustrations are there, intact. And, this is faulty marketing. It is promoting something you do not get. Again, I know, it's free. But I'm still disappointed, and you will be too, if you want the classic art work for children.
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Format: Hardcover
This book would be a wonderful treasure for the pictures alone. Kate Greenaway, noted children's illustrator, has created a magical world of beautiful children, innocent faces, and romantic, nostalgic costumes. The colors on these pages are breathtaking, and the details (although Greenaway is always faulted for not drawing hands and feet well) are superb. This story is not for very young children, as it contains some troublesome themes. For the older child, perhaps 7+, the story might provoke some interesting post-read family discussions about honesty, trust, and the actual state of the children at the end of the tale. This is even a beautiful book to give to adults, as the messages about human nature can be appreciated on a deeper level.
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By Hay_Wife on December 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love the original version done in verse as it was meant to be read by Robert Browning. The illustrations in this version done by Janet and Anne Grahame Johnstone are AMAZING!!! I recommend this book to anyone who wants the original message of the pied piper.Also would be a good find to anyone who collects childrens art. (:
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A powerful poem about promises made and promises broken and lasting consequences for a small medieval town in Germany. I enjoyed the vivid language evoking events of long ago, though
wish they had illustrations to match.
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book because it was mentioned in another book I read recently (The Mark Of The Angel). On page 24 of that book: "The Pied Piper" has been his favorite story ever since he was a boy. Well, I clearly felt I was missing out. I never read the story when I was a boy. I know I'd heard the title many times...so my curiosity got the best of me. Well...I've read it. It's a simple fifteen minute read...but worth re-reading another time. It's a very profound poetic story that should be read under a shady tree because it should be read slowly...realizing its uniqueness. I think I'll gift it to my nephew who will be turning 8 years old on November 2nd. If you're in the mood for a poetic story...you must check it out...even if at a library because I'm sure it will be there. It's a Childrens' Classic...C'mon...relive your childhood!
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Format: Hardcover
Great story that children in my class love. The verbs that Mercer Mayer uses are vivid and create clear pictures. I use it for teaching children how to write and the importance of using strong verbs. My students pour over this book during independent reading which tells me "they love it."
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