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The Devil's Storybook (Sunburst Book) Paperback – December 1, 1984


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 970L (What's this?)
  • Series: Sunburst Book
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (December 1, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374417083
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374417086
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #531,366 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Ten comic stories about the machinations of the Devil to increase the population of his realm...The stories are delightful in their narrative fluency, full of surprises, and frequently spiced with dashes of Saki-like mischief. A suitably wicked but hilarious drawing accompanies each tale."--Starred / The Horn Book

"High on my list is The Devil's Storybook by Natalie Babbitt. This Devil is not dire; he is a scheming practical joker and comes to earth often when he is restless, to play tricks on clergymen, goodwives, poets, and pretty girls."--Jean Stafford, The New Yorker

"A masterful Devil's advocate, Natalie Babbitt presents ten brief testimonials to Satan's unflagging gusto for dirty tricks. Paunchy and well past his prime, this Prince of Darkness is no Superdemon."--Starred / School Library Journal

About the Author

A gifted artist and writer, Natalie Babbitt is the award-winning author of the modern classic Tuck Everlasting, The Eyes of the Amaryllis, Kneeknock Rise and many other brilliantly original books for young people. She began her career in 1966 as the illustrator of The Forty-ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband. When her husband became a college president and no longer had time to collaborate, Babbitt tried her hand at writing. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with profound meaning. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, and in 2002, Tuck Everlasting was adapted into a major motion picture. Natalie Babbitt lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a grandmother of three.

More About the Author

A gifted artist and writer, Natalie Babbitt's novels are inspired by a brilliance and imagination that is completely original. She began her career in 1966 with the publication of a picture book, The Forty-Ninth Magician, a collaboration with her husband, Samuel Fisher Babbitt. Her first novel, The Search for Delicious, established her gift for writing magical tales with a more profound meaning embedded within them. Kneeknock Rise earned her a Newbery Honor Medal, but it is Tuck Everlasting which has insured Babbitt's place in the history of children's literature. This modern classic, which has also been made recently into a major motion picture starring Alexis Bledel, William Hurt, and Sissy Spacek, asks an enduring and powerful question: If we could live forever, would we want to? Babbitt has written six more novels including The Eyes of the Amaryllis and Goody Hall-each one presenting her unique vision of an enchanted world. Her latest novel, Jack Plank Tells Tales, was published in Spring 2007. Natalie Babbitt lives in Providence, Rhode Island, and is a grandmother of three. When asked what she wants readers to remember about her books, she replied, 'the questions without answers.'

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Michele L. Worley on June 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
...because the Devil herein seems almost like an ordinary person, just with an itch to make trouble and boss minor demons around. Both this and its companion volume, THE DEVIL'S OTHER STORYBOOK, were illustrated by the author; the original cover art of each shows the Devil reading the book. (He's drawn in standard Mephistopheles style, goatee, horns, tail, cloven hooves - and whenever he's shown in disguise in an individual story's illustration, the tail is visible to the reader, curled up behind his back or whatnot.)

Both books open with a stanza or two from the poet Robert Southey, "From his brimstone bed, at break of day, a-walking the Devil is gone, to look at his little snug farm of the World, and see how his stock went on." Most (but not all) the stories follow that pattern - the Devil getting bored and going out for a stroll to stir things up. He doesn't buy souls at all - he just makes trouble on his occasional visits to the world and people make their own decisions about how to handle their problems.

Most of the stories (all very short) have a kind of moral, if you look at them carefully, but Babbitt has a light touch.

"Wishes" On a dull day, 'the Devil fished around in his bag of disguises, dressed himself as a fairy godmother, and came up into the World to find someone to bother.' But the first two people he encounters are a crabby old woman and an old man who's at peace with himself - and each foils the old boy (the old lady's comeback catches even the Devil off guard). But along comes contestant #3, a foolish young man.

"The Very Pretty Lady" had many suitors, but wanted to be loved for herself - or so she said, although truth be told she enjoyed her looks and the fawning young men very much.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
No matter what you call him- Devil, Scartch, Satan he certainly is interesting. Babbitt captures his contentiousness and his sense of not so fair play in these stories. Nuts is a nice turn around. Perfection- how perfect people end up with imperfect children are delights. I often tell Power of Speech- and how Walpurgis the goat reaped the consequences of talking. Most of all I love The Rose and the Minor Demon- a hauntingly beautiful story about how even devils can love something of beauty.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
"The Devil's Storybook" has been a member of my book collection for several years, and since I turn to it time and time again I must recommend it. This book has the truth of life and the amusing traits of the devil and his advocates combined. This book isn't very religous, and not too scary. Your child will be laughing in no time, with your own laughter combined. A great read-aloud or read-alone. Take my advice: Read it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By momdukes 04 on December 1, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cute stories about the devil and how he is aiding those who people who are causing mischief here on earth. It also speaks about choices, and how some people who are tempted by the devil are able to resist and stay on the high road.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Devil's Storybook is a collection of ten short stories told in the style of classic fairytales. Some made me smile, a few made me giggle, and others made me laugh. Although the title may seem unsettling to some, and while Hell is mentioned throughout, the stories were wholesome.

Each one contained a lesson, but rather than extolling the virtues of goodness, it revealed the follies of being vainglorious, idle, a dullard, indifferent, intolerant, and a few other ill traits through the Devil's chicanery. Only a few of the stories were particularly memorable--'The Very Pretty Lady', 'The Harps in Heaven', 'The Imp in the Basket', and 'Perfection'--but they were all a pleasure to read.

A black & white illustration by Babbitt accompanied each story and although they were well done, it may not be enough to sway reluctant readers who prefer picture books, but it's great for those transitioning.

Not only would this be entertaining reading for children (some of the jokes might be lost on younger children), but it could also be a useful tool for establishing a baseline moral code.
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