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Showing 1-10 of 47 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 56 reviews
on November 1, 2002
Edward Gorey's first major posthumous publication is like a newly forged work, with freshness and originality. Published several times since 1907, Harcourt's reprint of "Cautionary Tales for Children" contains sixty-one new illustrations enfolding the 95-year old verse, and the result is very satisfying.
Gorey created these illustrations several years ago, but for some reason, chose not publish them while he was alive. Gorey's Victorian style is a delightful fit for Belloc's verse. In fact, those already familiar with Belloc's Cautionary Tales or Cautionary Verses series may very well conclude that they were strong influences for Gorey's "The Beastly Baby", "The Gashlycrumb Tines", "The Epipleptic Bicycle" and others. Certainly, many of the verses in Cautionary Tales feel like they could have been written by Gorey: "Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion", "Henry King, Who chewed on bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies", "Matilda, Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death", and so on. Unlike the original cartoonish illustrations by Blackwood, Gorey's illustrations simply set the stage - the big moment is then played out in the imagination. It is Edward Gorey's delightful magic, at work.
Glen Emil...
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on April 22, 2011
I was expecting a nice simple edition that included Edward Goreys illustrations as the review of the book stated. Why they would include a review for the hardcover edition with this soft cover version is beyond me, as they are COMPETELY different in quality. this edition looks like someone printed it out (poorly) from an 80s style printer and slapped a cheap plastic cover from walmart on it. it looks NOTHING like the "look inside" example at the top of the page. the justification in the print is screwed up, where once there were pictures is now a label "(illustration)" showing where the picture used to be, and the print itself is incredibly light. it really looks like someone just printed out a poorly edited kindle version. I cant believe they are selling this for 10 bucks when you can get the hardcover for $10.88 right now. it is such poor quality i am actually stunned its being offered on amazon; i think someone is printing this out of their garage. i will try to post pictures of this 10 dollar piece of junk soon. i have never had to return anything to amazon but i guess there is a first time for everything....
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on July 23, 2010
This is a brilliant book, of course, which has been utterly destroyed by the Kindle edition. All the lines of verse have been lost and instead the text is wrapped to solid justification, which makes it terrible to read. Formatting is nonexistent; instead of italics, it uses _underscores around phrases_, which is annoying. I strongly recommend avoiding this issue.
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on April 2, 2005
Edward Gorey brings an obscure children's text into the light of modern times with all new illustrations. Sure to teach your child valuable lessons in a most unconventional manner, CTFC contains short stories, in poetry form, of children being eaten by lions, dying of stomach illness, and burning to death (to name a few) because they didn't follow the sound instructions of their parents. In the same vein as The Gashlycrumb Tinies, this one is fun for children and the adult with an unusual sense of humor.
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on April 9, 2010
Most of the reviews here are for the Edward Gorey version of Cautionary Tales. That's a really fun book, but readers should know that Belloc's little poems are a delight even without the pictures.

Kids absolutely love them and are shocked by their wit. These poems give kids credit for being sharp enough get the joke---and not need absolutely everything sugar coated. When my daughter was six she was told to come to school with a poem to recite. Most of the kids had nursery rhymes or well known American poems. My daughter brought Belloc's The Lion and The Tiger. The teacher, who knew nothing was the poems, got a huge kick out of them, expecially The Tiger with its dry recommendation that "mother's of large families who heed to common sense, will find a tiger well repays the trouble, and expense."
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on June 25, 2015
My rating is missing a few stars, for this book is missing a few chapters. It's abridged, though you won't find that in the description or anywhere on the actual volume itself.

included in this delightfully illustrated volume are the following short stories, all told in verse:

Jim, Who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion.
Henry King, Who chewed bits of String, and was early cut off in Dreadful Agonies.
Matilda, Who told Lies, and was Burned to Death.
Franklin Hyde, Who caroused in the Dirt and was corrected by His Uncle.
Godolphin Horne, Who was cursed with the Sin of Pride, and Became a Boot-Black.
Algernon, Who played with a Loaded Gun, and, on missing his Sister was reprimanded by his Father.
Hildebrand, Who was frightened by a Passing Motor, and was brought to Reason.

However, the proper, full text by Hilaire Belloc, also ought include the following additional four stories (or five, depending on how you count poor Lundy.):

Lord Lundy, Who was too Freely Moved to Tears, and thereby ruined his Political Career.
Lord Lundy (SECOND CANTO)
Rebecca, Who slammed Doors for Fun and Perished Miserably.
George, Who played with a Dangerous Toy, and suffered a Catastrophe of considerable Dimensions.
Charles Augustus Fortescue, Who always Did what was Right, and so accumulated an Immense Fortune.

The last of which stories, about Charles, seems not to fit with Gorey's somewhat gory themed books, for it contains the lone story of redemption, a lone example of exemplary virtue in a child. It's nice to end on a high note.

My favorite story, that of Rebecca (who perished miserably) you will have to get from a different volume. (You can find the full thing on Project Gutenberg's website, for the story with original illustrations is out of copyright.)
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on June 15, 2013
I bought this book to read to my little cousin. She has a problem with telling the truth. I read her a story about telling lies, it ended with death I believe. Still, she continues to lie! Great book to read to kids who will listen!
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on November 17, 2005
One can imagine Edward Gorey mulling over these "Cautionary Tales",subsequently creating succinct Goreyesque illustrations for them. Then years later after presenting his family to us in "The Willowdale Handcar" he undoubtedbly mulled over ideas about families & children and came up with my personal favorite Gorey: The Gashleycrumb Tinies. If you like Gorey & you like the Tinies, you'll enjoy "Cautionary Tales".

4 stars only because I happen to like the devilishly wonderful "Tinies" better.
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on June 29, 2015
Belloc would be angry with this: the original edition was interspersed with illustrations vital to the verse, eg "..she looked like this" where "this" showed Rebecca looking something like a pancake. More seriously, the transcribers have omitted parts of verses, thereby destroying Belloc's couplets.
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on September 21, 2016
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.
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