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The Bad Child's Book of Beasts

Hilaire Belloc

Book Overview: 

A children's book teaching children not to be bad like wild animals

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .INTRODUCTION I call you bad, my little child,
Upon the title page,
Because a manner rude and wild
Is common at your age.

The Moral of this priceless work
(If rightly understood)
Will make you—from a little Turk—
[158]Unnaturally good.

Do not as evil children do,
Who on the slightest grounds
Will imitate the Kangaroo,
With wild unmeaning bounds:


Do not as children badly bred,
Who eat like little Hogs,
And when they have to go to bed
Will whine like Puppy Dogs:

Who take their manners from the Ape,
Their habits from the Bear,
Indulge the loud unseemly jape,
[160]And never brush their hair.

But so control your actions that
Your friends may all repeat.
'This child. . . Read More

Community Reviews

belloc is a great poet.

'The Bad Child's Book of Beasts' is a charming little book of short poems about animals, with illustrations by Lord Blackwood (BTB).

It is Belloc's style which makes this book unique. It does remind one of Roald Dahl in fact, although 'The Bad Child's Book of Beasts' was written way back in 1896,...more

This is a book that can be read in less than twenty uproarious minutes. Here's a brief example, entitled "The Big Baboon":

The Big Baboon is found upon
The plains of Cariboo.

He goes about
with nothing on

(A shocking thing to do).
But if he
dressed respectably

And let his whiskers grow,
How like this Big...more

Seminal children's book where the rhymes and illustrations are both equally inspired and idiotic.

I seemed to remember seeing a copy of this when I was at school. I don't know how to copy and paste pictures into Goodreads so can only provide you with a sample of the poetry. This little ditty is ca...more

I was going to read this to my niece but alas it's really not worth it. The rhymes are silly with a lot of references to hunting but they are not as smooth flowing as Dr. Seuss for example.

у цьогорічному різдвяному епізоді «доктора хто» дванадцятий доктор (мій улюблений. я за ним сумуватиму) на коментарі першого доктора час від часу робить великі очі та просить не говорити _отакого_, бо це шовіністичне _отаке_ обурюватиме приблизно майже всіх, із ким він, будь-який за номером докто...more

I actually learned a thing or two from this book.

Frog is a beast? oh yes! Lions and Tigers too. lol.

Reminded me of Roald Dahl, as some other reviewers have said. Really goofy little verses for children. And watch out for all the shooting of endangered animals! Not very PC for today's standards, lol!

Originally published in 1896, this zany children's book sold out its first edition within four days. The author, Hilaire Belloc, has fallen into obscurity, but in his day he was a well-known historian, biographer and novelist, as well as a friend of G.K. Chesterton. Belloc's verses are fun and im...more

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