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Struwwelpeter: Merry Stories and Funny Pictures

Heinrich Hoffmann

Book Overview: 

Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter) is an illustrated collection of humorous children’s poems describing ludicrous and usually violent punishments for naughty behavior. Hoffmann, a Frankfurt physician, wanted to buy a picture book for his son for Christmas. Not impressed by what the stores had to offer, he instead bought a notebook and wrote his own stories and pictures. While Struwwelpeter is somewhat notorious for its perceived brutal treatment of the erring children.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .He caught the flies, poor little things,
And then tore off their tiny wings,
He killed the birds, and broke the chairs,
And threw the kitten down the stairs;
And oh! far worse than all beside,
He whipped his Mary, till she cried. The trough was full, and faithful Tray
Came out to drink one sultry day;
He wagged his tail, and wet his lip,
When cruel Fred snatched up a whip,
And whipped poor Tray till he was sore,
And kicked and whipped him more and more:
At this, good Tray grew very red,
And growled, and bit him till he bled;
Then you should only have been by,
To see how Fred did scream and cry!

So Frederick had to go to bed:
His leg was very sore and red!
The Doctor came, and shook his head,
And made a very great to-do,
And gave him nasty physic too. . . . Read More