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The Bad Child's Book of Beasts   By: (1870-1953)

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The Bad Child's Book of Beasts by Hilaire Belloc is a brilliantly satirical collection of darkly humorous poems that will leave readers chuckling and contemplating the moral lessons hidden within each verse. Belloc, known for his wit and poetic genius, introduces readers to a variety of mischievous and unruly creatures, both real and imagined.

The book begins with a cautionary poem about the Beaver, whose industriousness is reversed due to his excessive consumption of gin. From there, readers are introduced to absurd creatures such as the Dodo and the Jabberwock, both crafted with Belloc's trademark whimsy and clever wordplay. Each poem is accompanied by a delightful illustration by the talented B.T.B., enhancing the readers' engagement with each creature's peculiar misbehavior.

One of the highlights of the book is the seamless integration of humor and moral lessons. Belloc encourages children, through his tales of rebellious beasts, to reflect upon the consequences of their own unruly behavior. Although structured as children's poetry, the book contains subtle messages for readers of all ages, making it an entertaining and thought-provoking read for a wide audience.

Furthermore, Belloc's rhythm and rhyme scheme are impeccable, showcasing his mastery of verse. Each poem flows effortlessly, demonstrating his ability to create impactful verses without sacrificing the playful nature of his subject matter. This rhythmic quality, combined with Belloc's clever word choice, adds a layer of sophistication to the overall composition of each poem.

As the title implies, this book is not meant for the faint of heart or those who seek traditional tales of cuddly wildlife. Belloc unapologetically presents the less charming, more devious side of the animal kingdom. Yet, beneath the dark humor lies an acknowledgment of the wild and unpredictable nature of life, teaching readers to embrace the quirks and imperfections of the world around them.

While The Bad Child's Book of Beasts may not be the typical children's book one would expect, it is an absolute gem for anyone seeking a unique and hilarious literary experience. Belloc's wit and creativity shine through every page, reminding readers of the importance of laughter and self-reflection.

First Page:



Verses by H. BELLOC

Pictures by B. T. B.


Child! do not throw this book about; Refrain from the unholy pleasure Of cutting all the pictures out! Preserve it as your chiefest treasure.

Child, have you never heard it said That you are heir to all the ages? Why, then, your hands were never made To tear these beautiful thick pages!

Your little hands were made to take The better things and leave the worse ones. They also may be used to shake The Massive Paws of Elder Persons.

And when your prayers complete the day, Darling, your little tiny hands Were also made, I think, to pray For men that lose their fairylands.

Made and Printed in Great Britain by The Camelot Press Limited, London and Southampton



Master EVELYN BELL Of Oxford

Evelyn Bell, I love you well.



I CALL you bad, my little child, Upon the title page, Because a manner rude and wild Is common at your age... Continue reading book >>

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