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Struwwelpeter (Shock-headed Peter) - 24th Jun 2016

The door flew open, in he ran, 
The great, long red-legged scissor-man
Oh, children, see! The tailor's come
And caught out little Suck-a-Thumb.
Snip! Snap! Snip! the scissors go;
And Conrad cries out "Oh! Oh! Oh!"
Snip! Snap! Snip! They go so fast,
And both his thumbs are off at last.

Struwwelpeter, written by Heinrich Hoffman, is a German children's book.  It is subtitled Jolly Stories and Funny Pictures, which by today's standards would make you gulp or laugh, depending who you are.  It was aimed at 3 to 5-year olds but unlikely anyone today would consider it suitable for that age.

There are ten illustrated, rhyming, very moral stories.  They are all about children who misbehave and come to a well-deserved bad end: the thumb-sucking child who has his thumbs chopped off; the boy who won't eat and starves to death; the girl who plays with matches and burns to death - you get the idea.

The rhymes are lovely and the pictures lively and entertaining.  We had this book as children and absolutely loved it (and suffered no ill effects from exposure to it).  If you can't bring yourself to get a copy for your children, maybe get one for your own entertainment.

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