The Devil's Other Storybook

The Devil's Other Storybook

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by Natalie Babbitt

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The Devil is back, just as full of vanity and other human feelings as he was in Natalie Babbitt's first collection, The Devil's Storybook.

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The Devil is back, just as full of vanity and other human feelings as he was in Natalie Babbitt's first collection, The Devil's Storybook.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Could it be that young readers' minds are going to the Devil? That's certainly not the case in this logical follow-up to that little red volume, The Devil's Storybook. This bluish-green book contains 10 other Devil stories, told by a very dextrous fiddlemaster. There are such familiar diabolical incarnations as a fortune-teller, a hunter, a soldier, a pick-pocket rascal and a ``nosey'' writer. The fortune-teller causes the populace of a whole village to be overrun by strangers; the hunter helps keep a threatening rhino busy (the latter constantly chases the former); the soldier is upstaged by the Devil's prominent list of historic battles that he's attended; the writer's vice is ``writing books no one could understand'' he's accused the rascal of attempting to pluck his purse, but the well-versed thief claims it's ``all flytrap,'' since his accuser is ``more squeak than wool.'' There are the usual stories of mistaken identity commonly associated with tales of devilry; and those dealing with ``justice'' and Christmas: the camel Akbar, a Devil's pet, throws his rider and follows a shining star under which a baby is born, ``who was going to be nothing but trouble for a long, long time.'' The author's traveling to the very gates of Hell brings to this children's book a spacious dimension of unadulterated maturity. These stories are simply some of the funniest available. For Babbitt, the Devil is more than a subject for amusement and less than an article of belief; she is nevertheless writing within the realmthe good and the badof the religious. As in the ``Simple Sentences'' story, Babbitt can rightly be placed in the middle ground between her two eloquent and hilarious protagonists, the rascal and the writer. A Michael di Capua Book. Ages 8-12. (May)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 Babbitt's Devil is sly, vain, and as her black-and-white drawings show, slightly paunchy, with a very long pointed tail. Readers first met him in The Devil's Storybook (Farrar, 1974), and in these ten new stories he runs true to form. When not making his guests uncomfortable in Hell, he likes to journey through the world causing trouble and misfortune for its inhabitants. Sometimes the tables are turned, however, notably by the very ornery or the very innocent, and the Devil gets a surprise. All of these stories are humorous, but many have a wry sadness hiding close to the surface. Readers will encounter a talented parrot and a bumbling fortuneteller, an opera singer named Doremi Faso, a pair of mixed-up lovers, and other unique characters. The unhurried jaunty rhythm of the text seems an echo of the Devil's own personality, and reads well aloud. Characterization is enhanced by an illustration in each story, and the visual appeal is supported by the book's thick, creamy pages with wide margins and well-spaced print. This book is a pleasure to look at, to hear, and to read. Ruth S. Vose, San Francisco Public Library
From the Publisher
"Begging to be quoted, to be read aloud, to be told, these wise tales should delight readers and listeners alike." —Pointer, Kirkus Reviews

"Depicted more as a scamp or scalawag, the Devil is a source of mischief and provides more opportunities to laugh than to weep. . .Told in a pleasing, conversational style, the stories have an originality and a humor that will appeal to all ages." —Starred, The Horn Book

"Babbitt's style is as clean and elegant as ever. A choice morsel to be savored with tongue in cheek." —Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"This book is a pleasure to look at, to hold, and to read." —Starred, School Library Journal

"Rejoice! Here are ten more stories about the Devil to add to Babbitt's wonderful first collection." —Pointer, Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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