The Tailypo: A Ghost Story


A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off his tail and had it for dinner.

A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off its tail.

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A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off his tail and had it for dinner.

A strange varmint haunts the woodsman who lopped off its tail.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The telling is smooth, and Galdone is ever the master of visual pacing, with action and drama heightened through astute composition." Booklist, ALA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395300848
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/28/1984
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 304,675
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.56 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Galdone was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1907 and emigrated to the United States in 1928. After finishing his studies at the Art Student League and the New York School of Industrial Design, Mr. Galdone worked in the art department of a major publishing house. There he was introduced to the process of bookmaking, an activity that was soon to become his lifelong career. Before his death in 1986, Mr. Galdone illustrated almost three hundred books, many of which he himself wrote or retold. He is fondly remembered for his contemporary style, bright earthy humor, and action-filled illustrations, which will continue to delight for generations to come.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 31, 2011

    Great Read...classic

    This is a GREAT book, I enjoyed hearing it as a child and enjoy reading it to my son even more! It is a sad world we live in when we allow people with insecurities and misguided intentions affect the literary world. If it scares you...don't read it. There have been too many classic books banned that my child will not be allowed to read in school, why? Because we let the fears of the close minded people (who are in the minority on this view) dictate what is acceptable. Leave the books the hell alone! Find something else to blame for your childhood fears!

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    A Somewhat Traumatic Read

    I was in preschool, about the age of four when I first heard this story, and as a high school student, I still get chills anytime just the title of this story is mentioned. Tailypo is certainly not appropriate for young children. I remember its popularity among my young peers, however I always found it eerily haunting. I give Joanna Galdone credit for creating such a captivating story that the memories of it remain vivid years later, but I think it is much too frightening for such young minds (and perhaps older ones as well!). The plot of the story is both violent and menacing. The man uses a hatchet to amputate the creature's tail, and the creature kills the man's dogs. The creature then continues to haunt the man at night, chanting that it wants its tail back. These are not themes I believe young children should be exposed to. As a child, the voices I imagined were drilled into my memory, and I have yet to forget them. I would come home after hearing the story is a state of utter paranoia and fear, afraid to sleep because I felt there were either nightmares of the creature waiting for me, or perhaps the creature itself at the foot of my bed. I found the story so scarring, that a few weeks ago, when my mother mentioned the creature's name in passing for the first time in years, I instinctively began to shiver and cry like I had always wanted to as a little girl. I believe that any story so powerfully terrifying as one that continues to haunt its readers years later is very inappropriate to read to young children.

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  • Posted October 17, 2009

    Nightmare Revisited

    Oh Dear God!
    This book scared the Hell out of me when I was in first grade! I still remember it being read to me. It was Mrs Torkar at Dixon elementary in Chino, CA. I had nightmares for YEARS because of this book! I was recently talking about childhood nightmares when I remembered the book. So I decided to check if the book was still sold. When I saw that it was still in print, I had to get it. I still had the images burned into my memory almost 20 years later. I knew what picture would be on the next page like I had read it yesterday. After reading it again I can say it was not just because I was an impressionable young kid with an over active imagination. This book is legitimately SCARY! I had a friend of mine read it and she said to me, "I don't think i can sleep now! What kind of person would read this to a child!." so if your looking for a VERY scary story for your kids, this is it! Especially for all of you who have kids that say "That story wasn't THAT scary", this is the book that says "Yes there is something outside your window and under your bed that wants to get you, this is what it looks like."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2007


    I cannot believe all of you whimps are giving this wonderful American ghost story terrible ratings just because it made you scared. Uh, yeah, IT'S A GHOST STORY! Blame the people who told it too you, not the story itself. I, on the other hand, hold this story dear to my heart. My daycare teacher used to tell this to the the kids when we were five 'five!', and because of stories like these I have since decided to become a horror novelist. Read this to your children and explain that it's just a scary story meant to be fun, not real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    this book was what caused me to be afraid of the dark. i was so afraid of it that i had nightmares about it. the story has no moral, and is simply meant to scare, therefore i would not recommend it to anyone under age 12.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2007

    I love this book!

    I remember having this read to me when I was like in first grade! I have always remembered it. It has been my favorite scary story. I know its a story I'll be reading to my children.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2006


    this story absolutely ruined my childhood when i heard this when i was in 3rd grade. I was unable to sleep without the complete lights on until I was twelve and still have a fear of the dark at age 15. It really angers me that this story is considered a children's book because it opens up way too many possibilites to a young imagination. i hate you Paul Galdone, you make me cry at night.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2006

    Now I've got my tailypo!

    I am 33 years old. I was telling my friend about this story that had me checking under my bed for years when I was a kid. I told her the entire story and still have a visual of the last few pages' illustrations-based on hearing the story ONCE when I was 12. I did this internet search for the book based on these memories-and thought I would share my experience. I don't think that children need to hear about some wild animal searching for a missing body part, and leaving it up to the child to decide how the animal 'got it's tailypo' back (the illustration shows a shredded comforter) etc. You decide!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2004

    Five Year Old Unable to Sleep at Night

    My five year old graddaughter was told this story at daycare. Since hearing the story of The Tailypo, she has not been able to sleep through the night . I can not even go to the bathroom by myself; she is under foot 24:7. The tailypo has made my life very hard at best. This is not a story to tell a child who is not accustom to the darkside of the world. There should be a warning to parents. Please give us a choice; this book is not one I would read to my five year old granddaughter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2002

    Spooky Story Great For Little Ones

    This is a great pick for little ones, even younger than the age recommendation. I read this to my preschoolers as young as 2 1/2 and they LOVE it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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