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The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Robert Browning
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The Pied Piper of Hamelin

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,695 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
Robert Browning's famous verse retelling of the medieval legend of the Pied Piper is renowned for its humour and vivid wordplay.

When the selfish townspeople of Hamelin refuse to pay the piper for spiriting away the hordes of rats that had plagued them, he exacts his revenge by luring away their greatest treasure, the children of the town.

Color reproductions of Kate Greena
Paperback, Clippers Raintree Stories, 32 pages
Published September 28th 1984 by Steck-Vaughn (first published 1842)
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Community Reviews

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Purvi Petal
Jan 08, 2016 Purvi Petal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-copy
Excellent, vivid, brilliant! One of the earliest works I read, first as Grimms tales and then as this poem, I was something in class V or VI, I guess, it left the strongest impression on me. While the Grimms tales version inspired me to write my very first work of fiction at age 7 yrs, a poem about a princess with 7 pet rats or some such thing, can't recall much of it now but I was in love with my own very first work for a long time, just because these kinda horror fairy tales had made me fall i ...more
While I did enjoy Browning's verse, I do wonder if its at times satiric and social criticism might be a bit of a comprehension issue for younger children (as an adult, it tickled my proverbial fancy, but as a child, I am not sure I would have even understood many of the allusions, and might also have found the rhyme scheme a bit distracting and taxing). Kate Greenaway's illustrations are lush and descriptive (I can certainly understand why and how she has an award for best UK illustrated childre ...more
Sep 08, 2015 Brian rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I looked around on the FreeBooks app I bought and wandered across Browning's shorter poems. The rhyme schemes entertain with exquisite grace. I want more of this classic poet!
Mwana Mali
Aug 13, 2014 Mwana Mali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this as a story book when I couldn't tell pinkies from thumbs but I reread it again back in high school in a literature textbook. I now own that literature textbook in my personal library. And I don't mean some app on my phone, I mean a physical library (only thing that deserves to be called a library). It is my favourite poem ever!!!
I have re-read it countless times, out loud. There's just something amazing about the clever rhymes. The Pied Piper is the coolest anti hero I have eve
Oliur Rahman
May 24, 2012 Oliur Rahman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Browning's tale of a man who saved the little town of Hamelin from the gruesome deaths of the plague caused by rats is a story I still remember today as one of my favourites. The Pied piper was promised money in return for his heroic act but was later denied by the people he saves. He promised to return with revenge and when he died he played his flute which drove all the children of Hamelin away to never return. A story I feel more suited for KS2 due to the fact that the children never r ...more
Jan 21, 2014 Gerry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The message is obviously 'Don't mess with the Pied Piper'.

The burghers offer a large sum of money for him to rid the town of rats. When he does so, they renege on the deal and offer him far less.

They think there is nothing that he can do about it. How wrong they were as he got out his flute and enticed the children of the village away. One managed to miss being led into the cavern in the mountain as he was lame and he was later to lament, 'It's dull in our town since my playmates left!'

This larg
Aug 22, 2011 Beccy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are a few versions of Browning's THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN available, so if you like the text you might want to pick and choose your edition based on the illustrations.

I think traditionally this text gets taught at secondary school, however, I can't see any reason why a year five or six class shouldn't be introduced to it.

The plot of the poem is of a stranger who comes to the town of Hamelin in Germany to rid the place of rats. He completes his mission by luring them out of town and into
Ryan Rainey
Feb 08, 2012 Ryan Rainey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eced-221
This was a very good book. The story took place in a little town far far away. There were the towns people, the Mayor of the town, and the Pied Piper as characters in this poem. The town was having a rodent problem. The Piper got rid of all the rodents for the town. Thats about all I can say with out giving away the whole entire book. This book rhymes very well. The rhymes are direct and the author doesnt try to use words that are close to rhyming. There are exact rhymes. This poem has images on ...more
Lisa Vegan
I recently finished a prose version of this tale that was by Sara and Stephen Corrin and was illustrated by Errol Le Cain, and I really loved it. I’m about to read another prose edition that’s by Robert Holden and illustrated by Drahos Zak.

This book is the famous poem by Robert Browning and it’s illustrated by Kate Greenaway. I’d thought I’d grown up with the poem but now I know that I was mistaken. I did grow up with a song (that record is in a box that’s not readily accessible) and the lyrics
Jan 21, 2012 Glenn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the original version of the classic "children's" story. I saw a reference to it in another book I was reading and realized I had never actually read it. I did. It was a horrifying tale of unspeakable revenge...I would never read this to a child. Magnificently written, the plot left me speechless. I think before making casual reference to the Pied Piper or to "paying the Piper" in casual conversation, as is often done, one should read the book. My guess is it will change your mind about m ...more
Apr 04, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, 19th-century
This review refers specifically to the book with Greenaway's illustrations.

The poem itself is great, of course, and Kate Greenaway's pictures are, as always, charming. They were not, however, originally published with the text, and they change the dynamic of the story slightly (particularly in the final image). She presents an unusual take on Browning's poem. Overall, this book is worth reading, and the illustrations are beautiful, but I'd definitely recommend reading a version without pictures
Phil Syphe
Oct 06, 2016 Phil Syphe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Doubt this is the right edition, but I read this children’s classic a few times in childhood. Reckon the last time would’ve been when I was eight or nine, circa 1983-4.

A must for all youngsters!
Josh Butler
Apr 02, 2015 Josh Butler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for this story. As one of the first scary stories I've ever read, it sticks the best. And that it is written in the form of a poem only adds to the mysterious nature of the story. You feel like you're reading the poem of a historical event (and, in fact, the poem itself is based on real events; yet again, more and more mysterious culminates in your mind before you even have a chance to read the first line).

Brief: (view spoiler)
Elizabeth Grubaugh
I enjoy the older fairy tail books and I think that this is a good one. It gives children a good idea on how not all stories that they here are real. As well as introducing new topics to the kids
If this had simply been Browning's version of the story, I probably would have gone with a 3-star review, not because it's faulty in any way but the vocabulary and rhyme patterns haven't aged particularly well. On the other hand, Greenaway's illustrations are absolutely wonderful and pretty much belong in the dictionary next to the word "charming," so it balances out. The piper is promised 1000 gold coins here and they try to pay him only 50, so he steals the kids. There is some seriously messed ...more
Samantha Meyer
The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Robert Browning is a rhyming version of the classic tale of a man who rids a town of rats just to be cheated out of the money they promised to pay him. He get's his revenge when he lures all of the children in the town away in the same way he got rid of the rats.
Many people know the story of The Pied Piper, but this version is a poem and quite a large one at that. The Rhyming is very good and flows well, however it is hard to understand some of the l
David Edmonds
Oct 19, 2012 David Edmonds rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Pied Piper of Hamelin is "the first in a series of miniature books that focus on original folklore classics" and the latest edition from Lorin Morgan-Richards' A Raven Above Press. The wonderful thing about Morgan-Richards' books is that they are all handmade originals. He creates each book individually, so each is unique in its own way. Quite frankly, as far as I'm concerned, his books are miniature works of art.

Lorin Morgan-Richards art reminds me of a modern day Charles Addams or Edward
This wonderful book is set back in the Victorian era and describes a world very different in appearance to the world today. Nevertheless it raises issues on human nature that are as important today as back then. Some of the themes explored require some considered thought therefore placing this book in the Key Stage 2 bracket despite its limited text. I believe this book to be targeted at children in Year 3. The supporting illustrations are essential for the children to grasp a thorough appreciat ...more
The Pied Piper captured my heart as a kid. I read it without images first, and after that I came across the Faerie Tale Theatre episode which was filmed with Eric Idle as the piper (and narrator reading the poem). That particular visual portrayal of The Pied Piper is incredibly haunting. In my young mind, the imagery from it sealed itself to Browning's words forever after.

It was for this specific reason that I felt disappointed with the Kate Greenaway illustrations used in this version. The pict
Moraes the Bookworm
Since I was a kid I've always liked this story. Something about a guy commanding animals through music is just too cool. However, I had never felt the urge to actually read this tale until the other day when it was referenced on the Grimm TV show.

Well, curiosity got the best of me, so I picked this up and read it. I had never read anything by this author before. For such a short story it was surprisingly entertaining and well-structured. It was exactly what I was expecting: a silly children's st
Hyeonjeong Lee
Personal Reaction - The is a realistic folktale in Germany. I love this book very much because of its historical background and the illustrations. A number of children disappeared and people could not find them ever. This book expands this real story and includes more magical things. If I have a chance, I want to visit the town and walk on the street that those children walked and followed the pied piper.

Read aloud to first graders of elementary school for several potential purposes:
- T
Published: 1987, Atheneum
Age: 4-8

Great medieval story from England, showing cobblestone streets, darkish and mysterious scenes, with characters in medieval dress. Begins wih "Many years ago" and shows the typical ways towns were back then, politically, and in vocabulary. Possibly it was written when rats overcame the towns long ago. Larder is used for refrigerator and royal silver is used for money. The watercolor and line illustrations really show the way it would look during those times. Polit
Hoàng Nguyễn
I first read it when I was 13, and it left me with deep impression of how beautiful, funny, ironic word could be. Since this is also my first English poem so I guess it is understandable why the poem was a big hit on me. Also, I did enjoy the original tale of brother Grimm so the poem had leaded me to another interesting side of the story (I love karma). What a surprise when I suddenly recalled it, the poem had been sleeping soundly in my memmory ever since! The feeling was just like when you fi ...more
Austen to Zafón
I knew the story of the Pied Piper as a kid, but I'd never read the Robert Browning text until I heard it used to great effect in the film The Sweet Hereafter. I went right out and got myself a copy. Sadly, I didn't know my copy was "revised" from the Browning version and I need to get the real version at some point. Still, it is a wonderful poem, especially to read aloud. I read it aloud many times to my son when he was preschool age, just for the rhythm and the language. Then I read it aloud a ...more
Rebecca Ramirez
Mar 24, 2015 Rebecca Ramirez rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. It was very entertaining. The book is about a piper that helps rid the town of rats and the mayor doesn't want to pay the piper for his work. The mayor broke the deal with the piper, so the piper took the treasure of the town. The piper took the children of the town with him. The author used their choice of words very well to give a detailed image of what was going on. Even if the book didn't have pictures, you could still visualize what was being said by Browning. The book ...more
Grace Harwood
I've got to say this is not my favourite Browning poem - I still prefer, for example, "Christmas Eve" over this one - but this is an enjoyable read. I read it aloud to my son at bedtime and he liked it, although he struggled with some of the archaic terms (he's only 9 and this is a Victorian poem, after all). It benefits, like most poetry does, from being read aloud and you get the true sense of the lyrical flow of the poem if you do this. There is also some comical imagery which both I and my s ...more
A dark tale telling the details of a rat infestation takes new meanings of being gothic and devilish as if the rats were sent as a warning from Hell itself with the Piper as the only means to spiritual freedom. Throughout reading this book, I was given a sense of everything as superbly clouded and foggy, as if the town of Hamelin itself exerted a dark aura. The ending in particular struck me both with pity and with mourning for the children--such as the crippled boy--who were not able to run off ...more
Jourdan Aanenson
This story is about a kingdom that is being overcome by rats, and the city has to find a way to stop them.

The pictures in this book are very old fashioned. I think children would have very little interest in this book by the way to story is told. It was even hard for me to comprehend. The pictures look like dolls in a painting hanging on the wall of a old house. This book would be useful to be used in high school classrooms only because it is to hard to children of any younger age to grasp the m
Aug 23, 2010 Cayenne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cayenne by: storybook travels
What a wonderful, delightful little book. The pictures are stunning. I feel kind of speechless and very grateful to have picked up this lovely classic. I almost laughed out loud at the part about the people of German descent living in Transylvania because I have recently finished Patrick Fermor's Between the Woods and the Water. Fermor discusses the Germanic people living in Transylvania as he passes through that area and the theories of how their ancestors arrived there. So to read this fun fab ...more
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Robert Browning was a British poet and playwright whose mastery of dramatic verse, especially dramatic monologues, made him one of the foremost Victorian poets.

Browning began writing poetry at age 13. These poems were eventually collected, but were later destroyed by Browning himself. In 1833, Browning's "Pauline" was published and received a cool reception. Harold Bloom believes that John Stuart
More about Robert Browning...

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They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cook's own ladles.
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats.”
“Our business was done at the river's brink;” 1 likes
More quotes…