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Der Struwwelpeter
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Der Struwwelpeter

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,863 ratings  ·  148 reviews
Wer kennt nicht die Verse über den Zappelphilipp, Hans Guck-in-die -Luft und den Suppenkaspar? Der berühmteste deutsche Kinderbuchklassiker liegt hier in einem Nachdruck der Frankfurter Originalausgabe vor.(Amazon)
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published by Diogenes Verlag AG (first published 1845)
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Black Beauty by Anna SewellThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainHave Space Suit—Will Travel by Robert A. HeinleinThe Little House Collection by Laura Ingalls WilderUnpopular Essays by Bertrand Russell
30th out of 30 books — 15 voters

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This book is the antidote to Disney. It is the opposite of all those nasty, sugar-sweet versions of Cinderella, the Little Mermaid and worst of all Winnie-the-Pooh. (view spoiler)

Struwwelpeter is all about children getting punished in the nastiest possible ways for their awful misdeeds. I loved this book when I was a kid. I also loved Dis
Tadiana ♕Part-Time Dictator♕
This is one of those picture books I grew up with, and so I have an unreasonable amount of love for it, even though it's kind of awful? Credit goes to my German-speaking mom, although I'm not sure if she shared this book with my siblings and me because she thought it was a funny book or was trying to scare us straight.

This is a German children's book first published in 1845, when society (particularly in Germany, I suspect) was much in the mode of "spare the rod and spoil the child." No children
I read these classic morality tales enough times as a kid that I knew large chunks by heart. But, let's face it, back then they were seriously out of date, and now they're so archaic that they aren't amusing even as kitsch. No wonder most children today haven't heard of them.

So why doesn't someone produce an updated edition? I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult. Here are some suggestions:
Scarlett, Who Read Glossy Women's Magazines And Died Of Anorexia

Keith, Who Didn't Believe In Climate Change And
Jul 17, 2009 Miriam rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Authoritarian sadists
Shelves: picture

This is some freaky shit.

I read this innumerable times in English translation as a child, and still know a lot of it by heart... but somehow I had never got around to looking at the German original. OMG, it is the most hysterically funny thing I have seen in at least a month. My German is very, very poor, and even so I found it impossible not to laugh on almost every page.

Here's a sample, courtesy of the Gutenberg version. If you also know the English Struwwelpeter, just try reading it aloud while looking at the pictur
Some kids might be a little traumatized with this book, but I dare say most would love it. All the things threatened to happen when children misbehave actually happen. It's a dark book but amusing in its own way.
This book is wonderful in a gruesome sort of way and the illustrations are the best!

My favorite was the tale of the little girl who played with matches, even though her good cats, Minz und Maunz, tried to make her behave. The moral of the story is you should always listen to your cats.

The story of the boy who never looked where he was going was edifying. These days he would be looking at a smart phone, not the sky, but his terrible end would be the same! Be warned!!!

Thank you, Tadiana for intro
Seizure Romero
Should be sub-titled: "Scaring the Crap out of Children & Adults since 1845" or "How to Traumatize Your Children without Actually Beating Them."

Complete with scary-ass illustrations.

Hold me.
Feb 19, 2015 Gundula rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in German children's literature, or children's literature in general
Rating this translation of the classic German picture book is difficult. Yes, the book was and is a classic, but I do not believe that the stories contained therein are at all suitable for some children, especially those children who have a very vivid imagination. My grandmother read me the German version of this book when I was a child, and some of the stories actually gave me nightmares. I was absolutely sure that the tailor would come with his horrible scissors and cut off my brother's thumbs ...more
A Bookworm Reading
The tales told here remind me of Mother Goose type of little rhymes, used to teach children to behave or who knows what awful fate they may meet. Some of these have mild punishments for misbehaving, while others are down right horrific. It is likely that these short verses worked well at keeping children out of too much trouble when they were written in 1845, while children may not have truly believed the outcomes they probably didn't want to step out of line either. Children today, overall, are ...more
I read this book as a child. While I loved the stories of bad children getting their due ( I had three brothers who were always up to no good. I think I wished some serious consequences would come their way), I mostly remember poring over the wonderful illustrations. I particularly liked the portrayal of animals- loved the rabbit wearing spectacles and toting a gun.(I had forgotten all about this until recently reading Petra's great review. Thanks Petra!)
This collection of German folk tales intended to "instruct good little folks" has to be seen to be believed. Nightmarish, ghoulish, absolutely twisted ... it's a sheer, shocking delight! The Google preview link above underneath the book cover image offers a great look inside, because this grisly edition is REALLY hard to come by now.
The first english version of this book came around 1848. The stories are as mentioned in the title "fearful" and there are no efforts put to make the illustrations appropriate/less fearful for children.

The little stuff for little kids being covered here conveys relevant message but maybe in too strong a way. It seems to be more suited for the grown-up kids like me who chew their nails, evade shaving/haircuts and still play Hanging Garden with the chair.

But the best thing about being a grown-up
aljouharah altheeyb
حسناً هذه أول مره أقرأ الكتاب أو أتعرف على الكاتب حتى.
أما لماذا قرأت كتيب قصص الأطفال الشعرية القديم هذا؟
ببساطة مجرد فضول. كُنت أقرأ كتاباً عن كيفية تأليف قصص مصوره للأطفال، ومن ضمن الصفحة ذُكر هينريك هوفمان كأحد الكتاب الذين يمتلكون اسلوباً عصرياً في كتابة قصص الأطفال المصوره بالرغم من قدم الكتاب نفسه 1848.
لذا بحثت عنه في الإنترنت ووجدته مع الرسومات الأصليه - قرأته بترجمة مارك توين هنا: - ..
أولاً، مالذي كان الأطفال يقرأونه !!!
قصه الط
Dustin Crazy little brown owl
Jul 12, 2013 Dustin Crazy little brown owl rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers like me
Recommended to Dustin Crazy little brown owl by: people that want to scare children
Wow! This will scare the kids into behaving for sure - complete with graphic pictures of injuries and death. Written in the 1800's. I read the English 1985 translation.

I shall share the highlights of my top 3 favorite disturbing fairy tales of the Struwwelpeter collection(shared in no particular order):

#1 Story of Augustus Who Would Not Have Any Soup
Augustus was a chubby lad; Fat ruddy cheeks Augustus had...
Augustus ate his soup everyday just like a good little fat boy should but then... (view
Loved this book. Had been trying to get it for years and now I finally have! There's lots of reviews of people saying it's horrifying and cruel and with zero psychological value, and I couldn't disagree more! First of all, the stories ain't all that terrible and shouldn't be taken so literally. The author wasn't killing real kids, was he? And there's a lesson behind almost every story. For example, take the one about the girl playing with matches and getting burn. Isn't that a true thing? Doesn' ...more
Questo libretto mi è ricaduto in mano dopo tanti anni, e quasi non lo ricordavo.
Hoffmann era un medico, ed inventava molte storielle per tenere a bada i piccoli malati dei quali si occupava. Sono create da lui, ma attingono molto anche dalla tradizione popolare.
Grazie alle rime serrate ed accattivanti, queste filastrocche piacquero così tanto che nel 1845 vennero messe in stampa.
Conquistarono immediatamente i bambini come i grandi.
E gran parte del successo fu da attribuire anche alle accatti
A classic German children's book, but that, in my opinion, is too frightening and too strictly pedagogical for many children. I was actually frightened by a number of the stories when I was a child, and while I have more of an appreciation for the book now, I still think that many of the stories (as well as the illustrations) can be very frightening for imaginative and sensitive children. I certainly would not simply read this book aloud to children, unless I was absolutely sure that they would ...more
So she was burnt, with all her clothes,
And arms, and hands, and eyes, and nose;
Till she had nothing more to lose
Except her little scarlet shoes;
And nothing else but these was found
Among her ashes on the ground.

That's something you don't see very often these days in a children's book. Struwwelpeter has a bit of a reputation of being macabre, but there are actually only three stories where misbehaving children end up dead or mutilated. Doesn't sound very fun, you say? Well, the rhymes make the sto
Read this in translation as a kid. *unilingual* Stories designed to terrify children into compliance. Which obviously failed on me. *flaunts deviancy* ;)
The girl who plays with matches is burned alive. The fussy eater starves to death. The umbrella-user is carried, by a storm, to his doom. Clearly, he was deserving. ;)
The most horrific is The Story of Little Suck a Thumb which is animated here...

*shakes fist at German psyche*

WTF? I feel bad for 19th century children if this is what passed for acceptable entertainment for young people! I could see something like this being published today as satire for the enjoyment of adults, but this was meant for children to actually read. It includes stories that are incredibly racist; stories about children being burned alive; and stories about children being physically maimed. The craziest thing is that this book was meant to be an enticing Christmas present. Why would kids be ...more
Jim Peterson
Book review for learners of German:

We all know the original Grimm’s fairy tales were more gruesome than the Disney stories we grew up watching. Der Struwwelpeter is another example of a children’s book that today’s parents find shocking even though the book has been read to children for generations. Nearly every German knows this story, so it is culturally significant. But, no, I would not read this to my daughter. You can view it for free on Project Gutenberg (
A ghastly and horrifying collection of children's stories guaranteed to frighten and scare your children. What else is there to say about a book where children's thumbs are severed as a punishment for sucking them or where little girls are burned to death because they play with match (nothing quite as disturbing as seeing an illustration of two sad cats crying a river of tears beside the charred remains of a disobedient German child).
Next to Max and Moritz, this is the best book to traumatize disobedient children. Those Germans know their discipline. . .
Struwwelpeter is an old collection of very traumatic children's tales. The premise appears to be if you scare the crap out of your kid, you will also scare the thumb out of their mouth and make them brush their hair.

The tales start with a kid acting bad, and then their behavior causes some ironic misfortune. The girl playing with matches burns her face off. A boy outside in the rain is blown away to oblivion. But the most memorable tale is about the tailor who cuts off the thumbs of kids who suc
Este libro de verdad que enseña, de los mejores... un libro para niños que no es todo arco iris y unicornios. Quita por completo la idea de los héroes y príncipes o princesas encantadas, enseña que toda acción trae consecuencias y que todos (hasta los niños) deben enfrentarse a ellos. Me encantó y me hizo reír. Recomendado.
A patron came into the library asking about Struwwelpeter stories and after learning about them, my curiousity was piqued.

Heinrich Hoffman wrote Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter) stories to tell children what could happen as a result of bad behavior. His stories remind me of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or The Little Red Hen. One story is about a boy who always looked up while walking and then fell into a canal. Hoffman wrote quite a few stories about what happens when kids are slovenly (
Helga Ganguly
I still have the original in German that my parents brought with us when we emigrated from Austria. I also have an Translated copy in English. I remember my mother owned a set of clay pins issued during the war to illustrate the stories. I have no idea why Americans always seem to be so horrified by the stories. My mother never instilled any fear in me when she read me the stories. They were funny A Southpark selfhelp book. No one ever mentions the 3 little boys who tormented the black youth. Th ...more
Can I just say that this book horrified me when I was a child. NOT psychologically valuable in any way. Fingers getting cut off for biting your nails? Burning to death for playing with matches (and the crying cat next to it)? Starving to death for not eating soup? Hanging all of the chickens as a "trick", littering the teacher's bed with bugs which would get smashed, and finally being ground into flour as a punishment? Don't get me started on the illustrations (the cut-off fingers, etc.), which ...more
Der Struwwelpeter or Shockheaded Peter is a German children's book written by Heinrich Hoffmann. He decided to write the book after being unable to find a suitable book for his three year old son and the book was first published in 1845. It consists of ten cautionary tales, predominantly about errant children and the consequences of their behaviour. One of the most memorable stories concerns Conrad who, despite being warned of the consequences of sucking his thumb, continues to do so and has his ...more
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Note: There is more than one Heinrich Hoffman.

Heinrich Hoffmann was a German psychiatrist, who also wrote some short works including Der Struwwelpeter (German for either "slovenly Peter" or "shock-haired Peter"), an illustrated book portraying children misbehaving.

He wrote under the following names:

- Polykarpus Gastfenger (The given name is the German version of that of a Christian martyr; the su
More about Heinrich Hoffmann...
Slovenly Betsy Klassiker für Kinder Kolumats Slovenly Kate and Other Stories: From the Struwwelpeter Library Wie der Teufel den Schwanz verlor

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“It almost makes me cry to tell, what foolish Harriet befell.” 2 likes
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