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Struwwelpeter: Fearful Stories and Vile Pictures to Instruct Good Little Folks
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Struwwelpeter: Fearful Stories and Vile Pictures to Instruct Good Little Folks

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  1,269 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
A new edition for adults of the classic children's stories also includes a World War II-era parody entitled Struwwelhitler.
Paperback, 124 pages
Published June 10th 1999 by Feral House (first published 1999)
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Nov 23, 2009 Manybooks rated it liked it
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
Seizure Romero
Dec 12, 2007 Seizure Romero rated it really liked it
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.
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.
Rachel Wagner
Feb 21, 2017 Rachel Wagner rated it really liked it
This is such a terrifying children's novel filled with short stories about naughty children. With that respect, I really enjoyed it.

Apr 01, 2012 Prashant rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-book
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
Jan 30, 2014 aljouharah altheeyb rated it it was amazing
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
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
Mar 04, 2012 Lucas rated it it was ok
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
Jul 15, 2012 Cindy rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012
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 (
Greg Kerestan
May 10, 2016 Greg Kerestan rated it liked it
What the damn hell is this book? As I go through my library and chronicle every book I know for a fact that I definitely read at any given point, there are a few that stick out as... oddities. This is one. Like a nightmare world version of "Chicken Soup with Rice" or "Pierre," these stories of children with minor character faults always end with their death or dismemberment. If you suck your thumb, the Mad Scissors Man will come and maul you with his blades! If you don't comb your hair you will ...more
Apr 28, 2013 Hannah rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairy-tales
This is a wonderful collection of cautionary tales for children, I was quoted many of these tales by my Nan when I was little. I haven't read the german version but there doesn't seem to be any difference between it and the English translated version.
The pictures are slightly creepy but so are the tales, im not a huge fan of the Disney watered down versions of fairy tales (as the stories are supposed to be moralistic and haunting) not sickly sweet.
All in all this is a classic collection of clev
Jun 05, 2011 Bettina rated it did not like it
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
Daniela Stefania
Mar 28, 2015 Daniela Stefania rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 14, 2007 Kate rated it liked it
I love Struwwelpeter so much. This edition has a really brilliant essay in the beginning about what makes the Struwwelpeter such a phenomenon/curio.
Ellexa Hella bella
May 21, 2013 Ellexa Hella bella rated it it was amazing
My Austrian stepfather gave this to me when I was nine years old. It taught me many useful lessons.
Dec 08, 2013 D.M. rated it liked it
I picked this book up when it came out, having heard of the notorious child-frightening German 'storybook' but having never read it. As a fan of things macabre and amusing, it was a natural for me. It doesn't disappoint as a gruesome and slightly shocking collection of doggerel about why children should do exactly as they're told and nothing else, but I found myself a bit weary of it about halfway through. Perhaps it was the weak style of the poems, the amateurish nature of the medieval-woodcut ...more
May 11, 2014 Stef rated it it was amazing
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
Jun 28, 2007 Kimmah rated it it was amazing
Quoted from the back of the book:

This children's book is not for children!

Since 1845, millions of parents bought Struwwelpeter, a book that threatened their children with the consequences that befall the disordered and disorderly. Thumbs are sheared off, eyes fall out of sockets, faces are pecked to death and bodies waste to nothing.

Though castigated in recent years for its sadistic approach to child-rearing, Struwwelpeter remains a cultural phenomenon ... translated into many languages,
Oct 14, 2009 Hannah rated it it was amazing
This is the book I remember most clearly from my childhood, and there were plenty of books in those years. It's a set of short stories in rhyme that were written in 1845 for children ages 3-6... nothing out of the ordinary so far. The stories are about the consequences of bad behavior, and there are all sorts of bright drawings in the edition that I grew up with, too. The amazing element of the book is its gruesomeness. If you don't eat your soup, you waste away to nothing (complete with image o ...more
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Jan 07, 2013 Aaron rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing in how completely messed-up and wrong it is. It is filled with psychopathic, racist, and pyromanic kids, doing awful things to small animals, in an old childrens book. I'm not saying the acts are amazing by any means. They're horrible. But the fact that someone, once upon a time, thought these acts (in rhyming form) were good fodder for childrens stories...that's just messed up. This is a very short book, and deserves to be read. I found Struwwelpeter (in English) at Project ...more
Jane Irish Nelson
Dec 20, 2015 Jane Irish Nelson rated it it was ok
This edition includes an introduction, the poems (in English translation) with rather gruesome illustrations, in addition to the original versions, and ends with a reproduction of Struwwelhitler.

I had heard references to Struwwelpeter many times, as well as to a couple of the other stories in the collection, and decided I wanted to actually read it myself. I must admit, I read the originally illustrated versions, and found them interesting, if at times macabre. But, given what children read thes
Nov 21, 2013 Chris rated it really liked it
This book was read to me, in German and then translated, by my Oma when I was young. It terrified me but also taught me not to play with matches, not to suck my thumb, to watch where I was walking and not to make fun of other people. The "morality" stories had a very big impact on me at the time. The pictures were grusome but their point hit home on some stories. I still have the book - I probably won't let my children see it until they're older but I will introduce them to it at some point!
Mark Breitinger
Jun 28, 2009 Mark Breitinger rated it it was amazing
Sick, sick, sick. Wait'll you see these cautionary horror stories for children written in 1845 -- for a three-year-old! -- by Dr. Heinrich Hoffman. See the awful fates awaiting those unruly children who suck their thumbs, torment animals, or play with matches. While it's terrifying to think that this kind of text was actually used to instruct children (and is one of the most universal, oft-printed children's books in history), the book itself is pretty funny and over-the-top. Must be seen to be ...more
Jan 31, 2013 Aysegul rated it did not like it
Back in high school I worked on a project based on this awful book. I don't really need to say that particularly this children's book above all others is the utterly the worst choice you could make for your child. The bloody pictures illustrated in the book may have negative psychological effect on children. Also the teaching methods and the idea behind them are from the beginning till the end are out of time.
Johanna H.
May 24, 2014 Johanna H. rated it did not like it
Shelves: children
The nightmare of my Childhood .. Just the front pictures scared the hell out of me and that is lovely in comparison to the rest of them.. and i didn't even start with the storys... Don't know how any Child can have fun in reading those ? :D Well it's a Nightmare in Book form :D if you want traumatized Children who scream if they see thumbs, soup & Matches then give them this Book! Better make sure they don't have a vivid memory first!
May 29, 2011 Steph rated it it was amazing
These aren't your typical stories for children. Much like the original Grimm's stories (not the Disney version), they are actually very grotesque and were meant to be read to children to encourage them to be on their best behavior. Having read them as an adult, I am thankful that I don't have to be in the same shoes as poor Suck-A-Thumb.
Jerry Miller
Jun 10, 2016 Jerry Miller rated it really liked it
I read the Project Guttenberg edition of this short book for children. Meant to instruct children about the dangers of being naughty the illustrations and poems could prove frightening for more impressionable children. I would not have been one of those children. An interesting read, if only to compare what was once acceptable to what children now have in their sanitized, "safe" world.
Jul 16, 2011 John rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
I found this book at my grandparents' house when I was a kid, and it warped me for life. I was too young to get the black humor. Published in the late 19th century, this book probably was in the Hitler library. Might explain things. . .
Apr 03, 2011 hissi rated it it was amazing
Weird scary stories for kids
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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...

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