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The Devil's Storybook

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  447 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
The Devil's Storybook is a 1974 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and a 1975 National Book Award Finalist for Children's Books.An ALA Notable Book

Chosen by School Library Journal as one of the Best of the Best Books
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Paperback, 112 pages
Published December 1st 1984 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1974)
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(showing 1-30 of 945)
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Katy
Aug 25, 2009 Katy rated it it was amazing
NPR did a recent feature on children’s literature which piqued my interest because I wasn’t aware children read anymore. I listened as a children’s book author reviewed her favorite books from childhood and reveled in her choices, which included The Boxcar Children series (which I read over a summer in grade school; probably between 2nd and 3rd grade) and Roald Dahl’s entire catalog of work. I realized that what this children’s author and I had in common was that as kids we clearly both valued b ...more
Caroline
Feb 22, 2011 Caroline rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Children's storytellers who want something unique
Shelves: children, fairytales
I found this discarded library book at a garage sale and I'm so glad I picked it up. It's a truly unique book of tales featuring the Devil in various adventures and plots to pull one over on someone else. Sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he fails. Another reviewer said that it's usually the character with the least common sense that loses in the end, and I agree with this. Sometimes he's the sensible one who's stuck with incompetent minions (and I end up feeling bad for him!)

This book is unique
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Ann
Dec 30, 2012 Ann rated it it was amazing
I spent two weeks reading all of Natalie Babbit's books. I am better for it, and this was a stand out even among such exceptional works. To quote Jean Stafford's review: "The Devil is not dire; he is a scheming practical joker and comes to earth often when he is restless, to play tricks on clergymen, goodwives, poets, and pretty girls." A books for bright children (why not?) and their parents to share. I would say this book is like I.B. Singer for young readers, but he wrote wonderful books for ...more
Dionisia
Entertaining, light read. Each of the ten stories revolve around the Devil himself in some way or other.

Contents...

Wishes
The Very Pretty Lady
The Harps of Heaven
The Imp in the Basket*
Nuts
A Palindrome***
Ashes
Perfection**
The Rose and the Minor Demon
The Power of Speech

*This was my favorite story of the bunch. I loved the ambiguity of it all.

**A close second for favorite story. The ending clinched it as a standout

***This one sticks with me as well. Even when the Devil doesn't get his way, we can sti
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Summer
Jan 22, 2012 Summer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short collection of young adult stories about the dealings of the Devil in and out of Hell and the poor ones he tries to torture or just decides to make their lives a living hell. This is a book written with great humor and irony. If only the Devil would learn from his own mistakes! ;)

Clever and well written. Same author as Tuck Everlasting.
Maryann
Mar 27, 2016 Maryann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childhood
Some of the best stories are the very weird ones.
Kendra
Something made me remember this book that I read so long ago when I was perhaps 9... I remember the librarian at the local branch recommending it to me, with no parents around ( I am sure I rode my bike there myself), and I just laughed out loud at how ridiculously impossible this scenario might be these days...not only because of the Title, but also for a 9 year old biking anywhere by herself, and talking to a stranger...OMDog, does this date me, or what? I didn't even know who "the Devil" was, ...more
Eden
Aug 07, 2011 Eden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, reviewed
The Devil's Storybook is a book of short stories featuring the devil being. . . . Well, devilish. He starts to make someone's day miserable, but ends up failing the first few tries. He takes a goat that he has wanted for ever so long, but ends up giving it back and there are many other tales.

This is the second book I've read by Natalie Babbitt. The first being Tuck Everlasting. I read that a few summers ago and it became one of my all time favorites. I decided to try another book by Natalie Babb
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Heather Colacurcio
Aug 08, 2012 Heather Colacurcio rated it really liked it
Natalie Babbitt is one of the great Children's authors, and she succeeds once again in this gem of a book. When the Devil gets bored in Hell, he comes to the World to play around with humans. In ten short-stories, each of them darkly humorous, the Devil is up to no good. Some stories prove the sheer stupidity and selfish nature of humanity ("Wishes", "Ashes", "The Harps of Heaven"), others portray the good-natured, big-hearted spirit of the pious ("The Imp in the Basket", "The Power of Speech). ...more
Lisa
Jan 09, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fairy-tale buffs
My computer flipped out on a Sunday, and I had to wait 'til the next day to get it fixed. I couldn't manage a day without my computer, so I went to the library. I had a long wait for a computer, so I went to look for Newbery books. As is always the case at the Multnomah County Library, what I really wanted was checked out. So I ended up with a lot of books that weren't Newbery award winners/honorees, but were written by authors that had won or been honored.

That's the long version of how I ended
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Meaghan Steeves
Sep 11, 2015 Meaghan Steeves rated it really liked it
This was really good! I can't believe it's the only other book I've read by her besides "Search for Delicious"! She makes me laugh, has fantastic imagination, and the worlds she create have the same familiar feeling as the fairy tales we all know and love.
E
Jun 18, 2014 E rated it it was amazing
This is just so charming and silly and gentle. Has the clever, slightly acerbic and definitely whimsical style of folklore. I keep it by my bedside and read stories before bed. Perfect.
Lisa
Feb 20, 2016 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This a really cute storybook. The Illustrations are so sweet and the stories are kinda funny and kinda deep at the same time. I`m actually very happe I got this book! ...more
blake
Feb 14, 2016 blake rated it really liked it
Delightful little book of children's stories about the pitfalls of dealing with the Devil. Very reminiscent of old folk tales. Quite short and a lot of fun.
María Greene
Jan 30, 2016 María Greene rated it it was amazing
Awww, de los primeros libros que tuve, y que atesoré. No sé, en todo caso, si es realmente para niños... lo dudo. Pero a mí me encantó.
Lisa Scott
Jun 20, 2012 Lisa Scott rated it really liked it
I came across this odd little collection of tales because my school has a Literature Circle set of it in its bookroom. The book's Devil is a trickster figure who meddles on Earth when he gets bored. My favorite story is "The Imp in the Basket," which I read to my sixth graders to teach them about short story elements but which wound up sparking a debate on the nature of good and evil. I just read that the book was challenged by parents of students in New Jersey and Pennsylvania because of its "o ...more
Catherine
Mar 07, 2008 Catherine rated it it was amazing
My first five-star review, and it's a Natalie Babbitt book (who I've mentioned I worry I don't appreciate as much as I should). These stories are utterly charming, and I loved how the Devil was portrayed, as someone who can be complacent at times, and pushy at others, and as someone who on occasion misreads the situation he's in. It certainly gives kids reading it grounds to see the adults in their lives in the same light (don't hate on me for that, anti-Devil people). My favorite story in the b ...more
Amy
Mar 07, 2015 Amy rated it it was ok
Eh. It was just a little book of fables but I still was hoping for more. Eh.
Dee Maselle
Apr 20, 2016 Dee Maselle rated it really liked it
Short, elegant, gently amusing "morality tales" starring a mischievous, slightly sadistic Devil. Sometimes he wins -- and sometimes he doesn't.
A.M.
Feb 20, 2016 A.M. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is hilarious!
Maureen Milton
This book of thought-provoking stories, published in 1974, is a gem. Each pithy tale of the Devil, slightly portly and a little bored in Hell, tells of his forays into the World, seeking diversion and perhaps a new recruit to join him. These tales vary in length, employ simple, sturdy language, but all are dense with meaning, examining human foibles with sympathy, humor, and/or surprise. They merit re-reading and discussion. This is a slim volume of great richness, accessible to all readers. Hig ...more
Amy
Jun 26, 2008 Amy rated it really liked it
This is a wicked little book starring Old Scratch. I especially liked the Dorian Gray element of the story "A Palindrome," but they're all pretty good. Includes several memorable characters (besides the Devil himself) such as Walpurgis the foulmouthed goat, and a nameless minor demon who wants to be a rose gardener. I read "Perfection," the story of a sickeningly good little girl, aloud to my mother. She got a good laugh out of it, because she's never really liked good girls. Or boys of any sort ...more
Lars Guthrie
Oct 19, 2009 Lars Guthrie rated it it was amazing
I hesitate to say more than this is an enchanting little collection of short fable-like stories whose morals are invariably ambiguous, because there was such a joy for me in the unexpectedness of each of them. I was particularly fond of 'A Palindrome,' which starts with a kind man who paints pictures filled with cruelty, and ends with a cruel man who paints pictures filled with kindness, but every story is delightfully humrous, and completely unusual. And you can read it in no time. Highly recom ...more
Michelle
Nov 03, 2015 Michelle rated it really liked it
Fun stories. Very witty.
Barbara
Nov 16, 2011 Barbara rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
The first sentence reads: "One day when things were dull in Hell, the Devil fished around in his bag of disguises, dressed himself as a fairy godmother, and came up into the World to find someone to bother." I was hooked from the start! This is a light hearted fun read - there is nothing scary. It's ten short stories - that do not have to be read in any specific order. The first two are very funny, but my personal favorite - that I want to recommend to every mother and/or parent is Perfection.
Daniel
Nov 29, 2007 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
These very brief stories were actually a delight to read. The come across as fables, each with a short moral. My daugher had requested the book from the library because she wanted to read as much Natalie Babbitt as she could, after watching Tuck Everlasting on television. My daughter, too, enjoyed these stories. It only takes about an hour to read through the entire book, but the writing flows nicely and most of the stories were quite enjoyable to read.
Kaycie Hall
Apr 05, 2011 Kaycie Hall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
"One day when things were dull in Hell, the Devil fished around in his bag of disguises, dressed himself as a fairy godmother, and came up into the World to find someone to bother."

Why would I not want to read a book that starts out in this way? I personally love the idea of the Devil as a rogue who schemes to steal pet goats and make other people open his walnuts for him. This little book made me laugh, and I love it for that.
Karen
Feb 23, 2010 Karen rated it it was amazing
Hilarious and wonderful! These stories of the Devil visiting the earth to tempt mortals was such a treat. I'm sure some readers will avoid this out of superstitious terror of the Devil, but this Devil seems strangely human and the writing style is delightful. My favorite children's book in some time. And thanks to Goodreads I have just found out there's a sequel. Hooray!
Paul Hasbrouck
Dec 20, 2013 Paul Hasbrouck rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Nice little collection of Devil stories, were Old Nick tries to have some fun with us mere humans. My favorite is THE HARPS OF HEAVEN, a screwball caper with The Devil sending two hard headed thieves on the rocky road to heaven. Their object? Stealing the angels harps.
This collection left me with a nice smile and the Devil would not like that.
Lauren
Jul 20, 2011 Lauren rated it it was amazing
Openly admitting that I have been reading a lot of children's books lately. Natalie Babbitt, why did I not read more of your books as a child? This is a delightful collection of short stories about the devil and the not so fair games he can play. Babbitt has a light touch, the morals don't always hit you over the head. "Nuts" is my favorite.
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1954
Natalie Babbitt was born Natalie Zane Moore on July 28, 1932, in Dayton, Ohio. She attended Laurel School for Girls, and then Smith College. She has 3 children and is married to Samuel Fisher Babbitt. She is a grandmother of 3 and lives in Rhode Island.

She is also a board member of the National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance a national not-for-profit that actively advocates for literacy, li
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