Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue” as Want to Read:
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue

(Nutshell Library)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  9,347 ratings  ·  240 reviews
A story with a moral air about Pierre, who learned to care. Young Pierre, whose favorite line is I don't care! changes his mind after meeting a hungry lion. Three-color illustrations. ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published March 15th 1991 by HarperCollins (first published 1962)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pierre, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pierre

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,347 ratings  ·  240 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue
Pierre has an attitude and he just doesn’t care. Nothing, no one can make him care, not even a lion. Pierre does learn a lesson and adjusts his attitude, but it’s not the easiest way to do so.

This is a book 1/4 the size of a normal book - pocket size. It’s very cute with Maurice’s artwork and style. It’s short and sweet for a beginning reader.

The kids loved this. They laughed and giggled when Pierre was eaten. They wanted it read again. The nephew gave this 5 stars and the niece gave it 3 star

“Pierre: A Cautionary Tale” is apart of the Nutshell Kids Library collection by Maurice Sendak and is one of the most exciting one out of all the stories of the collection. “Pierre: A Cautionary Tale” is about a young boy named Pierre who never cared about hurting other people’s feelings until a lion comes for a visit. This book will definitely be a cult favorite among children who are fans of Maurice Sendak’s works.

Maurice Sendak has done a superb job at both illustrating and writing this book
Jun 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I've included a link to Carole King's musical version of this classic children's story.
A fabulous combination of talent - Sendak's lyrical words and King's beautiful voice.

The copy I read was printed in 2013 but includes the original 1962 cover. The artwork in this story is also really well done; classic Sendak style.
What I didn't know?? This book is part of The Nutshell Library:

One was Johnny
Chicken Soup With Rice
Alligators All Around

To sum it up this is "a sto
Jul 09, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: rhyming, 2013, childrens
Odd, but entertaining story about a little boy who doesn't care. I've never been much of a fan of Maurice Sendak's work, but I thought this was a clever and humorous tale. The illustrations are simple and the chapters are very short. I am not sure if this book is appropriate for younger children, but older children will likely be able to appreciate the wry wit.

interesting quote:

"The moral of Pierre is: CARE!" (p. 48)
May 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: with-younglings
I just finished reading this 4 times in a row with my six year old. He read most of it to me, then asked me to read it to give the voices the proper tone.

He always doubts me when I say "Oh, this is a good one! I LOVED this one when I was your age!" but this time he listened to me, and he loved it.


His favourite parts involve the lion (of course) - he loves the satisfied smirk on his face when Pierre is eaten and watching Pierre's father smacking the lion with the chair.

I'm glad I found a co
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pre-1993
My kindergarten class did a skit to the song about how Pierre doesn't care and for years I couldn't figure out where the song was from and why it haunted me. I would even sing the one part I knew to people once in a while and no one could tell me more about it. I finally figured it out at the Maurice Sendak exhibit at the Jewish Museum about three years ago. It was like a revelation. ...more
May 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who don't care
Recommended to Sarah by: Edie
Shelves: picture-books
A gem, to be sure with a solid moral. I do so love a moral.
Feb 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sean
Author: Maurice Sendak

Genre: Fiction Picture Book

Publication Info: Harper Collins Publishers Inc.: 1991

Reading Level: Ages 4-8

Topic/Theme: caring

Issues Addressed: It is better to care about something than to not care at all.

Classroom Uses: Read Aloud, Independent Reading

Summary: Pierre responds to everything with "I don't care." He does not care about anything. He does not care what his mother thinks. He does not care what he eats. Pierre is a comical character who learns to care.

Text and im
May 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014, storybook
I never really liked this one as a child. Pierre getting eaten because he 'doesn't care'? It always just seemed to me that Pierre was just trying to do his own thing and avoid arbitrary directives. OK, not pouring syrup in your hair is a good idea, but not standing on your head, and to be killed for either?!? The 'moral' seems more like 'conform unquestioningly to authority or you will risk being killed for it'. ...more
Feb 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
When I was little, my mother always pulled out this book and read it to us whenever we told her that we didn't care. Now whenever anyone says that they don't care, I automatically think of this silly book. I really like the book and the moral is a good one. ...more
Amar Pai
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids-books
Arriving home
at six o'clock,
his parents had
A dreadful shock!
They found the lion
sick in bed
and cried,
"Pierre is surely dead!"

Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I LOVE Carol King's song about Pierre better than the book. I think it's because I'm not fond of Sendak's artwork. ...more
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
5* art
3* story

As usual, Sendak pushes the boundaries in a fantastic and humorous way.
Chrissi Guarnieri
Feb 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
Pierre is a boy who just doesn't seem to care about anything, that is until he is eaten by a lion. The moral of this story runs true for any parent, "care". The story and illustrations by Maurice Sendak are simple, stylized and interestingly enough the little boy resembles the little boy in Where the Wild Things Are. The story is short, and my children thought it was funny, although I found the repetition of the "I don't care" to be irritating. This was not my favorite Sendak book, but I see val ...more
Lesley Looper
I remember enjoying reading this story to my students, and I also enjoyed the cassette tape (at the time) of the story put to song, sung by Carole King. Cute story about a little boy with an attitude who gets eaten by a lion. When he gets shaken back out of the lion, he has a whole new attitude! :)
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Prologue, from the book:
"There once was a boy named Pierre
who only would say, "I don't care!"
Read his story, my friend,
for you'll find at the end
that a suitable moral lies there."
 Linda (Miss Greedybooks)
Jul 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
"There once was a boy named Pierre..." I DON"T CARE! :P ...more
Dee's Reading Zone
Pierre and the cautionary tale using the words "I DON'T CARE" until Pierre finally started to CARE! ...more
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Fantastic! Breathtaking! Original!
Katie Fitzgerald
Though I was always disturbed as a kid by the idea that a lion could come along and eat a disagreeable child, I still have fond memories of this book from first grade. The book - and Carole King's sung version, of course - made such an impression on me, that I actually ordered my own copy from the school book order way back when, and somewhere, I still have it.

The premise of the story is that a boy named Pierre doesn't care about anything. When his parents get ready to go out, he refuses to get
Michael Morley
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue, was published over fifty years ago, I believe this story to be relevant and timeless. The story centers around an apathetic and disrespectful child named Pierre who is continuously indulged by his parents. Pierre engages in spoiled brat behaviors such as pouring syrup on his hair and making messes for his parents to clean up, constantly repeating the phrase, "I don't care." While having something of a tantrum, Pierre gets left h ...more
Linda Lipko
This a tale of a quarrelsome lad named Pierre who haughtily responded to every statement of question with "I don't care."

Until one day he responded to the Lion that he did not care if the Lion ate him. After a rescue from the stomach of the lion, Pierre indeed began to care.

The moral of the may not appreciate life until you run the risk of losing it.
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
The moral of Pierre is: CARE!

This is a wonderful and memorable book, and Pierre's constant refrain (and eventual comeuppance) reminded me of individuals who shall remain nameless.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: x2017-18-season
Darker than Seuss, but just as entertaining for children.
I've read this book many times to my children and now I'm reading it to my grandchildren. I LOVE Maurice Sendak's books. This is another cute one....and Pierre learns that it's important to CARE. ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A plum perfect fairy tale, dazzlingly orchestrated with as few words and images as there were chapters and pages.
Cassandra Gelvin
Aug 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As the title of another book says, children are delicious.

This is a weird book. I'm not sure if I'd label it a chapter book or a picture book-- it's kind of a cross between the two. It's written entirely in rhyme. It's not very long, but it's also not very big.

There's a little boy named Pierre who only says, "I don't care." His mother gets him up in the morning and feeds him breakfast, asking him questions like, "What do you want to eat?" And tells him not to sit backwards in his chair or to sto
May 19, 2017 rated it did not like it a nutshell: If you're a bratty kid who gets left home alone, a lion will break in and eat you.


I know, I know. This is one of those "classics" that readers and critics alike praise to the heavens. But I somehow completely missed it as a child. Forgive me. I was busy reading stories about horses, unicorns, mermaids, and brave little boys and girls who ventured into the woods/jungles and DIDN'T get eaten by animals (not lions, not tigers, not bears... not even wolves). In fact, usua
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Pierre: A Cautionary tale was a super fun book. In the book Pierre is a spoiled boy who always said “I don’t care” it didn’t matter what was happening, Pierre didn’t care. He then gets eaten by a lion where they still hear him saying he doesn’t care but eventually when he realizes he might not get out the parents get him to care about something. The lion gets sick and Pierre gets spit out and he becomes a much sweeter kid. I think this is a great story to use in the class when talking about poli ...more
I like Sendak's distinctive illustrations, but I think children will relate to the humor in this book, and Pierre's defiance of his parents with his"I don't care!" answers to every question, better than I did. What may be laugh-out-loud funny to a young reader was just irritating for me. Although Pierre's impudence distracted me from the moral (this is, afer all, "a cautionary tale"), it might not for other readers; this is a very subjective review! And, again, the illustrations are great and do ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • George and Martha
  • Little Bear (Little Bear, #1)
  • One Morning in Maine
  • Amos & Boris
  • Bedtime for Frances
  • Time of Wonder
  • Whistle for Willie
  • Bread and Jam for Frances
  • Grandfather's Journey
  • Fables
  • Make Way for Ducklings
  • Strega Nona
  • Uni the Unicorn (Uni the Unicorn, #1)
  • Tuesday
  • Lon Po Po: A Red-Riding Hood Story from China
  • Just Because
  • The Little House
  • Scuffy the Tugboat
See similar books…
Maurice Bernard Sendak was an American writer and illustrator of children's literature who is best known for his book Where the Wild Things Are, published in 1963. An elementary school (from kindergarten to grade five) in North Hollywood, California is named in his honor.

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Polish-Jewish immigrant parents, and decided to become an illustrator after viewing Wa

Other books in the series

Nutshell Library (4 books)
  • Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months
  • One Was Johnny: A Counting Book
  • Alligators All Around

News & Interviews

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
210 likes · 24 comments