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Book giveaway this week: The Good Little Devil and Other Tales by Pierre Gripari (CLOSED)

(30 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 26-Sep-13 12:48:52

We have 50 copies of Pushkin Press' The Good Little Devil and Other Tales up for grabs this week.

Written by the one of the most successful children's authors in 20th century France, the late Pierre Gripari, these charmingly eccentric French fairytales are guaranteed to win the hearts of English children and are perfect for those with a wicked sense of humour.

Apply for a free copy and don't forget to come back to this thread and let us know your dcs thoughts on these tales.

growltigersontheloose Tue 19-Nov-13 10:35:37

I very much enjoyed this book. It looks beautiful, so would make a good gift. I found the stories enjoyable, they are quirky and a bit random, which I liked. They remind me of 'proper' fairy tales, which don't always have rhyme or reason (or an ending!), but can be just silly or scary or a bit mad. I found it all very charming.

Thank you for sending me this book, I'd definitely recommend it and would probably buy it as a gift for a child who enjoyed tales.

outragednotme Wed 06-Nov-13 22:23:58

"The Good Little Devil and other tales" by Pierre Gripari is a lovely book with some great illustrations and contains 13 short "fairy" tales ranging in length from about 10 pages up to 35 pages.

I have dipped into the book a few times and although I have not read it all I have enjoyed the stories I have read so far. They are very random tales and consist of some ramblings that remind me of things I used to write as a child! (Married shoes, talking potatoes, hungry witches, frogs that will grow and carry you to distant lands..) So far my favourite story ends with the dismal mean and sad queen consoling herself that everyone else is mad, every single one of them.

I do look forward to reading the rest and introducing the book to my son.

Thank you for sending me this book.

MrsDeVere Mon 04-Nov-13 18:57:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Emmasmith214 Mon 04-Nov-13 18:15:49

I couldn't really get into this book. It looks lovely so I'm thinking of giving it away as a present for Christmas to someone who may appreciate it more. It's aimed at a higher age than for my son (would be useful if these things were marked with the age range they are suitable for). I couldn't really understand the point of the stories - I guess I agree with a few people above. I haven't read the whole book, so will make sure I get through it fully before passing it on to someone who would enjoy it more.

TamBam73 Mon 04-Nov-13 16:11:41

I read The Good Little Devil to my two children aged 6 and 9. My 9 year old also read the book herself. We have the hardback version, and it looks very attractive and is enticing to read. It is a collection of short stories, French in origin and translated into English. My 9 year old's favourite story was The Witch in the Broom Cupboard, which is about a man who buys a new house without realising there is a witch already living there. My 6 year old's favourite story was The Witch of Rue Mouffetard which is about a witch who wanted to be prettier. I enjoyed reading them aloud as they were unusual, quirky and funny stories and often I couldn't predict what would happen next. We would thoroughly recommend this book and look forward to reading it again and again.

Thank you very much for sending us the book, we loved it!

lorka Mon 04-Nov-13 14:38:26

My son (11) has been reading this book and seems to be enjoying it. He likes the fact it is short stories within one book.
Thanks again for sending us the book.

aristocat Tue 29-Oct-13 23:05:56

I also like this book, the cover is very appealing and would make a lovely present.

The stories are fine, and I agree they are quite different to other storybooks that we read. DD is a true book worm and thought the book was brilliant!

Thanks again, a charming book smile

AugustRose Tue 29-Oct-13 15:16:42

I didn’t really have any idea what this book was about when it arrived but am enthralled by it. My DD (11) read it first and I have just started to read it but am enjoying the stories. I love the fairy story style but using everyday objects as the characters makes it so different from other books. I like that there is no real point to most of them and you can dip in and out and still feel you’ve read a good story and I have laughed out loud a few times. My DD enjoyed it too – she told me to read the The Love Story of a Potato – when I said that was a bizarre story she replied “bizarre, it’s the strangest story I’ve every read”. She is an avid reader and she liked that this wasn’t like other books.

I agree it’s not the type of book you can read aloud, it is best suited to children (and adults – I know my DH is going to love the quirky stories) who can read and enjoy a story for themselves. I think I would put in a similar category to Chris Priestley’s Tales of Terror.

The book itself is beautifully presented and of high quality, I think it would make a wonderful gift for a child who loves reading but is a bit bored with most modern books. Definitely a thumbs up in our house, thank you much for this book.

suzannened Mon 28-Oct-13 13:14:29

Ds is 5 and I wasn't sure if he would take to these stories yet but we're 3 in & he's been in fits of giggles at each one. I agree with some of the others that the stories don't always flow too well when reading aloud but I'm pretty sure that it's just translation from French. We're looking forward to the rest and I'm sure DS will enjoy reading them himself when he's older

dahville Sun 27-Oct-13 22:29:54

At 2 my son is too young for the stories right now but I will keep the book for him to read in a few years.

I like that the stories are fanciful, I think it would encourage imagination. I don't like the translation from French, the wording is often quite awkward. I almost want to get the French version to see if the stories sound better.

I think people should a story from the book before buying as it won't be to everyone's taste.

Uzma01 Sun 27-Oct-13 22:17:30

The book was a lovely surprise when it landed on the doorstep, looks lovely and all but I don't think the stories were appropriate for my kids - at 3.5 & almost 2.

I didn't mind the quirkiness of the stories myself but didn't feel comfortable reading them aloud to the kids. Maybe when they're older - but at present, I don't feel they're suitable.

stephgr Tue 22-Oct-13 03:04:01

I was really impressed with this book. The fantastical tales are really entertaining and quite funny. My daughter loved it when items like potatoes and shoes came to life.

These tales are so original and even those that resemble traditional fairy tales include additional quirky elements.

Definitely recommend.

Babelange Sun 20-Oct-13 21:21:22

I was thrilled to receive this book on Monday - the design of the cover certainly appealed to me when I applied for a copy. My DCs were a bit dismissive about reading it with me (DSs 12/10) but perhaps I was being overly optimistic as they are a bit old for 'fairy' stories (or they think they are too old). It certainly looks like a gift purchase and would be good for a christening gift or special present for a child - to read aloud or for independent readers right up to year 6. I am certainly going to put it carefully in my present drawer!

My youngest DS did read one of the stories aloud to humour me; he enjoyed reading it (liking the general absurdity) and it presented sufficient challenge in terms of length and vocabulary. It was 'The Witch in the Broom Cupboard' which someone else noted above - in my opinion, this is the stand-out-story in the collection (based on a Russian fairy tale) with delightful illustrations. The story I least liked was the one of the title, 'The Good Little Devil'; it just seemed odd to read a story featuring the Virgin Mary.

The author died in 1990, but the translators of this edition have provided his afterword to the French editions. He notes that the afterword will only ever get read by adults (true); the afterword provides the context for the stories (they were written in collaboration with the children of Rue Boca for fun).

I read the book cover to cover and found that I appreciated the novelty of discovering a new children's writer. The stories had shades of Enid Blyton (in fairytale mode) and Julia Donaldson seems to have been inspired by the same 'root' tales in the Brothers Grimm etc.

majjsu Sat 19-Oct-13 21:04:21

My daughter enjoys when I read her the stories. We find them original, creative, unusual and entertaining. They are such a mix. She asks lots of questions and we discuss what we like, what we don't and what we would change. Above all we have fun with this book. Yes would recommend for all the above reasons.

MrsDeVere Sat 19-Oct-13 17:45:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

katb1973 Fri 18-Oct-13 13:05:40

Thank you so much for the giveaway, my children love traditional tales and I was looking forward to reading them. On the plus side, the stories are full of weird and wonderful tales where absolutely everything is possible and the thing you least expect happens. On the negative side my sensitive nearly 7 year old was a bit frightened of some of the parts in some of the stories, but my 4 year old loved them (he's much hardier!). The stories are an off shoot of more traditional tales, think the brothers Grimm, so be prepared that they are a bit more "in your face" than some other fairy tale type books currently on the market.

storyshacker Thu 17-Oct-13 16:32:41

I've really enjoyed reading the stories so far as they're refreshing-a little bit surreal, silly and quirky but that makes them all the better for me. At some points you're not quite sure what's happening but it definitely makes you chuckle out loud. I'd recommend it for a read aloud and a read alone book ; I also agree it would be a lovely stimulus for children's writing. Storyshack will definitely be storing it in the barn and travelling round schools with it. Fairytales have a place in every primary school, certainly and into secondary school in terms of genre too. So this would be great to discuss and use to inspire imagination. Think KS2 would pick up those subtle lines and manage the gory bits too. Love the humour and the down to earth feel - 'The witch in the broom cupboard' is 'tackled' using string which has to be purchased from the local shop first.
Enjoyed the illustrations...there's an underlying cheekiness that appeals. A potato with an ambition to be a French frie - least it didn't want to be on x factor! - who'd have thought it?

Helbel78 Wed 16-Oct-13 10:58:24

Thanks for this book, we have only read the first story so far, but it is going down very well with DS so far

RAZDAZ Wed 16-Oct-13 08:23:32

I was so excited to receive this book as James is a quarter French. I think I will keep it until he is a little older, he is nearly five, some of the stories are a little violent, like threating to split someone in two with a glass ashtray!. It would be good if it had an age range printed on the book.

cornflakegirl Tue 15-Oct-13 21:19:07

Polar opposite to Hopezibah then! I liked the fact that there wasn't really a point to the first story. It was a bit weird and kind of lovely. Each to their own! grin

cornflakegirl Tue 15-Oct-13 21:14:31

Thank you for this book. DS1 (8) has read it and it got a big (literal) thumbs up from him. He says that his favourite story is The Witch in the Broom Cupboard, because he liked how the narrator couldn't stop himself from singing the releasing song. He also liked the idea of a hairy frog. He also really liked The Good Little Devil because he thought the idea of a good devil was really funny.

I've read a few of the stories and I really like the way the author combines the bizarre and fantastic with the completely mundane. The stories are enchanting. The afterword claims that they were created in collaboration with a group of children; I don't know if that's true, but it feels like it could be. They remind me of some of the weird stuff I used to write when I was younger, only much better written obviously!

I would definitely consider getting this book as a gift, and I would recommend it as something a little bit different. I will also recommend it to DS's school for teachers to read aloud as stimulus for creative writing. I'm sure DS will reread our copy many times.

Hopezibah Tue 15-Oct-13 21:00:26

I think this is one of the only childrens books I have ever been disappointed about. It looks like such a lovely book and looks beautiful as a gift for example, but so far we have not been enjoying the stories. We read the first story yesterday and it left us feeling what what the point of that story, and so we tried the actual 'good little devil' story today thinking that must be a good one if the book is named after it - but again felt disappointed. We will perservere with a couple more as some of them look interestingly named - will come back and leave another comment if things improve but for us this was sadly a little disappointing. I think I must have a preference for more modern stories.

Elainey1609 Tue 15-Oct-13 20:27:10

Well had a short read of the book at bed time ... We liked it so far. Look forward to reading more over the the next few days

runningincircles Mon 14-Oct-13 17:22:46

Thank you for my copy, I can't wait to read it with DS.

Crinklecut Mon 14-Oct-13 17:14:25

Just received my copy, and can't wait to get started on this beautiful looking book!! Thank you!!!

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