Cautionary Tales for Children
A Parody of Cautionary Tales
Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years
Cautionary Tales for Children: Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years is a 1907 children's book written by Hilaire Belloc. It is a parody of the cautionary tales that were popular in the 19th century. The work is in the public domain in the United States.
Illustrated by Belloc's friend from Oxford Basil Temple Blackwood, it is similar in style to the The Bad Child's Book of Beasts which had brought Belloc public acclaim and commercial success a decade earlier. The book contains an introduction and eleven tales, all written in rhyming couplets.
Upon being asked by a Reader whether the verses contained in this book were true.
And is it True? It is not True.
And if it were it wouldn't do,
For people such as me and you
Who pretty nearly all day long
Are doing something rather wrong.
Because if things were really so,
You would have perished long ago,
And I would not have lived to write
The noble lines that meet your sight,
Nor B. T. B. survived to draw
The nicest things you ever saw.