Hilaire Belloc is something of a striking figure in the history of english literature and his book titled of Cautionary Tales for Children is a good indicator why. What is most memorable about these tales is their frankness and frightening ability to get the message across. Take Jim for instance who has just been given his very own book titled Jim- A Cautionary Tale. Jim
“ran away from his nurse and was eaten by a lion”
I don’t think the message could be any clearer. There are no hidden messages just absurd uncanny truths in a world where lions get their lunch and little girls like Matilda get burned. This book was originally published in 1907 and was a great source of entertainment for children who could lose themselves in the wonderous illustrations of Edward Gorey. The black and white etchings give focus to the story as we see in black and white that if you are bad you must deal with your punishment, as poor Jim discovers. It’s a black and white cautionary tale and I love the frankness of it all.
Today Jim has been given a new lease of life thanks to illustrator Mini Grey with Jonathan Cape Publishing. Mini Grey is quite a well known illustrator with titles such as The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon’ and ‘Traction Man is Here’ and ‘Biscuit Bear’. She really brings the story to life with dense illustrations full of colour and detail using a range of media from watercolour to newspaper cuttings and seems in similar style of Emma Chichester Clark and Lauren Child. This is a great hardback edition to buy if you want to introduce the children to some old classic tales.
ISBN: 978-0224083676 J86KBTH983UB