In the spirit of October, today we are featuring what is possibly the world’s creepiest children’s book!  Der Struwwelpeter (Shockheaded Peter) is a German children’s book by Heinrich Hoffmann, first published in 1845.  The English translation ominously describes it as “Pretty stories and funny pictures for little children”.  The tales inside are designed to teach young children what will happen if they don’t behave.  Der Struwwelpeter covers all sorts of bad behaviors—fidgeting at the table, playing with matches and the like.  The results of these behaviors, however, are much, muuuch worse than a slap on the wrist.  For instance, when a little boy wouldn’t stop sucking his thumb: “The door flew open, in he ran, the great, long, red- legg’d scissor man.”  You can guess what happens next. 

 Thank you to Lindsay and Jill for suggesting this terrible gem -L.H. Special Collections x-Collection PZ5.H686 S7 1876a

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