F O L K L O R E
C H I L D R E N S' B O O K S
P O E T R Y
Do unto ogres . . . . This is a very nasty ogre from Charles Perrault's "Petit Poucet" (Histoires ou contes du temps passé, 1697). Seven brothers arrive at this ogre's door after their parents lose them—on purpose—in the woods. Seven boys? What a coincidence! This ogre has seven daughters. But dinner, not marriage, is in the offing. The ogre feeds the boys and tucks them into a bed next to his daughters' bed. The youngest boy, Petit Poucet ("Little Thumbling") notices that the girls wear golden crowns. When the ogre leaves the room, Petit Poucet puts the boys caps on the girls, the girls' crowns on boys. After dark, when the ogre comes to slit the throats of Petit Poucet and his brothers, he feels the sleeping childrens' heads, and slits his daughters' throats instead. Eager to destroy the children of strangers, the ogre destroys his own family.
I am an author and folklorist based in Portland, Oregon.
Imagine That! How Dr. Seuss Wrote 'The Cat in the Hat"
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*Starred reviews from Publishers' Weekly and Kirkus.
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