THE DEVIL'S STORYBOOK by Natalie Babbitt
Kirkus Star

THE DEVIL'S STORYBOOK

illustrated by
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Taking her cue from the Robert Southey quote with which she introduces her ten stories, Natalie Babbitt eschews fire and brimstone and dramatic villainy to portray a petty, proprietary sort of devil, often conniving but frequently outsmarted (even a goat named Walpurgis almost gets the best of him), with a very middle class concern for his image. Like the con man who scores by appealing to his victims' greed, Babbitt's devil has no power over the pure in heart -- but he does finally get even with an irritatingly perfect little girl named Angela who thrives on adversity as it gives her a chance to demonstrate her "Perfection." Among those who foil or escape him here are a sentimental minor demon enamored of roses, a kindly clergyman who finds an imp on his doorstep, a "Very Pretty Lady" (in the weakest story) who chooses love over beauty, and, in "Palindrome," an artist who changes from a good man who paints evil pictures to an ill-tempered man who makes heavenly statues. Natalie Babbitt's traditional themes abound in elegant twists, and she polishes even the straightest to a pleasing, most un-Angelic perfection.
Pub Date: June 26th, 1974
ISBN: 0374417083
Page count: 50pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1974




MORE BY NATALIE BABBITT

ChildrenTHE MOON OVER HIGH STREET by Natalie Babbitt
by Natalie Babbitt
ChildrenJACK PLANK TELLS TALES by Natalie Babbitt
by Natalie Babbitt
ChildrenPEACOCK by Valerie Worth
by Valerie Worth