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Jim by Mini Grey
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Jim

by Mini Grey

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Delightfully macabre! ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
I grew up on this poem. My mother had it memorized, and we used to beg her to recite it for us. Accordingly, this book is her Little Christmas present. I've borrowed it back.

Now, there's always somebody who comments that little things like dead children are inappropriate for, well, children. If you're one of those people - don't buy this book, save the rest of us the angst. Jim DOES get eaten by a lion, there IS no happy ending, you HAVE been warned. If you're still unsure, the poem is in the public domain, so you can google it and pre-read before you buy.

With that said, since the poem IS available at Project Gutenberg and elsewhere, I'm not going to spend much effort reviewing the text. It's gory and over-the-top and the reaction of the parents when finding about their dead child ("Well, he'd never do as he were told!") is hilariously understated. It's the sort of thing impressionable young children beg their parents to recite over and over again on the train.

Let's talk about the art, though. This is a pop-up book, the pop-ups and flaps seem *reasonably* sturdy (but I'm not pulling at them THAT hard). There are plenty of funny details hidden in the art. For example, the line "They even took him to the zoo. But there it was a dreadful fate befell him, which I now relate" is written on a fold-out map (safely glued to the page, you won't be losing it) of the zoo, with the bylaws on the other side. The map is full of signs along the lines of "It's your own time you're wasting" and "Do not stroke the snakes", and the bylaws have a similarly long-winded list of rules, including "Strictly no ostentatious mating displays" and "No silly voices".

And of course, there's the scene where he gets eaten, which is where flaps really come in handy. First you have the little boy, and then you pull the flap and the boy is eaten but the words remain.

It's clever, it's funny, it's a classic poem - I may buy another for me. And it probably won't warp your kids for life. I, after all, am mostly sane :) ( )
  conuly | Jan 11, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375859705, Hardcover)

A treat for fans of ghastly gore and egregious endings.

“Contains a Dangerous Beast and a Miserable End,” states a warning on the cover. But if you are strong of heart and like your humor a little on the dark side, jump right into the brilliant collaboration of the Edwardian humorist Hilaire Belloc, dead for the past 57 years, and the very much alive Mini Grey. Grey's sly illustrations, clever type designs, amazing lift-the-flaps, and a roaring lion pop-up, not to mention her zoo map with hilarious Rules and Byelaws, make this edition of the classic cautionary tale a collectible to savor. Decidedly not a lift-the-flap for babies, it will lift the spirits of anyone with a well-developed sense of humor.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:32:30 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Rhyming text, lift-the-flap and pop-up pages tell the story of Jim, a little boy who escapes at the zoo from his nurse and is eaten by a lion.

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