Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue Book Poster Image
A solid early reader with lots of kid appeal.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Pierre says "I don't care" when his parents try to get him to behave.

Violence & Scariness

Pierre is swallowed by a lion, but is rescued.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that since Pierre is a supreme brat, the story of his comeuppance is deeply satisfying. The verse is lyrical, and the drawings are expressive.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySpiff April 9, 2008
Wonderful classic for all ages! I remember this from my childhood!

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What's the story?

Pierre doesn't care when his parents implore him to do this or not do that, but when a hungry lion comes to call, bratty Pierre changes his tune. This solid early reader, with rhyming text, provides a chuckle and leaves kids with the infectious chant--\"I don't care!\"


Is it any good?

This you-better-watch-out tale is well written for the beginning reader, with a catchy refrain that gives new readers a welcome reprieve from some challenging vocabulary.

Kids can relate to Pierre -- who hasn't been a brat at one time or the other? And they laugh when he is at the mercy of the lion with the same attitude. It's reassuring that Pierre's parents love him, regardless of his caring or lack thereof, and that they defend him against the lion: "They pull the lion / by the hair. / They hit him / with the folding chair." What a hoot when the lion croaks "I don't care!" and Pierre's whereabouts are revealed. "He's in there!! He's in there!!" cried an entire classroom full of 4-year-olds in a chorus of guffaws when that page was read to them.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the consequences of a bad attitude or misbehavior. Do you think Pierre got what he deserved at the end of the story? Why? What message is the story trying to convey?

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