Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue

Common Sense Media says

A solid early reader with lots of kid appeal.





What parents need to know

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.

Not applicable

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.

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Kids say

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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 -- "I don't care!" -- 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.

Families can talk 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?

Book details

Author:Maurice Sendak
Illustrator:Maurice Sendak
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Bt Bound
Publication date:January 1, 1962
Number of pages:48

This review of Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written bySpiff April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
Wonderful classic for all ages! I remember this from my childhood!


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