The Good Little Devil and Other Tales by Pierre Gripari

The Good Little Devil and Other Tales

Written by Pierre Gripari
Illustrated by Puig Rosado

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Shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation, awarded biennially since 1996, was founded to celebrate the best translation of a children’s book from a foreign language into English and published in the UK. It aims to spotlight the high quality and diversity of translated fiction for young readers.

Translated by Sophie Lewis

Delightful trickery abounds in this collection of magical tales all of which are spiced with a sophisticated sense of humour and sharp wit. Originally published in France, the stories tell of all kinds of plots and plans by which devils and witches and giants are overcome are fun for adults and children alike. The Good Little Devil of the title story does all the things a devil should not! And a story of a potato who is in love! and a giant who needs a lot of magical help to get to a marriageable size. ~ Julia Eccleshare

A Piece of Passion from Stephanie Seegmuller, Associate Publisher, Pushkin Children’s Books I’m really excited that Pushkin Children’s are publishing The Good Little Devil and Other Tales.
Now, this is not just any book. Of all the books I read as a child, this one is my absolute favourite. Having grown up in France, the book was first read to me, then I read it again myself, many times. I still know all the stories by heart and my old copies have followed me everywhere to this day.

The stories themselves are exceptionally memorable. This is a world where everything is completely absurd and makes perfect sense. Potatoes talk and befriend guitars, pigs swallow stars and fairies live in taps… all for very good reasons! It’s also a very reassuring world: the eternal ingredients of fairy tales are all there, with kings, witches, mermaids and fairies, but it's a place entirely lacking in cruelty. The witch turned into a frog and the inevitable queen mother are mean, but they have issues of their own. Kindness to others is always the prime value which will get you out of trouble and in the end, the good are rewarded and the evil are punished.

The stories are incredibly funny, which is why they’re as popular in France with adults as they are with children and why they’ve been handed down from generation to generation ever since the book came out in the 60s. Do a survey today among French 7-10 year-olds and you’ll find everyone knows Prince Blub and the Witch in the Broom Cupboard. And this is not a uniquely French phenomenon! The book has been very successful in 17 other languages, including Mandarin Chinese, and has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide.

So I hope you understand why I’m so glad this book is now available to all English-speaking readers, big and small. The book is as close as possible to the one I read and loved and we’ve even fished out the original illustrations from the highly talented and completely bonkers 80-year-old Puig Rosado. So I hope you enjoy it, and I’d be delighted to find out what you think of it.


The Good Little Devil and Other Tales by Pierre Gripari

The children who live on rue Broca in Paris meet each week with Monsieur Pierre. for him to tell them stories. Once Monsieur Pierre has told them all the stories he knows, he suggests that each week they make up a new story. According to the author, this is how he came up with these stories - a French childhood classic. The story of the Good Little Devil - beloved by all French schoolchildren - is about the little devil who, to the great disappointment of his parents, wants to be good. Other stories involve the deli owner of rue Broca, Papa Said, and his children, Bachir and Nadia, a highly convincing explanation of how the first piggy bank came to be, the adventures of Bachir's clairvoyant doll, a haunted apartment and the love story of a potato and a guitar) and many more improbable stories.

Click here to listen to one of these magical stories!


A wonderful book. Funny, tender and daft. David Almond

These 13 stories show how clever youngsters overcome the traditional wicked characters with the help of a little bit of magic... refreshingly different... improbable but charming. Parents in Touch

About the Author

Pierre Gripari

Pierre Gripari was born in 1925 in Paris, to a French mother and a Greek father. He studied at the prestigious Louis-le-Grand lycée, and tried his hand at various jobs, including serving in the army and acting as a trade-union delegate for an oil company.

He resigned in 1957 in order to become a writer, but it was not until the 1970s that he became famous, with the publication of his Contes de la rue Broca, translated in this volume. In these tales, the giants, witches and mermaids of traditional fairy tales leap from the page, animated by a very modern spirit. Blessed with a healthy disrespect for authority, the author took great pleasure in upsetting the natural order of the fantastic.

Pierre Gripari died in Paris in 1990.

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Book Info


300 pages


Pierre Gripari
More books by Pierre Gripari


Pushkin Children's Books

Publication date

29th August 2013




Publisher Profile

Pushkin Children's Books is an imprint of Pushkin Children's Books


Pushkin Children's Books was launched in 2013 to share tales from different languages and cultures with younger readers, and to open the door to the wide, colourful worlds these stories offer. From picture books and adventure stories to fairy tales and classics, and from fifty-year-old bestsellers to current huge successes abroad, the books on the Pushkin Childrens list reflect the very best stories from around the world, for our most discerning readers of all: children. Twitter @PushkinPress

Publisher's Website

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