The Good Little Devil and Other Tales
By Pierre Gripari, illustrated by Puig Rosado, Translated by Sophie Lewis
Available from Pushkin Children's Books
There once was a good little devil—did you read that right? Yes you did: not a wicked little devil but a good one, and boy, was he in a fix!
Instead of doing bad things like forgetting his homework and playing tricks on his teachers, this little devil kept trying to be good. He did all his homework—and sometimes enjoyed it! He was never rude and he even encouraged sinners to say sorry. His parents were at their wits’ end. So the little devil struck out on his own…
Elsewhere in this collection a naughty pig swallows the North Star, a man battles a hairy frog and a potato falls in love with a Sultan. Throughout these thirteen tales, clever young people find nifty ways to overcome greedy kings, wicked witches, unlucky spells and even silly names. And there’s a big dash of magic to help them on the way!
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 The Good Little Devil. 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.