Rather Unpleasant Cautionary Tales for Ill-Mannered & Immoderate Children
Written by Ima Bratt


This title is quite a mouthful, but the short 60 page e book packs quite a punch. The author states in the preface that the characters in the stories to follow will have no happy ending.  In fact, they could not end more dreadfully. Bratt defines ill-mannered  as having bad or poor manners; impolite, discourteous or rude. By immoderate she means one who is unreasonable; exceeding normal limits or bounds, going too far. Now that we are all on the same page let’s begin to discuss the tales and what they teach us.

All of these stories are written in verse which the author has very carefully crafted to match the story line. Each one of the characters exhibits a major flaw. The verse which follows teaches a moral lesson explicitly stated at the end of the tale. For example, Marjorie Pearl is pretty to look at. Once you get to know her you discover that she spits, swears, lies and is always “contrary.” Her teddy bear has no head; the family dog and cat hide in fear from her. Her parents say they feel “like prisoners of war.” One day Marjorie works herself up into such a fit of rage that she explodes in a cloud of steam. The author jokingly explains that the moral is to behave or you might go up in smoke!   Reggie the Rude is the kind of person who lets you know right away whether he likes you or not. One day he makes the mistake of sticking his tongue out at the principal and giving him the raspberries. What a surprise he has in store for him when his father takes him on a fishing trip! I won’t give away the other stories but some of the other children have flaws like refusing to obey, being stuck up and unreasonable, and the inability to get along with others. The last character is unlike the others. Candy Von Tweet is always in a good mood. How is she connected to the other characters and what does lesson does she have to teach the reader? I will simply tell you that the author cautions us, “There can be too much of a good thing.”

Parents and teachers might want to read these tales before presenting them to their children. While all the stories are fun to read, sensitive children could be upset by some of the outcomes. There are valuable lessons here ; the book is cleverly put together and certainly not malicious. Adults will surely chuckle and perhaps find a bit of themselves in the characters. This is an e book so it could be broken up into parts if needed as a basis of discussion on one or two of the lessons. I must say that this book is very different, but at the same time clever and refreshing.

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