The Devil returns in this second collection of folktales about his misdeeds, trials and tribulations. My girls and I had enjoyed reading Babbit's first collection, The Devil's Storybook, so much that we immediately decided to read this one as well. It had a few fairly enjoyable stories, but unfortunately none of us found the book nearly as engaging as the first one. It read almost as though these were the stories that hadn't made it into the first collection, and that was a bit of a disappointment.
Our favorite story was "Lessons," which was about a parrot who lives with an old woman, but who used to belong to a clergyman. Living with the clergyman gave the parrot a rather interesting vocabulary, so that when the Devil comes along, hoping to make some trouble, the parrot has a few tricks up his feathered sleeve. There was another story that was very strange, called "The Ear." It left my 7- and 9-year-olds scratching their heads in puzzlement at the end, but I found it intriguing, with imagery that is sure to remain in my mind for a long time to come.
I highly recommend the first Devil's story collection - it is delightful and makes a for great read-aloud. This one, sadly, didn't live up to our expectations - but those who loved the first book will find it hard to resist another visit to see what that tricky Devil is getting up to!
The Devil collections:
The Devil's Storybook
The Devil's Other Storybook
This book counts towards Molly's Personal Reading Challenge - I might just get there by the end of the year!
The Devil's Other Storybook by Natalie Babbit (Farrar Straus Giroux, 1987)