Review: Max and Moritz by Wilhelm Busch - Children's Horror Story!

Max and Moritz (A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks) - English Illustrated Version - Wilhelm Busch

Once upon a time this paper book sat on my grandmother's bookshelf, given to her by a student who thought she'd find it funny. Written in rhyme, the book had German on one page and the English translation on the other. And it was wildly creepy thanks to the illustrations. I was of course fascinated by it, and had an idea that it wasn't at all meant to be read by kids.


Happily you don't have to take my word for it, here's the full book online, with those drawings:


Max und Moritz

Read online only, but it's short - split into 9 brief chapters including intro and epilogue. Seriously worth it just to check out the drawings.

Wikipedia: Max and Moritz


The two boys are awful, and do not come to a happy end. This is one of many old stories where horrible things happen to children who aren't good - the Victorians seemed particularly fond of them. There are loads of them out there, and here're some examples:


Six Cautionary Tales That Terrified Kids of Yesteryear

Mental Floss, 2013


Which is where I was able to bump into Max and Moritz again, because I wasn't able to remember their names.