Cautionary Tales for Children: Designed for the Admonition of Children between the ages of eight and fourteen years is a 1907 children's book written by Hilaire Belloc. It is a parody of the cautionary tales that were popular in the 19th century. The work is in the public domain in the United States. Illustrated by Belloc's friend from Oxford Basil Temple Blackwood, it is similar in style to the The Bad Child's Book of Beasts which had brought Belloc public acclaim and commercial success a decade earlier. The book contains an introduction and eleven tales, all written in rhyming couplets.
Edward Gorey discovered these darkly humorous verses by Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953) and created never-before-published drawings to accompany them in Cautionary Tales for Children. The pithy rhymes make examples out of "Jim, who ran away from his Nurse, and was eaten by a Lion," and "Matilda, who told lies, and was Burned to Death," among others.