Perrault, Charles. “Hop-o’-my-Thumb.” Old French Fairy Tales, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1899, pp. 342-358.



Perrault, Charles. “Hop-o’-my-Thumb.” Old French Fairy Tales, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1899, pp. 342-358.


This richly illustrated edition of Hop-O’-My-Thumb includes six black and white images. The text is directed towards younger children. In the preface, Mary Howitt writes that “The gist of every fairy tale is the triumph of the weak over the strong—an overruling principle of justice and mercy, which will, in the end, set all things right; and so far they are full of truth .” In this version, Hop-O’-My-Thumb uses his wits to trick a hungry and angry Ogre into killing his daughters, seven Ogresses. Hop-O’-My-Thumb steals magical seven league boots from the Ogre and uses them to bring riches to his poor family.

Alternative Title

Old French Fairy Tales


Charles Perrault, Madame D’Aulnoy, and others
Charles Perrault

Spatial Coverage





Little, Brown, and Company



Temporal Coverage



Ogres and Giants


Seven siblings are born no more than three years apart into a poor family in which the youngest boy, named Hop-O’-My-Thumb, is deemed a weakly little fellow, but in fact is actually the smartest in the group. His woodcutting parents are too poor to keep all of the children, so they leave them lost in the woods. Hop-O’-My-Thumb leads the children out of the cold, dark woods to a child-eating Ogre’s house. The Ogre’s wife tries to hide the children inside, but the Ogre finds them and allows them to sleep one night before being eaten. Afraid of being slaughtered by the Ogre during the night, Hop-O’-My-Thumb switches the caps of the seven siblings with the crowns of the seven Ogresses. The Ogre mistakenly cuts the throats of the Ogresses and goes on a hunt in magical seven league boots to kill the children. Hop-O’-My-Thumb steals the boots off the Ogre when he is sleeping in the woods and tricks the Ogre’s wife into believing that the Ogre had been taken hostage and he needed all of her riches to save her husband. Hop-O’-My-Thumb brought home the wealth and lived happily ever after with a nobleman’s daughter.


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