356O: 80s Children’s picture book with animal protagonists and moral lessons including the danger of electricity and getting lost

I read a children’s picture book in the mid to late 80s in the US that was about moral lessons/behaving. Sorry, can’t remember what the cover looked like. There’s probably like 10 stories including: 1. A young hippo waits too long on a train to use the bathroom and poops his pants. An older animal tells him if he pays attention to his tummy and uses the toilet, the other animals will want to spend time with him. 2. A mother tells her young child (sorry, forget what type of animal it is) that electricity is dangerous and warns against putting things in the electrical outlets. A monkey encourages the child to stick a knife or fork in the socket and the child says no, so the monkey does it himself — book shows monkey getting electrocuted. 3. A panda or bear goes walking and ends up getting lost even though his mom warned him against it. The police end up getting involved. 4. There’s also a story about behaving for the babysitter when your parents go out and/or a story about how to behave when you get a new sibling. There’s no humans in the book and the illustrations are cartoony, not super realistic.

1 thought on “356O: 80s Children’s picture book with animal protagonists and moral lessons including the danger of electricity and getting lost

  1. Andrea K

    This is a post about the same book (hopefully any additional info helps!):
    This is a book I read (and was horrified by) when I was in my young single-digit years, in the early 90s, but the book itself might have been from as far back as the 70s. Our copy was hardcover, and I think the cover was yellow, possibly with a picture from one of the story illustrations (which might have been a small panda girl). Basically the book was a collection of cautionary tales about things such as: Look both ways before crossing the street, don’t stick things in electrical outlets, don’t talk to strangers, that sort of thing. The thing that was most distinctive about the book was how messed up some of the illustrations and stories were, because this was not shy about showing blood or death.

    The story that sticks out most clearly in my mind is the one about looking both ways before crossing the street. It took one of the three little pigs and had him running from the big bad wolf. The pig comes up to a street/highway/some sort of road, and the text reads something along the lines of “The little pig looked both ways, because he would rather be eaten by the big bad wolf than hit by a car”. The big bad wolf comes to the same place and runs across the street, getting hit by a car in the process. I remember the illustration of that showed the wolf’s broken body being struck by the car, blood everywhere, and his teeth flying out of his mouth in one set kind of like dentures.

    The only other story that I can remember doesn’t stick out in my mind nearly as much, but it’s the one about fingers in outlets. There’s a little demon creature I think trying to get kids to stick things in outlets, and then at the end he succumbs to his own temptation, sticks either his finger or a fork in an outlet, and gets electrocuted. The one about stranger danger I think starred a little panda in a dress and had something to do with calling the police if you think you need help, but that’s all I can remember of that one.

    I have been trying to remember what this book is for years now, and have Googled it many times to no avail. I try using the individual stories as well as the broader description of the book as a whole, but the only thing I ever turn up is Cautionary Tales for Children, which isn’t even close compared to the more modern stories/problems in this anthology I can’t remember.


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