In a way, I can't believe that it never occurred to me to read this book when I was a kid; much like Mary Poppins and Peter Pan, I feel like I should have read this back then, but somehow didn't. A couple years ago I found a vintage copy of this book on the Library Sale shelves for the princely sum of $1. I'm not sure how old it actually is, as there's no date, but I suppose it's from the 1930s or so, and I love vintage kids' books so I was happy to find it. And now I've actually read it too!
Of course I've seen the animated Disney film version of this book, but it was a long time ago so I only really remember the high points. Even so, I recognized most of them, in slightly different form at times. I can easily see why the Disney screenwriters made the changes they did; the film's story has a better flow and makes more sense compared to the book, which is more episodic - it's easy to see that the book was actually released in serial form. The story is pretty obviously a cautionary tale, designed to keep kids on the straight and narrow by providing scary tales of what happens to naughty little boys (naughty little girls are not specifically covered). It's super transparent to an adult reader in 2016, but it's still an entertaining story. And it did make me want to buy a spelling book and go to school, ha ha. Fun vintage read for all ages.