This article intervenes in the debate about the pedagogical import of heinrich hoffmann’s der struwwelpeter. Should this book be regarded as a typical example of black pedagogy or as a form of subversive children’s literature? i argue in favour of the latter point of view, on the basis of a close reading of the interaction between words and pictures in this classic children’s book. Meanwhile, this article aims to further our theoretical insights into the narrative potential of images. Every picture tells a story, but how, exactly? i attempt to give an answer to this question through a detailed case study of der struwwelpeter.