Sunday, April 15, 2012

Struwwelpeter or Pretty Stories and Funny Pictures by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann.

Struwwelpeter or Pretty Stories and Funny Pictures by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann.  Hardcover book with pictorial boards published by Chrysalis 2004.

Well known childrens author and former lead singer for various Melbourne punk bands, Andy Griffiths, lists Struwwelpeter as one of his all time favourite books.  I recently read an article somewhere where he mentioned this book in the context of visiting his grandmother.  Apparently the book was at her house and he loved reading it whilst visiting there.  I think this is wonderful and a great example of someone who’s connection to a book has continued well into their adult life.  Maurice Sendak also gives the book a big thumbs up… unlike Little Suck-A-Thumb…

…who will no longer be giving anyone a thumbs up.

Struwwelpeter was originally written in German by Dr. Heinrich Hoffmann in 1844 as a response to a lack of good quality picture books for 3 years olds, his son being 3 at the time.  The idea was that the book was a caricature of the “stupid” “moralizing” and “long” stories of the time.  An English translation was quick to follow and here we are nearly 170 years later and the book is still setting the world on fire… unlike Harriet…

…who is now just a pile of ashes.

I remember Struwwelpeter from my childhood, which was not quite 170 years ago… Unfortunately my memory isn’t as good as Andy Griffiths and I have a little bit of trouble with the details.  I know it would have definitely been read to me in German and that’s about it.  So I guess it’s about time I refreshed my memory… this time in English.  

(...that reminds me... I need a haircut.)

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