January 21, 2013

Axel Scheffler: Über das Halten von Eichhörnchen

In December I was at the Tolle Galerie once again. Rotraut Susanne Berner was doing there a special sale before Christmas (I'm a bit late with this post ...). Take a look at all the wonderful books and collectibles. This pretty book I got there is called "Über das Halten von Eichhörnchen" and shows "How To Keep a Pet Squirrel". The original text is taken from The Children's Encyclopedia (about 1910) and has been translated into German by Harry Rowohlt.

Below you see a brief biography of Axel Scheffler. There it is said, that he is working and living in London since 1986. His drawings have been appeared in numerous publications, but first of all of course he is an enormously successful illustrator for children's books. You probably might know all his best-selling books like "The Gruffalo", "The Snail and the Whale" or "A Gold Star for Zog". My kids love them as well, we have a nice collection. This book however is special and much more a book for me than for my children because there is a little drawing in it by the artist himself. Look at the cute squirrel on its tricycle.

Axel Scheffler came across the text from 1910 while dipping into an old children's encyclopedia. "Kind and gentle care will soon make a young squirrel very friendly and affectionate." No one will take this too seriously in 2013 hopefully. The well-intentioned words of advice however are the perfect basis for Axel Scheffler's charming, funny illustrations.

(Axel Scheffler: Über das Halten von Eichhörnchen, Die Tollen Hefte Nr. 19, Büchergilde Gutenberg 2002)

I wrote about the wonderful Tolle Hefte before: the interview with Armin Abmeier and the sad post in July.

The book has been published in the series "Reihe Kunterbunt" by Jacoby & Stuart in 2009 as well and in English by Faber and Faber one year later.