Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Book Find: "In der Nacht vor dem Fest"

Another find this year that I have been excited about is this German edition of “The Night before Christmas.” I am not really a huge fan of the poem, but it is one of the more recognized and traditional elements of my favorite season.

This edition is special for a couple of reasons. First, the German translation is really really good. It is hard to keep an idea intact while maintain the poetic structure and rhyme. Erich Kästner does just that. And he is the main reason I initially grabbed the book. Kästner is the most recognized and beloved author from my adoptive city, Dresden. For those unfamiliar with his work, he is known best to English audiences for his novel that was adapted into “The Parent Trap” by Disney. His most famous work is “Emil and the Detectives.”

Then there are the illustrations. Robert Ingpen is an illustrator I have had my eye on for a few years. He has a series of oversized classic children’s books that he has beautifully illustrated. I would own several if they weren’t so expensive. Look him up on the internet. In this volume, I get an affordable edition of his art.

I immediately went out to buy several copies of this book to gift this season, but discovered quickly that they are a challenge to find. A new book this year, they have sold out and are unavailable to order. So, if you see one in the store you might scoop one (or more) up.

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