Bob Staake's Struwwelpeter

struwwelpeter 2
Bob Staake is a terrific children's book illustrator (here's a great interview with him at Pixelsurgeon). My kids love all his books. Today, Fantagraphics released Staake's latest book, Struwwelpeter, and it's his best work yet. The art (which Staake draws using his ancient copy of Adobe Photoshop 3.0!) is creepy and happy at the same time, which is my favorite kind.

Struwwelpeter is Staake's adaptation of Der Struwwelpeter, a teach-kids-morality-through-fear book written 160 years ago by Heinrich Hoffman. When Staake was a child, he was exposed to the original book's, and never forgot its frightening and gory illustrations of mayhem and punishment.

200603221123 The "scissor scene" (top) from Hoffmann's original Struwwelpeter. This is the image that haunted Staake (and others) from childhood on -- and the power of the gruesome scene compelled Staake to reinterpret the Hoffmann classic in 2006.

Staake's Struwwelpeter is both a faithful adaptation of the original and an inspired reexamination. it's my favorite book of the year.

Be sure to check out the excellent website Staake made for the book, which contains many sample pages, and historical notes on the original book and its author. Link