The Fairy Tale of the World

The Fairy Tale of the World Cover

The Fairy Tale of the World

By Jurg Amman; J'Urg Amann; Kathi Bhend (Illustrator)

NorthSouth (NY), Hardcover, 9780735823167, 32pp.

Publication Date: November 1, 2010



 This is not a fairy tale in the usual sense. There are no princesses, no golden eggs, no happy endings. A brooding portrait of a solitary postapocalyptic existence, The Fairy Tale of the World is nonetheless compelling.            The story was originally conceived by a brilliant young German writer, Georg Büchner, who died tragically at the age of twenty-three. His dark vision reflects the social injustice of his time.            Award-winning Swiss author Jürg Amann has adapted The Fairy Tale of the World from a scene in Büchner’s Woyzeck, a moving play about the effects of poverty.            Internationally acclaimed artist Käthi Bhend has stunningly and surprisingly interpreted Amman’s lyrical language and bleak imagery. Together they have created a book that offers not only Buchner’s dark vision but also a promise of innocence and hope in a dark, despairing world.

About the Author

Kathi Bhend is an award winning illustrator in Europe. Her previous book was A Tale of Two Brothers.

Praise For The Fairy Tale of the World

In My Dreams, I Can Fly (Booklist)
A meditative sense of mystery sets this book apart.It is autumn, and five friends—a grub, two worms, a beetle, and a caterpillar—are hunkering down. Their regular card games at the grub’s place give way to stockpiling their holes for the winter freeze. Bhend’s cut-away vision of this miniature underworld is a scraggly, cramped, cluttered, yet somehow cozy maze daubed in soft, muted colors and festooned with twisting vines that reach beyond each rectangular frame. It has a gently magical, early-Disney feel also reflected in the straightforward prose. For a time, the story seems to revel in its warm feelings without going anywhere, but then Hasler reveals two surprises: the onion the grub has hidden has pushed above ground and flowered, and the caterpillar has vanished, leaving behind a silken cocoon. After summer thaws the icy ground, the creatures find the caterpillar—now a butterfly—hovering near the flower, reflecting the grub’s dreams of being able to fly. An earnest, unfettered effort with enough visual detail to win over all kinds of readers and listeners.