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Look at the man there! Run, boys, quick! However, two further translations were made by S. Animals, birds, flowers, trees, butterflies, fungi, fish, soldiers, toys, household objects and so forth are presented both singly and in groups, providing an absorbing introduction to the larger world. From a modern point of view the book is a rich and fascinating document of social history. This British version was popular enough to reach a sixth edition in It was first published in by Schreiber and Schill in Esslingen, near Stuttgart, and was translated into many languages and disseminated widely in Europe and North and South America up to the s.

Anyone who sees a copy of this or the translation will marvel at the wealth of material presented and the detail of the engaging illustrations. Bohny, however, was not aiming primarily at scientific accuracy, but rather at providing an educational tool that would teach children basic concepts of form, number and comparison and stimulate them to increase their knowledge of the world.

In this he appears to have enjoyed considerable success. At least seventeen books were published in Britain with illustrations by him, either exclusively or accompanied by others, in the period between and Their titles make it clear that they deal chiefly with scenes and events in the life of small children, so they very much follow the pattern set by Speckter, though reflecting the style of a later generation.

The thirty-two colour plates were printed by Leighton Brothers in rich natural colours and present a delightful range of domestic scenes picturing mainly small children, occasionally also parents and servants. A number of outdoor scenes capture activities at different seasons of the year — sledging in the winter, digging in the garden, flying kites, pumping water.

This is very much the idyll of middle-class family life with lots of happy children amusing themselves, sometimes unsupervised, other times with father or mother. One scene depicts parents with five children round the dining table and a maid bringing in a big tureen of something to eat. Another shows father, a soldier in uniform, playing with a little girl and her dolls. This is a book designed to give pleasure, and one can readily imagine the enjoyment that Pletsch got out of his drawing and successfully conveyed to his readers.

He does include little childish squabbles and tantrums, but nothing that will spoil the mood for long.

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Simple verses accompany the pictures, but there is no indication of who composed them or whether they were meant as translations. That hardly matters, since the pictures are the main thing. Above all, the book is a world away from the moralizing that dominated the first half of the century. Pletsch wrote the verses for each picture and cleverly included a number of items for each letter of the alphabet. He omitted J, which in the German gothic alphabet is identical with I, and combined X and Y in one picture.

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There is a separate drawing for the title-page. The illustration for P Papa is a self-portrait of Pletsch with his easel in the background and two children playing at his feet.


The drawing for I shows a boy with two old soldiers, and the verses, which refer to the Battle of Leipzig in , which freed Germany from Napoleon, show them to be Invaliden invalids with two shots in the arm and three in the leg. XY also has a picture of Pletsch and a verse telling the children he knows no words beginning with those letters.

The pictures do not all correspond to the same letters of the alphabet in English, so there had to be a skilful reassignment for about half of them. Similarly, the picture for N Naschkatzen or children always nibbling at sweet things becomes V for Very naughty children. We might perhaps add the picture for T in German, which shows two little girls trying to shut the door to keep out their brother so that they can play by themselves.

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This is converted into N, which apparently stands for Nelly, the name of the older girl, and naughty, which is how Nelly describes her brother. Apart from this, the rest of the illustrations depict typical scenes of family life inside and near the home. They contain a wealth of social observation. There is also an undated edition with the same title published by Frederick Warne.

The book originally appeared in English with the title Happy Spring-Time The twenty-two colour plates closely resemble those in Buds and Flowers of Childish Life in character, providing a mixture of indoor and outdoor scenes, the latter being very obviously German in their townscapes and mountain scenery. One picture that must have elicited a good deal of boyish glee shows a little girl playing an upright piano with a boy sitting turned away from her with his hands covering both ears.

They are larger in size and printed in rather subtle muted colours on a rectangular beige ground. Some bear the date and were presumably done for a German book. His scenes of childhood and family life are cleverly structured and clearly reflect their day-to-day realities, especially the interplay of small children with their siblings.

They have been looked at here as successors to Speckter and have taken us into the latter half of the nineteenth century. Now, however, we have to turn back to a completely different author and illustrator, who, though untrained and amateurish, nonetheless produced a picture book that has never been out of print since it was first published in The author is Heinrich Hoffmann, and the book is Struwwelpeter. Heinrich Hoffmann , a young doctor in Frankfurt am Main, despaired of finding a suitable book to give his three year old son Carl for Christmas and returned from the shops with a blank exercise book, in which he proceeded to draw six stories in pictures and verses.

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Friends and relatives were so taken with what he had done that they urged him to get the stories published. This latter format is the basis of most subsequent editions, which now, in Germany, have passed the thousand mark. The anonymous translation became the standard English version. Though other renderings were made later, none were able to supplant it. Although, as for that, the quality of the change is immaterial; it is the fact of change at all that is wrong. The original translation had become so familiar to generations of British parents and children that they quoted and recited it at the drop of a hat.

Any divergence could only be experienced as alienating and not the real thing at all. With Rhymes by S. W for Winter. The pictures were hand-coloured. This format then gave way to that of the German editions of and afterwards, which has remained the standard up to the present day.

Struwwelpeter himself, with his bizarrely long finger-nails and gigantic Afro-style hair, is perhaps the most, though not the only, striking figure. The images are what have given the book its enduring appeal. The originals and their successors have an untamable vitality that is aptly embodied in the figure of Struwwelpeter himself.

What kind of changes were made, consciously or unconsciously, in the process?

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After the title-page Struwwelpeter himself occupies the next page and has a status equivalent to that of the portrait of the author that so often appears as a frontispiece in books of the period. Each of the following items tells a proper story with several narrative stages and an appropriate series of pictures to accompany them.

The verbal and pictorial narratives are closely correlated, and a small child would be able to follow the story from the pictures alone.

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The pictures are clear, packed with action and gesture, brightly coloured and conceived as a unity with the verses on each page. The balance of text and image is cleverly calculated. Each boy is separately delineated and stands out from the whiteness of the page, as do the flowers, shrubs and other ornaments that decorate the page and provide additional, but no distracting interest.

These can thus be seen to mimic the pattern of landscape paintings in which a human figure adds interest to the scene. They are the only illustrations in the book that have this character.

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It is a book to which children and parents can return again and again, not only to enjoy this variety, but also because they are captivated or mesmerized by many of the images. This position is misguided. They do not require a diet that is all sweetness and light and never exposes them to pain or fear.

We have to remember that cautionary tales and a strongly moralizing authorial viewpoint were the norm in both nineteenth-century Germany and Victorian Britain. Children were commonly regarded as having natural proclivities to thoughtlessness, disobedience and wickedness that had to be checked and controlled. The fact that the conclusion to every story is so over the top is meant to provoke laughter and be understood as a satire at the expense of the traditional moral tale. Carroll uses parody and the absurd to make his point; Hoffmann relies on grotesque exaggeration.

This is eliminated from both English versions. This seems to be a part of the universal squeamishness of the British about anything to do with the natural functions of the body. It affects the transmission of the stories of Till Eulenspiegel, which abound in scatological incident. The apron remains in the German editions of and later, but it has vanished in the later English editions, thus creating an incongruence between text and image. There is, however, no sign of the whip in the picture, but later versions correct the mistake.