it's raining and it's windy on Helgoland Island once again today. For this what can be a more perfect time to get a cup of tea, lit a candle and get a book into your hands than this stormy nordic wintertime? maybe while still in bed cozy and warm.
I love children and juvenile books. I love Dr.Seuss and I love some lithuanian kids authors. I think though children literature is inseparable from the illustrators contribution. A great story or a poem when accompanied by a successful visual interpretation can strengthen the joy to read and lead the fantasy to even farther, even more intense dreamy places.
though I must admit i haven't done much reading recently, yet a few books found their way into my hands. and i am very glad about the coincidences that led me to get to know the work of James Krüss - a master of rhyme and one of greatest fathers of german children literature. And by all means a genuine treasure of Helgoland.
“In Tante Julies House” is the one perfect example how letters and drawings meet on each other in such a magnificent way!
James Krüss created this one beautiful house full of cozy things and authentic rooms, which belongs to Auntie Julie – a happy-go-lucky little folksy lady with a charming way to gather people around in her house and create beauty and poetry with them. (In some later years I could totally picture myself as Auntie Julie, just read and you’ll understand.)
But it gets even much more exciting to read when you have actually been on and had seen this tiny island. Krüss describes places and streets, long time rooted families and legends. Even though he actually writes about the old Helgoland he grew up in – a time between the two world wars, and unfortunately I must notice here that Helgoland was destroyed completely to it’s grounds at the WWII – you can feel a slightly bit of a familiar breeze in the air coming from one of the beaches when reading James Krüss if you are actually on the island at that moment of reading. I myself enjoy imagining how streets and architecture had actually looked like at that time. and while walking the coast and watching the cliffs one might even relive some of the described scenes in thus book.
Meanwhile the other important thing to notice is how great the illustrator Marei Schweitzer got the spirit of the described house and the told stories. Tiny little sketches go along with the pages, sometimes picturing the whole book character crew sitting in one of those theme rooms in Aunty Julies house at night, traveling somewhere deep in their own creative dreamworld.
For me I cherish the illustrators ability in this exact book - she puts little maritime pencil-like sketches all along, give a very atmospheric, very certain good mood which accompanies you all along the reading.
some iPhone macro lens captures.
ps: the book is in german, I don't know wether it’s possible to get it in english but at least for my german (speaking) friends and readers I absolutely recommend it!
pps: all iPhone photos edited with VSCO and some made with a Macro iPhone lens.