Jürg Schubiger’s stories always have a deeper meaning. Picking from a long life’s experience, he presents his philosophy seemingly en passant in this petite novel. It is about life, where those that are alone are helpless and it is about the fact that all life comes to an end and yet starts all over again. Jutta Bauer has captured the Little Girl, the Grand Woman, the Wild Wolf and the Vigorous Taurus in impressive archetypcial pictures.
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The Little Girl wandered around the world. She seeked a help, urgently. Whenever. As she had none and was still small. In the forest she encountered the Wild Wolf.
Dear Wild Wolf, she said, I need a help. Urgently.What for, Little Girl?, asked the wolf.
One always needs a help, answered the girl, for instance, when one becomes lost in this world. I see, said the wolf. Where are you going?
Anywhere!, cried the girl.
The wolf coughed: Anywhere is easily found and easily missed. This will be difficult to achieve.
The girl asked: What am I to do?
Come along, said the wolf. I don’t have a help, but the Vigorous Taurus looks like someone, who has one. (…) So the three of them went to see the Grand Woman, who lived right upon the mountain top. She neither had a help, not a single one …
But as a foursome they weren’t in need of a help any longer. They travelled to Paris, celebrated Christmas and attended a fancy-dress ball. They conversed and talked, they quarrelled and agreed, they reflected on life and kept still.
Funny, isn’t it – "true-life" stories often turn out to be more droll and bizarre than anything a writer might dare to dream up. Life is stranger than fiction, indeed. ...
Jürg Schubiger, born in Zurich in 1936, is a philosopher and psychologist. He has written numerous, mostly fairytale-like tales for the little ones and novels for adults as well. He has received a number of awards, among them the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) and the Hans-Christian-Andersen-Award. Many consider him as one of the most important German-speaking authors of our time.
Jutta Bauer was born in Hamburg in 1955, where she studied at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung (today: Hamburg University of Applied Sciences). She has designed book covers, illustrated cartoons and children’s novels. But above all it is through her own children’s books that she has become one of Germany’s best-known and best-loved illustrators. She was awarded the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for Schreimutter in 2001. In 2009 she received the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis (German Youth Literature Award) for her œuvre. Her philosophizing sheep Selma, famous for its pithy cracks, has become quite a cult figure.
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