MAX (Stora)

Knirps der Tierfreund [= Knirps the Animals’ Friend]. Ein Bilderbuch von Hedwig Thoma. Mit Reimen von Stora Max.

München, bei Georg W. Dietrich, (1926).

4to, publisher’s orange cloth over cream paper boards, upper board illustrated in black and orange. (36) pp. of text, 16 colour plates on glossy paper. Complete.

First edition.

Delightful original illustrations by the Swiss artist Hedwig Thoma (1886-1946), a pupil of Hermann Meyer at the Allgemeine Gewerbeschule in Basel.

Little Knirps, the most beloved child, lives in the garden of paradise, where people and animals are friends. Hippopotamuses, snakes and elephants never harm him, and even the shy little white mouse confidently approaches him… He meets a grasshopper, a toad, a tortoise, cockchafer beetles, a marvellous fish, guinea pigs, an ostrich and so on.

“Imitating Japanese art, the artist treats the individual elements of the image as ornamental entities when adding them to the overall composition. He varies the size of the animal figures and children to such an extent that ever-new stories come from their encounters. The narrative quality of the illustrations is more important than their stylistic character. The accompanying texts are secondary” (Martin Kaiser).

Minor old restoration to a text leaf, else a very fine copy.

Ref. Martin Kaiser, Swiss Picture Books Selected and Commented, (1998), p. 25 / Absent de Catalogue of the Cotsen Children’s Library