A children’s Kafka
seems somewhat…well… errr…Kafkaesque. But, truth be told, children do live in a world where the unexpected is pretty much expected; it’s all quite new and not-yet-experienced and it must seem somewhat random and strange. Kafka himself was writing for the preverbal, not-yet-logical, completely experiential child in all of us. So maybe this book makes more sense than one might think at first glance. It’s a retelling of some of Kafka’s tales, most notably The Metamorphosis, in simple but poetic form accompanied by stark black and white, expressive, and very humorous illustrations. Kafka’s eerie, creepy, wondrous but matter-of-fact mood is well conveyed and the language is simultaneously simple and sophisticated. This would make an unusual but highly effective read-aloud and would provoke all kinds of discussion with a child about reality, imagination, nightmares, and perception. It’s offbeat, way off the beaten track and startlingly, refreshingly, original. Recommended for ages five and up and for parents who love sharing the darker side of reality.
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