We’re leaving you with three nights’ worth of reading in one book for the weekend, but don’t worry: Eight Nights of Stories continues next week!
What’s this all about? Read the introduction to the Eight Nights of Stories series here and find all posts from the series here.
There’s a sort of wonderment to Franz Kafka’s perspective on the world that adults generally miss or mistake for bleakness, but it isn’t lost on kids. As Matthue Roth discovered while reading Kafka stories to his own children, there’s a delightful creepiness and wry humor in these works that just clicks with young readers. Honestly, between the collapse of reality into the imaginary and an alluring dash of terror, all that really separates Kafka from Where the Wild Things Are are Maurice Sendak’s enchanting illustrations — and now Kafka has them, too: Rohan Daniel Eason’s stark, intricate black-and-white etchings somehow capture, more expression than colors ever could, transmitting a sense of constant, warped movement on each page.
My First Kafka introduces “The Metamorphosis”, “An Excursion in the Mountains”, and “Josephine the Singer, or the Mouse Folk” to readers 5 and up — and I mean all the way up. But for readers ready to cast aside the picture book, RocketChair Media has developed a whimsical iPad app that transforms “The Metamorphosis” into a truly captivating interactive experience. To clarify: this is not an e‑book; it’s an app that forces the reader to virtually enter the story, effectively simulating Gregor Samsa’s disorientation upon waking one morning to find himself utterly transformed.
After the kids are asleep…
You thought I’d suggest some more Kafka for you tonight, eh? Sure, go for it! I would never discourage anyone from reading more Kafka. But maybe you feel that you’ve hit your Kafka quota for the night — perfectly understandable. In any case, I recommend switching to Bruno Schultz for the latter portion of your evening, especially if you’ve never read him before. And even if you have, as with Kafka’s works, The Street of Crocodiles is always worth a re-read: you’ll see something completely different with each subsequent encounter.