Synopses & Reviews
When the lazy people of Cologne go to sleep, the helpful elves do all their work. They measure and saw for the carpenter, knead and mix for the baker, carve and chop for the butcher, taste and pour for the winemaker, and snip and sew for the tailor. But no one ever sees them. Until one day the tailor's wife becomes curious ...This classic picture book is based on a poem by August Kopisch (1799 1853), who specialised in re-telling popular legends. It is brought to life with humorous illustrations by Beatrice Braun-Fock (1898 1973). Printed on thick, quality paper, it features delightful cut-out sections on every page of each of the elves' heads.
"Kopisch (1799 1853) was a German poet and painter whose mÃ©tier was retelling folk tales; one of his most enduring efforts has proved to be a version of an old Cologne legend about the Heinzel-mÃ¤nnchen (house gnomes). Here, the story is paired with droll, mid-century style illustrations by Braun-Fock (1898 1973), which also take the form of cut-out figures perched at the top of each page, giving the effect of a cumulative elfin chorus. According to the tale, the people of Cologne never used to do a lick of work. They just went to sleep, 'and along came the elves' to bake, butcher, build, tailor, or groom. But when a tailor's wife tries to find out who's behind these expertly executed chores, the elves get spooked and never return, forcing the townsfolk to become working schlubs like everybody else. Although it's probably too brisk and unsentimental for some, one can imagine a niche audience for this curious work surely there are children out there with a taste for Germanic astringency, especially when a moral of 'So there' is served up as the chaser. Ages 3 up." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.