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Struwwelpeter Tales of Hoffman
Strewwelpeter Tales of Hoffman

Struwwelpeter Tales of Hoffman, by Heinrich Hoffmann and "Seanair"

Paperback, 64 pages. Iolair Publishing 1996. ISBN 0-9641804-1-3

A bilingual edition. Gives the colored pictures and German verses of Der Struwwelpeter, with new English translations that try to follow Hoffmann's straightforward language whose natural rhythm fits the 2/4 march time of his lines so well. Each of the ten stories is followed by a sequel, in American settings: Hanns Guck-in -die-Luft grows up to be an astronomer, educated in Texas, working in California, and with bird-watching as a hobby.

This book is not suitable for small children, because of what happens when Santa gets home after dunking the boys in his inkwell:

He poured himself a hefty drink
And all the while was dripping ink.
When Mrs. Santa came from shopping, she took her rolling pin to him, and
He's banished to the reindeer shed
With bruises all about his head.

Also, at the end, is "The Struwwelshrink", a 41-line protest against the absurd Fraudian "meanings" that have sometimes - even in apparently serious whole books - been read into Hoffmann's transparent and harmless little cautionary tales:

DON'T tell us what you think you see
Beneath each bush, behind each tree...
SPARE us your phallic symbol guide
(Whatever's longer than it's wide).
DON'T try to smear Red Riding Hood -
It wouldn't do you any good...

Older children and grownups can enjoy these additions to the very extensive "Struwwelpetriaden" literature.

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