Worst children's book illustrator ever

Friday, May 08, 2009

Ever heard of Joachim Ringelnatz? He was a German author who also wrote a few children's books in the 1920s and 1930s. Here are two of his books.

First the Geheimis Kinder-Spiel-Buch from 1924 (mit vielen Bildern, oh boy!)

The title page:

It's for children aged 5 to 15. Note the pigs strung up on the right with the axe next to them...but still not too bad, I guess. But go to page 6 and you get this:

??? WTF is that??

Page 11 has a man in the clouds fighting the Moon with a cannonball.

Page 16 is about a duel that appears to be done fully naked against an animal with hands for paws.

Page 19. This one is about...er...inventing stuff. No idea what that thing in the picture is supposed to be. Google gives you an idea of what this page is about.

Page 23 has a tragic dying snowman.

A lion-like thing battles a horde of humans on page 26.

A diver on page 32 chases a chicken underneath the water.

Page 39 seems to feature a bird cooking an insect alive over a lamp.

A hedgehog and a smoking turtle hang out on the bed on page 42.


Demons having a shower on page 45.

Page 48 has this weird thing attacking a bald man.



That was book #1. Now here's his other children's book from 1931, the Kinder-Verwirr-Buch. Seems to be in the same style as the other:


The very next page features a charming animal below.

The six-legged elephant on page 3 looks refreshingly normal after all of this.



A lady behind thorns on page 5.

Page 6 has a healthy-looking cow.


Great detail on the butterfly for page 7.


Page 12 has children crying.


Oh yay, page 13 is perfectly normal! It's just a person going to town. Nothing to see here. Oh wait a second...

...let's take a look at what it says below. Ah, it seems to be a poem about how parents of kids in Berlin engage in smoking, dancing, kissing, fornication, sodomy, opium and cocaine when the children sleep.

And finally page 15, which has...another tragic dying snowman.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Try to read and understand the German text, understand who the author is, look at the time this was produced and then reflect about what you learned.

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

Anonymous, you misunderstand how to promote discussion. "Let's talk about the cultural significance of Joachim Ringelnatz on German literature" attracts the attention of no one, whereas with a different title you actually get some attention...whereupon someone like you can come in to explain the significance behind it. Unfortunately you've only left a snarky comment so those that can't read German are left out in the cold on what it actually means, more's the pity.

In short: if you really have something to say, take a minute and say it. Write a paragraph, write ten. Your job is to share what you know.

Anonymous said...

Actually the poem about Berlin doesn't talk about sodomy in the sense of anal intercourse. "Papagei-Sodomiterei" has to be translated as "bestiality with parrots", since "Sodomie" in German can only mean bestiality.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean, what are your parents doing,
when you have to go to sleep?
und they allegedly are still writing letters.
I can tell it to you: they're kissing,
smoking, dancing, drinking, eating
Suspicious guests are sneaking by
Each degree of incest is measured,
up to parrot-sodomy
unsayable sums are jeopardized
in vapours of opium and cocain
they're having sex until they get headaches
So we'd better keep quiet - Berlin, you're fooling!

Ein leicht zuerkennender Lothringer

Anonymous said...

> Ein leicht zuerkennender Lothringer

What do you mean? Ringelnatz was from Eastern Germany.

To make one point clear: Ringelnatz is not some obscure author of children's book, he's a very well known poet. These two books above must belong to the most strangely disturbing things I've ever read. Hard to imagine they were intended for children.

They remind me of the song "Schlaflied" (=lullaby) by the famous German band "Die Ärzte", which may not be played on the radio (yes, censorship still exists in Germany...).

Anonymous said...

Weird shit too me.

Anonymous said...

whatevs

Anonymous said...

lulz

Anonymous said...

Judge Okays Britney Plan to Promote Sicko KinderSpielBuch!

Is that the kind of headline you feel will "attract discussion"? ... because I've got more!

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

Nah, that's different - that title is completely false, whereas I'm of the opinion that this is a pretty horrid example of a children's book. Maybe "_one of_ the worst children's book illustrators ever in my opinion" would have been a bit more accurate if you want to be really precise.

And the art is just really, really bad. Look at that first image. It's a mess.

Anonymous said...

Judge Okays Britney Plan to Promote Sicko KinderSpielBuch!

Is that the kind of headline you feel will "attract discussion"? ... because I've got more!

Anonymous said...

> Ein leicht zuerkennender Lothringer

What do you mean? Ringelnatz was from Eastern Germany.

To make one point clear: Ringelnatz is not some obscure author of children's book, he's a very well known poet. These two books above must belong to the most strangely disturbing things I've ever read. Hard to imagine they were intended for children.

They remind me of the song "Schlaflied" (=lullaby) by the famous German band "Die Ärzte", which may not be played on the radio (yes, censorship still exists in Germany...).

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