Struwwelpeter, tales by Heinrich Hoffman, adapted and illustrated by Bob Staake, Fantagraphic Books, 2006.
It's Hallowe'en, so the perfect time to review one of the most disturbing books in my collection -- this one.
This book has been in my to-be-reviewed stack for a few months, and, even though I have a miniature dragon guarding it all that time, my almost six-year-old son keeps managing to find it and pull it out of the pile. I've been having to to bribe him to put it back. The truth is, I am less concerned about this book giving him nightmares than I am that he will like it -- he seems to have inherited a rather dark sense of humor.
I remember having a copy of an earlier translation of this book when I was almost six. I didn't scare me at all; I was fascinated. The stories are just as ridiculously macabre as they were when I first encountered them. The illustrations, however, are delightfully and brilliantly playful, which makes them less terrifying, but somehow more disturbing. In other words, absolutely perfect for anyone who possesses a rather dark sense of humor.