Thursday, October 4, 2012

Townsfolk and Countryfolk by Eugen Sopko

Townsfolk and County Folk (Drei Städter auf dem Land) by Eugen Sopko, is a  very unusual picture book  from Germany which was first published in 1982 and translated into English in the same year. Author/illustrator, Eugen Sopko, writes about three best friends who live in a walled town and who meet every Wednesday evening at the local inn to play cards. We meet George a doctor, Arthur, an astronomer and Henry, a watchmaker, all who are somewhat eccentric. A feature of this book is the beautiful double page spreads which upon closer analysis maybe reveal much more than the accompanying text. One day they decide that they would like to be better acquainted with the countryfolk for whatever reason. I guess, rather like me, they weren't quite expecting to encounter a mad billy goat who evidently can predict wild weather despite the absence of clouds. Inevitably, as the story progresses each of their respective professions comes in handy to some extent.  But by the conclusion of the story it is clear to me that townies don't have all the answers. Maybe something did get lost in translation, or, maybe not.

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