A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Danish / Denmark

Knokkelmandens cirkus
(The circus of the bone man)

K., Oscar (text)
Karrebæk, Dorte (illus.)
København: Høst & Søn, 2014. – [28] p.
ISBN 978-87-638-3224-3

Death – Transience – Procession –
Leporello – Picture book 

An unusual procession reveals itself upon unfolding “Knokkelmandes circus”. The accordion book opens to a two-meter long book frieze whose front side is painted, offering the observer a curio cabinet. The parade starts with an elephant whose head and front legs are machine constructions attached to his rear end. This is followed by, among others, “The Little Ones”, and the lady without abdomen, and the end is brought up by the director: the bone man, laughing Death. The backside offers the text, which can and should be illustrated by the reader using the self-adhesive images included at the very back of the book. The interactive moment is key for Oscar K. and Dorte Karrebæk – this creative power stands up to the sense of impermanence evoked by the subject of the book. With its bizarre and grotesque pictorial language, this unconventional and fascinating book recalls a medieval dance macabre as much as it plays on the “theatrum mundi” (world theatre). (Age: 8+)