Kim presents a story of the revivification of artisanal sausage-making in the German countryside.
Readers are welcomed by young, rosy-cheeked, white Hans: “ ‘Hallo!’ What a pleasure to meet you.” He tells them that he comes from a long line of proud German sausage-makers. But soon readers learn that Hans’ only friend, the only other kid in their dwindling town, is moving to Munich, and all is not well in the village. Grandpa Max is bitter. “ ‘We just need to take better care of our store!’ Grandpa raises his voice, and Father doesn’t speak anymore.” But Father has a plan. His trips to nearby Munich raise Grandpa’s suspicions that he is going to bail on the family farm, but what Father is doing is discovering a way to tap into the burgeoning, worldwide reappreciation of handmade products. It is a dramatic story, with a clear line and a nice touch of optimism, illustrated by Tessmann in a collaged tumble of colorful, expressive country-, shop-, and cityscapes. Curiously, the Korean import ends with a four-page addendum of German facts. “Capital: Berlin / Language: German / Natural Environment: Geographical.” Well, yes, it would be. “Germany was one of the main countries involved in World War I in 1914 and World War II in 1939.” Yes, indeed, it was. On a more upbeat note, “Germans love to drink beer.”
A pleasant tale of endurance upended by a tuneless, airbrushed country profile. (Picture book. 4-8)