A beautifully crafted fairy tale, in which young Jacob, the son of poor parents living in a large German town, has a run-in with the bad fairy Herbwise, a hideous enchantress. Herbwise changes Jacob into a miserable hunch-backed dwarf with a megacolossal schnozzle. Trials and tribulations follow, not the least of which is the wretched treatment Jacob receives from the townsfolk, even his mother and father, who refuse to believe his protestations that he is their son. A bit of luck brings Jacob (by then a renowned cook) together with Mimi, a girl cast by a spell into a goose, and the rare herb sneezewell, found flowering under a chestnut tree by the light of a full moon. Part of a linked series of tales, this is a wondrous story, full of drama and magic, holding the townsfolk's petty, malicious behavior up to a sharp light. Zwerger's paintings, with their ancient feel and their tranced quality, situate the story four-square in its own strange land. The world of fairy tales was made a whole lot poorer when Hauff died in 1827, at only 25 years old.