My First Kafka

retold by Matthue Roth
illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason

{ buy from me } { amazon } { indiebound }

Buy from me directly and get a free limited-edition handmade minibook, The Last Golem in Prague!

Runaway children who meet up with monsters. A giant talking bug. A secret world of mouse-people. The stories of Franz Kafka are wondrous and nightmarish, miraculous and scary. In My First Kafka, storyteller Matthue Roth and artist Rohan Daniel Eason adapt three Kafka stories into startling, creepy, fun stories for all ages. With My First Kafka, the master storyteller takes his rightful place alongside Maurice Sendak, Edward Gorey, and Lemony Snicket as a literary giant for all ages.


USA: 
Overseas: email me for postage costs
PRESS
Kafka for Kids
The New Yorker
"The adaptation is so smooth, and the stories so naturally eerie and imaginative, that if it rhymed one would assume Seuss wrote it."

Creepy Cute: A Beautifully Illustrated Book of Kafka — For Kids Wired
"The haunting black-and-white sketches paired with Roth’s elegant verses do justice to the sense of foreboding Kafka was so good at crafting."

BBC World Update
An interview with me, and a bunch of kids talk about what they think of "The Metamorphosis."

If Gorey and Sendak Had Illustrated Kafka for Kids
Brain Pickings
"A magnificent adaptation...with stunning black-and-white illustrations...beautifully haunting."

My First Kafka and Challenges of Representation
Schlemiel in Theory
"Roth allows the child to know—and the adult to recognize—that Gregor’s disturbance precedes his transformation; that we should pity Gregor, too, goes unsaid, but is very much a significant sentiment in Roth’s iteration of the character that extends through Gregor’s final moments."

My First Kafka (And Other Literary Classics for Kids)
Wheeler Centre

An 11-Year-Old Reviews "My First Kafka"
New York Daily News
"The last little part of the story crushes all those feelings with a huge teardrop that wasn’t mine, because stories don’t make me cry. I won’t spoil the ending for anyone who plans to read this, but remember to be on guard and not fall in love with these little mice too much."

Kafka for Kids
Huffington Post
Includes an excerpt, and a bunch of really pretty pictures. "Children's books scare the living daylights out of me."

An Illustrated Kafka
Jewniverse
"While the [stories a]re familiar, they create and inhabit a new world, thanks to Kafka’s inimitable sensibility, Roth’s cheeky style, and Eason’s quirky and endearing etchings."

Kafka 4 Kidz
Heeb Magazine
"Most children’s books teach things like family, friends, and sharing. Franz Kafka wrote strange tales of alienation, conflict, and the meaningful meaningless of existence."

Interview With Orthodox Jewish Author & Poet Matthue Roth
Shalom Life
"Kafka is the children's author. I'm just the middleman."

KAFAQ
Why Kafka?
There are a million reasons I could tell you why I adapted Kafka stories and not, say, Pride and Prejudice or Moby-Dick or Dead Souls. (Well, Dead Souls might come next. Or not.) I grew up loving Kafka. I probably discovered him way too early. I accidentally started reading my kids Kafka (ages 3 and 5--both girls, btw) and they really got into him. We kind of group him together with Owl at Home and Maurice Sendak and Tim Burton. But the bottom line: Because I love these stories, and Rohan (the illustrator) loves them, and we think other people will too.

Is this book really for kids?
Some parents think that the book Where the Wild Things Are is too scary for kids. Curiously, you don't find too many kids saying that.

Didn't Kafka once reputedly forbid the illustrator of Metamorphosis from depicting a literal cockroach?
Okay, well, yeah. There's that. One thing is that it's not a cockroach, it's a giant insect or vermin or an unspecified bug. Another thing to bear in mind: Kafka asked the two people to whom he was closest to burn all his writing and never reprint his books. It's only out of love for his craft that his best friend, Max Brod, didn't obey -- if he had, we'd probably never know any of this existed. What would he think of translations? Let alone, illustrations? It's kind of scary to imagine Kafka showing up today, seeing how much we love his stuff, and having a total freakout. Or maybe he'd just be proud, or flattered, or embarrassed. I hope it's the latter.

What's the free minibook?
It's really awesome. It's about 8 pages, and it's the size of your hand (they aren't particularly long pages). It includes: one (1) short story that's not for kids; the script from another illustrated Kafka story that got cut for space reasons from the book; and art references. It has a little fold-out secret spot that I am not telling you about. Right now it's not available anywhere else. Disclaimer #1: It might be part of a longer story that gets published somewhere else one day. But I'll probably edit the heck out of it first and it'll sound completely different. Disclaimer #2: If it gets too difficult, I might switch to sending a free ebook instead. If you order it now, you'll definitely get the real thing. But you should really order it, like, right now.

But what if I fell into the trap and bought my book from Amazon/B&N/my friendly neighborhood local independent bookshop?
No problem! Just post a picture of yourself or someone you love (or someone you know who looks like a giant bug) holding the book on Facebook or Twitter or something with a link to buy the book. Then email me with the link, and I'll send you a foldable & printable PDF.

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