Shodjaie, Seyyed Ali (Text) / Taherian, Elahe (Ill.)
Der große Schneemann
A picture book from Iran
Bilingual German – Farsi
Translated from Farsi by Nazli Hodaie
© Baobab Books, 2013; 2nd edition 2016
32 pages, hardcover, 21,5 x 28,8 cm
CHF 24.80 / € (D) 15,90 / € (A) 16,40
ages 5 and up
A curious story takes place in a village. The village children are very happy to create the biggest snowman they can imagine from the first snow to fall in the winter. They clothe him with a hat and scarf. But the snowman has hardly been completed when he changes his face. He isn't grateful to the villagers for creating him, but rather demands guards and ice cubes, for he doesn't want to melt. Is one allowed to say no to such a request? Even the spring sun allows itself to be impressed by the snowman and thus the village becomes ice cold. It takes a while, but in the end the big snowman will have to melt after all. The villagers agree that it's good that such a story will never be repeated.
When a book is being read it's as if it was breathing, says Iranian author Seyyed Shodjaie in an epilogue that is simultaneously a preface too. For the question is – what is the beginning, and what is the end? The Big Snowman questions our reading habits, as it is written from right to left, the same as the Persian original.
The multi-layered picture book addresses the issues of power and impotence and explains them in a playful way for children. The author and the illustrator both live in Tehran and it is their greatest wish that this book breathes because it is read. For this story is their story too…
Seyyed Ali Shodjaie was born in Iran in 1983. He studied industrial engineering but started soon after to publish articles and books as a freelance writer. Today he is the deputy head of the publisher Neyestan in Tehran. »Der große Schneemann« is his first children's book, which was published in Iran in 2010. Two short stories and a novel have been published since.
Elahe Taherian was born in Iran in 1979. She studied art and illustration in Tehran. She has illustrated seven children's books and books for young people since 2006, and received two Iranian awards in this time. Over and above this she has also taken part in numerous art exhibitions. Elahe Taherian lives in New York City, where she hs received the Paula Rhodes Honor award for exceptional achievement in illustration in 2015.
Original: What if the Snowman Won’t Melt?
© 2010 Neyestan Publishing House, Iran
→ Teaching Materials (in German only)