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My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs Hardcover – June 15, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: One Peace Books (June 15, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935548255
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935548256
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #301,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Matthue Roth continues to astound with his brilliance and novelty. Everything he touches turns to mystical and delightful artistic gold. Fearless, funny, and fantastically fantastical. The graceful and stunning illustrations combined with his sweet, delicious text make this First Kafka the best Kafka." 
- Mayim Bialik, Ph.D., actress, The Big Bang Theory


"Matthue Roth is the kind of person you move to San Francisco to meet." -- Kirk Read, How I Learned to Snap

About the Author

Matthue Roth is a writer and video game designer. His first novel, Never Mind the Goldbergs, was nominated as an ALA Best Book and named a Best Book by the New York Public Library. He co-produced the irreverent animated Bible series G-dcast, and his screenplay 1/20 was produced as a feature film. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife, the chef Itta Roth, and their children, and he keeps a secret diary at www.matthue.com.

Rohan Daniel Eason studied Fine Art Painting in Kingston, London in 2000. On graduating he turned to fashion, creating fabric prints and concepts for Italian designer, Annette Olivieri. Rohan creates images for editorial media, publishing, and advertising. He is the illustrator of Geoff Cox's Anna and the Witch's Bottle and James Palumbo's Tancredi. Rohan was featured on the front cover of Design Week, August 2009 and was included in The Artisan, a Thames and Hudson publication by Olivier Dupont, on the top 100 new artists and makers in the world. Rohan presently lives in London, England.

Customer Reviews

He and I had good conversation on caring for loved ones with long term illnesses.
Melissa
The illustrations and stories are very nicely done, and interesting for the children and the adults, also.
Mmi56
For anyone who has ever wanted to introduce their children to the classics of literature at a young age.
G. Goldbloom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By G. Goldbloom on June 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I've enjoyed Matthue Roth's work before now, but this morning, his latest work, My First Kafka, arrived and it is beyond incredible. Never, in my wildest dreams, did I ever think I'd be able to introduce my young children to Kafka's Metamorphosis, and yet, through this fabulous book, I now can. The combination of eerily beautiful language and starkly beautiful black and white illustrations is absolutely perfect. This gets my highest recommendation. So fun! For anyone who has ever wanted to introduce their children to the classics of literature at a young age.

Plus, it arrived with a tiny handmade book inside, hand-drawn by the author, that included another brief story. Bonus goodness.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Jocelyn Perldeiner on September 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Who am I kidding? I didn't think a kid turning 3 would be crazy for Kafka.

This kid's book is a great one for the intellectual parents in your life. Sedate the kid in front of the TV with Spongebob blasting and read yourself this beautiful book. Look around and the shattered remains of your life and fall into a beautifully illustrated pit of existential despair.
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Format: Hardcover
What, you ask, does the title of this book mean? I did too until a few weeks ago when I had the opportunity to hear the Author (Matthue Roth) read from his book as a century-old synagogue in Philadelphia. Extremely personable and animated in his reading style, he kept the few children in attendance - as well as the adults in attendance - focused on him. And, how a child will perceive this book depends on the person reading it to them. More importantly, while there are characters in the three short stories which Roth "retells", are images children can relate to (bugs, families and young girls), the stories don't really have a plot or an ending and it would take some energy on a parent's part to explain what is really going on.

The slim 32-page book contains three stories written by Franz Kafka. The first, "Excursion in the Mountains" is so short that it only has 116 words and the last one (which was actually the last story that Kafka wrote before he died) is not much longer. The centerpiece is one of Kafka's most well-known: "The Metamorphosis" - a story in three parts. It's here that the black and white illustrations by Rohan Daniel Eason really come into play and children will enjoy the images of the Giant bug which is the "fate" of the character Georg. Eason's drawings remind me a lot of those of Edward Gorey.

Honestly, it's too much to expect someone to try to related to children what is really going on in Kafka's stories. Heck, there are college courses devoted to opinions on the symbols he provides. By Roth and Eason do as good a job as can be expected. If only Roth recorded his reading and provided it as a CD in the book. Then parents could have HIM read the stories to their children same way he did at the reading I attended. (Okay, then it's the parents' turn to answer questions sure to be raised.)

I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.

Steve Ramm
"Anything Phonographic"
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jrussell424 on February 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Or for adults to enjoy! I bought it as one of the Christmas gifts for friends who have two small children. The adults are avid readers raising two more avid readers. They are quirky and I knew they would enjoy and cherish such a unique book. A good buy for anyone who enjoys unusual books.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Justin H on October 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautfuylly illustrated book takes complicated stories and distills them down to their essence for children to read. There are a couple of parts where it skips over some of what might be important, but also makes the stories less dark for younger children.
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By Nicolio on January 13, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know how when you read The Metamorphosis, you thought it was creepy and odd and you pretended to get the existential import? It's still like that. At least, now it us shorter, and has great illustrations? My 4 year old is not enlightened, and we both think it's pretty gross. But what fin to open on Xmas!
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By Libby Conrad on February 7, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for a friend's baby shower, and read it before giving it to her. I loved it, and so did she and the dad to be! What better time than a baby shower to be reminded that metamorphosis can be a wonderful thing!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My granddaughter loved this book. I know very little about Kafka, but this book is genius. The illustrations and stories are very nicely done, and interesting for the children and the adults, also.
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More About the Author

Matthue Roth is a Hasidic author, slam poet, and screenwriter. His first book, Never Mind the Goldbergs, was an ALA Popular Paperback in Religion and a NYPL Best Book for the Teen Age.

He's also written a memoir about becoming Orthodox (Yom Kippur a Go-Go), a supermodel spy caper (Candy in Action), and a cover of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" starring Russian Jewish immigrants (Losers).

By day, he is a video game designer, and co-created the irreverent Biblical YouTube series G-dcast. Matthue lives with his family in Brooklyn, and he keeps a secret online diary at www.matthue.com.

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My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs
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