If Gorey and Sendak Had Illustrated Kafka for Kids

by Maria Popova

A hauntingly beautiful black-and-white adaptation of the beloved author in children’s verses.

Sylvia Plath believed it was never too early to dip children’s toes in the vast body of literature. But to plunge straight into Kafka? Why not, which is precisely what Brooklyn-based writer and videogame designer Matthue Roth has done in My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs (public library) — a magnificent adaptation of Kafka for kids. With stunning black-and-white illustrations by London-based fine artist Rohan Daniel Eason, this gem falls — rises, rather — somewhere between Edward Gorey, Maurice Sendak, and the Graphic Canon series.

Creepy Cute: A Beautifully Illustrated Book of Kafka — For Kids

By Liz Stinson

Eason’s work on Kafka is similarly detailed, with intricate, geometric ink drawings of beards and bug shells and scary monsters. 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. It’s the kind of book that might be scarier for adults than for the actual children.

The New Yorker

Kafka for Kids

My First Kafka: a kid’s book with macabre illustrationsNY Daily News

by Low Lai Chow

My First Kafka: Runaways, Rodents, and Giant Bugs, a book made more marvelous by London-based Rohan Daniel Eason’s fine macabre black-and-white illustrations. Somehow, Roth and Eason found a way to make Kafka appropriate for kiddo audiences.

NY Daily News


The book is slim, exquisitely illustrated in crisp black and white by Rohan Daniel Eason. Eason shows keen judgment, imbuing his illustrations with enough appeal and geniality to allay any fears while retaining a creeping, hardly perceptible sense of the macabre.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn share Follow