When I was growing up, my mom always told me that “anticipation is half the pleasure.” While the adage infuriated me ahead of Christmas morning and my birthday, even then, I had to admit she was right.
German artist, author, animator, illustrator, and all-around visual storyteller Christoph Niemann has just teased the upcoming US release of his latest children’s book addressing this very concept. In the book, the always perceptive Niemann thoughtfully portrays how the anticipation of a present is often more exciting than the unwrapped item itself.
Ich Wünsche Mir (which roughly translates to I Wish) is a wordless, 72-page book of Niemann’s charming illustrations depicting a young, pigtailed girl enjoying wrapped gifts in many different forms, from the shape of a small dog to a cell phone.
In typical Niemann fashion, the ideas behind each illustration and the book at large are clever and thought-provoking. Such is the case with the work he shares on his equally pleasing Instagram, @abstractsunday.
Ich Wünsche Mir is far from Niemann’s first foray into the book realm, having authored and illustrated a litany of other titles, including Pianoforte (2021), about the hardships of trying to learn to read sheet music as a grownup and a visual dictionary for children called Words (2016).
This newest title has been available in Germany since August of last year courtesy of Diogenes Verlag, with the English translation forthcoming from Greenwillow Books, the children’s book imprint of Harper Collins.