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An adaptation of the German Faust story with beautiful woodcuts in black and red

The Circus of Dottore Fausto

Isabelle Vandenabeele & Pieter van Oudheusden

One day, the circus of Dottore Fausto arrives in Tito’s village. It’s a tired and tumbledown circus, and the tricks of the old bear, the toothless lion and the bungling clown are too awful to watch. Until an impressive figure enters the ring and everything changes through his presence. Tito is so impressed he hides and travels as a stowaway with the circus, which vanishes as suddenly and unexpectedly as it appears somewhere. He gets to know the special people of the circus: Erasmo the clown, Colombo the acrobat, Raffaelo the lion-tamer with his old blind lion, Margarita the dwarf-woman with her guard dog Lutero. Lovesick people with shadows in their hearts and misfortune in their pasts.

Dazzling etchings that intrigue to the very last page
De Morgen

Gradually Tito comes to know more about the mysterious Fausto, who’s on the run from Beuling, the devil to whom he has sold his soul in exchange for an abacus, which he wants to use to calculate the number of immortality. Until one day Tito has enough of the unsettled circus life and stays behind in the arms of Eva.

Isabelle Vandenabeele’s black and red woodcuts are dazzling, magnificent, rough, simple, expressive and exuberant. They’re full of vigour and depth, and strengthen the ominous atmosphere of the story.

The audacity and artistic talent of the author and illustrator make this book an enrichment of both children’s and adult literature.
De Standaard
Vandenabeele pulls out all the stops. Like the Permeke of Flemish illustrators, she proves herself a master in her labour-intensive technique.
Jury Boekenpauw and Boekenpluim