Friendship comes in all shapes and sizes! Originally published in 1969, this original Bernadette Watts story is now back in print with brand new, radiant illustrations.
Hans Millermann is lonely and longs for the company of a friend. The little green caterpillar that lives with him in the mill is not good enough, so he goes out into the world to find a real friend. He is happy to befriend a snowflake, a flower, or even a fox. But none are willing to be his friend in return—not even the wind. The wind reminds Hans that they both still have something important to do. When Hans returns home to the mill, he finds a surprise: a beautiful butterfly is waiting for him. Could it be the caterpillar that Hans had previously disregarded?
Bernadette Watts has delighted children around the world with her timeless tales and expressive art. This sweet story about recognizing friendship in all of its disguises will warm hearts and open minds.
The original edition of Hans Millerman was published in 1969. For her 80th birthday, Bernadette completely re-illustrated the book with colorful illustrations that give this universal story a new shine.
Bernadette reflects on re-illustrating Hans Millerman for her 80th birthday:
“I often thought I could improve on some of the illustrations, and some were too dark, and some too much like scribble. But my schedule of work never gave me time to think about improving the pictures. Meanwhile I was always happy with the text. Then came the Pandemic, it arrived in England March 2020 and I was classed as a vulnerable person.
I had nothing to do. And I hated being isolated. So here was my chance. I worked every morning on totally new pictures for this story. In the afternoons I went for a solitary walk or did some gardening. Without my work I believe my spirit would have been broken. After 3 months we were given some freedom. And at the same time finished the set of new pictures.”
The Eric Carle Museum is honoring our beloved illustrator with a special display of select titles in their Reading Library the week of May 13.
The artwork here is the standout, with frame-worthy views of the countryside. Both the indoor and outdoor scenes are filled with myriad details, and readers will want to take time to peruse each picture. A gentle tale about appreciating friendship in all its forms.
Maryann Owen, Booklist
- Society of Illustrators Original Art, 2022