(…) model for this story is not only the real first rally of its kind in the spring of 1907 – the French driver Charles Godard from Burgundy and his Dutch Spyker automobile are real facts, too, as is the accompanying Journalist Jean du Taillis from ‘Le Matin’. (…) the difficulties of inadequate technology, miserable paths, a completely lacking infrastructure and equally scarce communication channels make the participants heroes (…). In Thilo Krapp, an illustrator has been found who gives the people, situations, landscapes and also the text an impressive image that goes with the story very effectively and vividly. Sometimes it’s softly colored pencil and colored pencil drawings, sometimes almost monochrome storyboards that even depict technical hurdles in an understandable way.
Alliteratus, November 2021
All lovers of old cars and historical settings will be pleased and satisfied, because many excursions into automobile mechanics and history are topping off this enthralling and amazingly illustrated advenbture.
Published by Gerstenberg publishing house
Written by Stephan Martin Meyer, illustrated by Thilo Krapp, 17,00 € (D), HC, 64 p.
Burgundy 1907: Uncle Charles notices a car race advertised in the French newspaper ‘Le Matin’. It is supposed to go from Beijing to Paris, an enormous distance at that time. The ‘Matin’ asks the provocative question if anyone feels capable to take the risk to pove that it can be crossed in one of the latest inventions – the ‘automobile’? Charles feels called upon – and so does his niece Julia, who learns Mandarin and is enthusiastic about cars.
The two embark on a perilous and adventurous journey that leads them over the Great Wall, through chinese provincial towns and big metropolises, through deserts, steppes and swamps, over railroad tracks and collapsing bridges – always followed by the other participants in the rally, or close on their heels.
An exciting story from which you can learn a lot about the very first cars and China around 1900 – and a truly sportive ambition!