Émile in Berlin – Mouse Hunt in the Big Store


The pictures are amazing. Panoramic, detailed, funny, atmospheric, breathtaking, sensitive – these are words that come to mind first. (…) Krapp is full of the joy of discovery and knows how to transfer his fascination to the young audience. (…) Inbetween, there is always a short time to take a breath when there are more isolated images before there is all sorts of things to see on the next panoramic view. (…) Since Émile is from France, there is only one word left to say in honor of this all-round successful book: “Magnifique!”

Roland Mörchen, Eselsohr March 2021


And now the two of them urgently need to catch the rodent so that it doesn’t cause too much harm in the big store. A wonderful opportunity to present the many details and sensational interiors of this Art Nouveau store. While children enjoy the delicious chase, adults marvel at the grandeur of the historic building. That only a picture book can revive in such an incomparable way.

Konstanze Keller, Leseweis.de


Thilo Krapp not only has an incredible illustrative talent, but also the patience to get lost in details in “Émile in Berlin”. You almost forget the story of the mouse that escaped in the Wertheim department store. But you definitely shouldn’t. The hunt leads to unknown and beautiful spaces.

Barbara Weitzel, Welt am Sonntag Kompakt


A wonderful children’s book has recently been published by Gerstenberg Verlag, which we are very happy about. It is called “Émile in Berlin – Mouse hunt in the Big Store”. (…) The magnificently illustrated book takes us back to the golden era of department stores. (…) Above all, the pictures, also by Thilo Krapp, give an impression of its splendor. Particularly noteworthy is the child-friendly information at the end of the book on the development of department stores, especially the Wertheim department store on Leipziger Platz.



We chase through the whole building with the two children and get to know many splendid departments of it that we did not expect in a store. It goes through huge halls with the most wonderful goods. The little mouse that escapes again and again draws our attention to the loving details of the design of the department store and we see many special architectural features. The detailed illustrations in delicate tones allow us to immerse ourselves in the past splendor of the department stores with all our senses.

Natascha Hermes, berlin-familie.de


Even nicer than Krapp’s story are his drawings and illustrations, which on large-format pages convey a picture of what palaces the department stores once were with their high rooms, walkways, columns and galleries.

Gerrit Bartels, Tagesspiegel

Published by Gerstenberg publishing house

Written and illustrated by Thilo Krapp, 20,00 € (D), 20,60 € (A), SFr 26,90, HC, 40 p.

ISBN: 978-3-8369-6077-9

‘Émile in Berlin – Mouse hunt in the Big Store’ is a large-sized nonfiction picturebook for children 8+ (and younger readers to just view and be read to).

A visit to Berlin! Émile and his mother are looking forward to the German capital that has a brand-new attraction: The Wertheim department store on Leipziger Platz! But having just arrived at the huge shopping palace, Émile accidentally lets a little mouse slip away from the zoo department. Can he and young clerk Marie manage to catch it and prevent the latter from being fired? A wild hunt through the magnificent store begins!

The Wertheim department store was once the largest store in Europe and the talk of the town at the time the story takes place (winter 1904/05): Alfred Messel, who had already designed its famous facade on Leipziger Straße, built a spectacular annex that was inaugurated for the Christmas season. Since at least now ‘the Wertheim’ was described as an attraction in travel guides and in the following years got ‘enobled’ when the German emperor paid a visit. The story gives us a carefully researched insight into the structure and functioning of a department store and the Wertheim store in particular (the author got support by the University of Technology in Berlin and art historian Dr. Robert Habel to recreate the splendid interiors of the building), and a multi-page appendix comprehensively rounds off the factual information on the topic of department stores. A floor plan of the Wertheim invites you to follow the mouse hunt from the story!

‘Émile in Berlin’ has been honored in 2021 by 3×3 mag with a ‘Merit’ and is featured in their Annual No. 18.