Beloved illustrator Hans Fischer’s captivating story—about Old Lisette and her many animals that throw a surprise birthday party for her—has charmed generations of children.
When Lisette goes to the village on her birthday, her dog, Bello, and the other animals get to work. The cats bake a cake, the chickens lay extra eggs, the goat picks flowers for the birthday table, and the rabbits find seventy-six candles. When Lisette returns in the evening, she is surprised by the animals welcoming her to a festive table. After the meal, Bello put on a play for Lisette, and the ducks organize a party on the pond. But the highlight of the party is the most beautiful birthday surprise: the cats, Mauli and Ruli, proudly show Lisette their new baby kittens.
Fischer’s inimitable lines and colorful palette make this birthday celebration one to remember.
Hans Fischer, who always signed himself as Fis, was born in Bern, Switzerland, in 1909. He studied at the École des Beaux-Arts Industriels in Geneva and at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zürich and also attended courses taught by Ferdinand Léger in Paris. He collaborated on the satirical weekly Nebelspalter. From 1937 on he worked in Zürich as a commercial artist, a set designer for the legendary Cabaret Cornichon, and an illustrator. Until 1955 he also painted twenty-two murals for public buildings. In addition to these activities, he worked on illustrated books, lithographs, and etchings. Out of these emerged a magical world of animals and goblins, mysterious, poetic, and funny. Fischer died in 1958.