In 1969, almost 50 years ago, Zoppo Trump wanted to become the new ruler of the Little People. To avoid the three contests required to challenge the current ruler, he resorted to all sorts of trickery, including kidnapping and attempted murder.
I am making this up? No, this is all written down here, in Tilde Michels’ fabulous book:
This was one of my favorite childhood books. I tells how Jenny and Max discover the King Kalle Wirsch inside a garden gnome, and go on a journey into the realm of the Erdmännchen (Little People), after conveniently being shrunk to proper size by eating raxel root. The meet endearing characters like the ferryman
and travel inside a fire worm through lava fields
in order to reach the convention of the Little People just in time to prevent Zoppo Trump to seize power. Here is the bad guy after winning the first contest:
The story ends dramatically. Maybe you can guess what happens from the last image:
The three middle images are screen grabs from the DVD, made by the famous Augsburger Puppenkiste. As a kid I was glued to the screen whenever this was broadcast. The top image is the front cover of the first edition, and the last image is from within the book, one of the many illustrations by Rüdiger Stoye.
This book has, to my knowledge, not been translated into English. Anyone? Now is the time!