Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for And what comes after a thousand?
And what comes after a thousand?
Uniform Title:
Und was kommt nach Tausend? English
1st American ed.
Publication Information:
La Jolla, Calif. : Kane/Miller, 2007.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Originally published in German as: Und was kommt nach Tausend? Ravensburg: Ravensburger Buchverlag Otto Maier, 2005.
A little girl comes to understand that memories live beyond death.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.1 0.5 115939.


Call Number
155.937 Bley

On Order



This quiet, gentle, heart-warming book is meant to be shared with a child – a book first about love and friendship, and then about loss.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-This tender tale about intergenerational friendship, love, and loss tells of the cozy relationship between a young girl and an old, hard-of-hearing man. Lisa and Otto share many interests, but they are captivated by numbers. Together they hone the child's counting skills by assigning items to each number: "ONE is for Lisa, there's only one of you in the whole wide world! TWO is for our two emergency cookies." Lisa also practices shooting with her slingshot, attempting to hit a buffalo that is made of a rusty barrel and bent bicycle handles for horns. When she finally hits her target, Otto is there to celebrate her victory. After he dies, she must learn to deal with her pain and feelings of abandonment. The closeness of the characters is portrayed in heartwarming illustrations: the two friends stargazing with Lisa's arm casually draped over Otto's generous stomach, while her other hand is holding his; strolling together with mouths full of contraband cookies and conspiratorial looks on their faces. A small white cat appears in each of the pictures and encourages readers to study the wonderfully varied art. Outside the framed single- and double-page illustrations are Lisa's pencil doodles, including cookies, numbers, and Native Americans with feathers on their heads and the front of their clothing decorated with hearts. This universal story will speak to many readers.-Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Young Lisa and elderly Otto spend their days rambling around his farm. Otto always seem to have an "emergency" cookie in his pocket, knows how to make a slingshot and loves to count the stars (hence the title). Most important, he never dismisses anything the towheaded girl says; when Lisa wonders where numbers come from, Otto muses a bit and replies, "I think they're just inside of us." After Otto falls ill and dies, Lisa is angry and bereft. But with the help of Olga, who took care of Otto, Lisa comes to understand that "Otto is like numbers. He's inside of us, and that will never end." German author-artist Bley's velvety, emotionally acute pictures exude a visual poetry. She conjures a world where minds can meet across the generations without impediments. The scenes of Otto's swift decline are unsparing, but also intensely human, softened by images of poppies and the things Lisa brings to Otto (leaves, cocoons); every detail seems authentic and heartfelt. Bley plunges readers into the story without explaining whether Otto, Lisa and Olga are related, offering few details about Lisa beyond the experiences she shares with Otto. Instead, the essentials come through in landscapes of the farm and close-ups of Otto and Lisa swapping stories while gazing at the sky. Children will find much to savor in the book's radiant pictures and lyrical elusiveness. Ages 6-10. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

This gentle story describes the special friendship between a little girl named Lisa and an old man, Otto. After Otto dies, Lisa learns that her stalwart companion is clearly visible in her mind's eye and with her forever in spirit. Though the text doesn't always flow, Bley's illustrations are full of expression and movement. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

True to the small child's viewpoint, this playful picture book, originally published in Germany, is also a heartfelt story of love, grief, and comfort. It starts off with Lisa and her grandfather, Otto, talking and having fun together in all kinds of ways, from spitting cherry pits to counting the stars. When Otto gets ill and lies in bed, Lisa asks,'Will you die soon?" and Otto answers honestly: 'I think so." After Otto dies, Lisa is furious and confused until she realizes that he is always with her in her memories. The vague references to Native American traditions are superfluous. What will hold and comfort even young preschoolers are the honesty of the loss and the enduring love, expressed in the exuberant pastel pictures of Lisa and Otto in the garden they both love. The few odd words of German add a nice touch to the translated story (the translator isn't cited), as do the small, childlike pencil sketches at the bottom of a few pages.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2007 Booklist