White Ravens: Switzerland
Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 96
Draeger, Heinz-Joachim (text/illus.)
(Monkey Circus Higgledy-Piggledy)
Zürich: pro juventute, 1992. [n.p.]
circus - imagination - picture book
In the monkey circus the animals perform all the numbers themselves (except the one in which four people in cars have to elevate their vehicles on their hind tires). In addition, one can admire horse pyramids, high wire lions, water and fire spouting camel humps - and everything glows colorfully in the mysterious darkness. Even Pegasus is there - a good omen for this effectual picture book which manages with a minimum of text. (3+)
Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 97
Feth, Monika (text)
Buchholz, Quint (illus.)
Der Weg durch die Bilder
(The Way Through the Pictures)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1992. 187 p.
parapsychology - everyday life - village - science - childhood - children's book.
Ada is a farmer's daughter and has healing ca-pabilities. In addition, she can foresee catastrophies. In school she also often has "states" which resemble breakdowns. Her parents finally allow her to be tested in the institute of an experienced parapsychologist. Although Ada submits to the discipline demanded in the experiments, she returns afterward to her village and her parents with a light heart. With the help of her grandmother, she has learned to live with her gifts. The book skillfully and in an unspectacular manner treats a topic accorded little prior attention. A fascinating book. (12+)
Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 98
Mebs, Gudrun (text)
Rudelius, Wolfgang (illus.)
Schokolada im Regan
(Chocolate in the Rain)
Zürich: Nagal & Kimche, 1992. 116 p.
child/adult - father/daughter - mother/daughter - brother/sister - friendship (girl/boy) - children's book
The narratives in this volume are all about the problems of children, but none are "problem stories." Gudrun Mebs is one the few German authors who can accomplish this feat: relating childhood concerns and conflicts - without allowing a moral to slip into her language or style. Thus, each text is fresh and pleasant, whether dealing with sad or cheerful subjects. Some of the stories were also adapted for radio. (7+)
Switzerland (German) - 1993 - 99
Wiesmüller, Dieter (text/illus.)
Pernix. Die Abenteuer eines kleinen Sauriers in Urzeitwald
(Pernix: The Adventures of a Little Dinosaurier in the Prehistoric Forest)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1992. [n.p.]
dinosaurs - prehistoric times - large/small outsiders/community - picture book
Among the legions of dinosaur books, this one is certainly an exception. The mammoths are depicted in a technically crafted, masterly fashion next to small examples, dim prehistoric light all around and a story about solitariness and security in an intact community, about the small ones’ fear of the large ones and about devouring and being devoured. From the example of the dinosauer, a child can form a picture of the dangers which had to be survived in prehistoric times, the world of gigantic creatures. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1993 - 118
Boix, Manuel (illus.)
Genf: La Joie de Lire, 1992. 32 p.
biography - Socrates - Greek history (470- 399 B.C.)
An especially notable volume from the series "known unknown" in which personalities of Western cultural history are presented. Here we read a fictional letter from Socrates to his sons, a mental legacy in which he sums up for them his vision of good and evil, important and unimportant. The agreement between the philosophical and the aesthetic message of the lovely pictures is striking. The illustrations are arranged like theater scenes, bordered by Greek columns and temple friezes and the text is integrated into the illustrations. The motifs are based on Greek vase painting, ancient statues and ivory brooches. A book with a powerful message, once again confirming the cultural objective of this one- woman publishing house and book shop in Geneva. (10+)
Switzerland (Italian) - 1993 - 134
Genevra: Fundaziun per la vita, 1992. 94 p.
This is a drastic, classic comic which could fascinate young people. It begins with a healthy, tennis-playing teenager and ends with her tragic death due to AIDS. The author-illustrator is familiar with the world of school children and thus successful in depicting the subject from their point of view. Owing to the broad basis of identification, this book could actually arouse a sense of responsibility in those growing up. It was translated into all four official Swiss languages and deserves dissemination in other countries as well. (9+)
Switzerland (German) - 1994 - 116
Zwei Väter sind besser als keiner
(Two Fathers are Better than None)
Zurich: Nagel & Kimche, 1993. 142 p.
Family - First Love - Father - Friend
Isabel's natural father, a business man, is seldom at home and she misses him. Therefore she is pleased with the sudden appearance of Rudiger, her mother's old boy friend, and all of his desirable alternative life-style - communal living in the country, athletic, chum. Isabel's mother also feels comfortable around Rudiger. Finally when the parent's marriage threatens to fall apart, Isabel experiences her usually cool-headed father for the first time in despair. She recognizes that she doesn't want to be without him. The decision which Isabel's mother must make remains open in the book. The emotional conflict felt by the young girl is portrayed with an agreeable matter-of- course, without any noticeable pedagogic- psychological linguistic mannerisms. Everyday literature in the best sense of the word. (10+)
Switzerland (German) - 1994 - 117
Betschart, Hansjörg (text)
Mönster, B. Jub (illus.)
Soheila oder ein Himmel aus Glas
(Soheila or a Heaven of Glass)
Zurich: Nagel & Kimche, 1993. 89 p.
Asylum Seeker/Switzerland – War/Yugoslavia - Death - Friendship - Rat
Multilingual Switzerland, a classic land for asylum, is an old and new homeland for people of many nationalities. And yet Salim - son of an Arab who is a Swiss citizen - must often defend himself against violent, stronger boys. On one such day he discovers a strange, bewildered girl who has hidden herself in the cellar of his apartment house. He would prefer to overlook his discovery, to forget it, repress it, because he senses that he will get into even more trouble on her account. His parents, however, demand that he take care of the little Muslim girl, who speaks no German. Soheila went into hiding after witnessing how her father was tortured and killed in the Yugoslavian war; (seemingly) minor incidents cause her to panic and she becomes unreachable for adults. Salim succeeds in reaching her through toys and animals. In the end They go to school together – until her petition for asylum is turned down and Soheila is picked up by the police in the middle of the schoolday. She flees and cannot be found. The portrayal of the tragic fate of a child, hurt by war and violence, forced to live in strange surroundings, is emotionally convincing. Linguistic curtailments and gaps give the reader an authentic insight into the associative thought patterns of a child’s world of picture and experiences. (10+)
Switzerland (German) - 1994 - 118
Tunnel der Gewalt. Die Geschichte von Milan lind Niki
(Tunnel of Violence. The Story of Milan and Nicki)
Luzern: rex, 1993. 116 p.
Switzerland - Yugloslavia - Foreigner - Violence - Family - School - Friendship - Death - Reconciliation
Milan lives with his Serbo-Croation family in Switzerland. The unloved father is killed in the civil war in Yugoslavia. But even in the midst of peace, there is no end to violence for Milan. Now the older, stronger brother wants to step into the place of the brutal father; at school Milan is discriminated against by fellow pupils and teachers. When his mother enters hospital, Milan goes off on his own. He finds an older person who accepts him and understands him, but this friend, who had become a substitute father to him, dies. Only his friendship with a girl named Nicki and the support of her parents finally help him to overcome all his difficulties. A view from the inside of a difficult daily life in multilingual Switzer land, which the native and the foreign children experience vividly - and the reader with them. (12+)
Switzerland (German) - 1994 - 119
Ullrich, Ursula (text)
Brülhart, Stefan (illus.)
Geschichten vom Florinchen
(Stories About Little Florin)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1993. 119 p.
Girl - Family - Everyday Life - Dachshound - Parakeet (Budgie) - Teddy Bear
Events in a child's everyday life - so an adult would say. Of course, Little Florin herself sees all of her large and small experiences as highly important and exciting. And so even an adult will read with pleasure about Teddy Max. Dachshound Oscar, how Flora loses a baby tooth bill doesn't throw it away, how she gives Mia, the parakeet, a burial and how she learns a judo chop so that the other children won't dare to laugh at her anymore on account of her speech problem, A cheery little book which shows with out much ado a family as a cooperative clan and even fights among siblings as solvable. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 1994 - 120
Wendt, Irmela (text)
Mönster, B. Jub (illus.)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1993. 46 p.
Hare/Raising - Girl - Freedom
Nenna saves a baby hare from being attacked by a dachshound. Now she must raise the little animal since its mother refuses to care for it any longer. Much resourcefulness and care are called for during their 15 days together. At last the little hare grows big and strong enough to be released into freedom. The attachment of the childen to the little, helpless animal, their sense of responsibility and the trust which is possible between them both is the subject of this simple and moving story (6+)
Switzerland (French) - 1994 - 143
Chauvy, Laurence (text)
Ardalan, Haydé (illus.)
Genève: La Joie de lire, 1993. 32 p.
Art Appreciation - Cat - Edgar Degas <1834-1917>
The great painter Edgar Degas as seen from a cat's point of view. This bizarre idea and certainly uncommon perspective of his oevre do not lead to absurd observations but rather illuminating descriptions of what is to be seen in the pictures. The cat narrates, self- importantly weaving in comments on her own welfare and her personal observations. On each double-page spread there is on the right a painting or sculpture, on the left the text and a drawing of the cat in an appropriate pose. (9+)
Switzerland (German) - 1995 - 90
Ebet-Schifferer, Sybille (ed.)
Thorbecke, Jan Peter et al. (text)
Fünf stumme Zeugen betrachten ein Tonschwein: 7192 Jahre Begegnung im Museum.
(Five silent witnesses study a clay pig: 7192 years of encouters in the museum)
Bern: Benteli, 1993. 79 p.
This exceptional information book doesn't intend to be a museum guide but rather a stimulus for the reader to discover art. To this end the book is designed using a series of graphic techniques such as pieces of art in various sizes or excerpts and in unexpec- ted places on the page. In the descriptive texts, in the comparisons between different epochs using individual works as examples, as well as in the fold-out chronological tables an instructive survey is created with- out any recognizable pedagogical impetus. At the same time various possibilities and techniques of artistic book design are shown in the layout of the catalog itself. In all these aspects the curiosity and pleasure in discovery in both children and adults are offered. The guide is an exemplary escort. It includes illustrations of pieces held in the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 1995 - 91
Hauff, Wilhelm (text)
Čapek, Jindra (illus.)
Die Geschichte von Kalif Storch
(The story of Caliph Stork)
Zürich: bohem press, 1994.  p.
Metamorphosis - Stork - Love - Modern fairy tale
Fairy tales involving metamorphosis are traditionally loved by children. In the tale of Caliph of Bagdad and his Great Vizir present themselves her in a new form. The illustrator gives them the unmistakable features of storks and men; he does the same for the magicians who give the impetus for the whole plot and are punished for their evilness in the end. Full-page illustrations reflect the splendor of the Orient and the expanse of its landscape. The generous type-setting is pleasing to the eye, delicate initial vignettes grace the beginning of each chapter. The large-sized book represents, without being designed at an unusual expense. Not only in content but also in its imagery, an imaginable Oriental world which is by tradition dedicated to leisure and pleasure. The splendor of the pictures upholds the childlike joy of reading and telling stories. The traditional figura- tiveness of the Orient appears at times cari- catural, surpassing the textual content of the story. In this way the frames obtain their own authenticity, which at once interprets and depicts the Hauff tale. (6+) ☆
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1995 - 92
Johansen, Hanna (text/illus.)
Ein Maulwurf kommt immer allein
(A mole is always a loner)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1994. 118 p.
Mole - Individualism - Family
The mole is a typical loner and only feels really happy when he is left alone. Hanna Johansen has made use of this fact to create a poetic case for the individualists of this world, wherever they may be hiding. Mother Mole loves her little children, her "closest to her heart little silk worms" as much as any other concerned mother. The little moles get along together, fight and battle with one another, become independent. They dig their own tunnels. The little girl mole, much to her own surprise, even tolerates a guest in her wing of the tunnel once. And soon she builds a nest of her own and has her own little "closes to her heart silk worms" to take care of, at least for a while. But the story in this book is not quite so thin. There are the most marvelous odors in the mole tunnels, they are crawling with little bugs and insects, "friends" of the moles. That is how the life of a mole is - friends are those you can eat, enemies are those who can eat you. The art of storytelling needs few words, just the right ones. Hanna Johansen uses this art to create new worlds which provide adults and children unexpected, funny and ironical insights into their own world. (6+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1995 - 93
Schindler, Regine (text)
Jucker, Sita (illus.)
Mia, was ist ein Trip?
(Mia, What is a trip?)
Zürich: bohem press, 1994.  p.
Drug abuse - Friendship - Family
Sometimes Matthias meets Mia and Puek, the dog, on his way home from school. Mia is a junkie and one day she cannot conceal it from Matthias any longer. His parents forbid him to see her any longer. When he meets her, her condition is already incura- ble. The boy takes on a big project: some- day he will work with drug addicts. Al- though it is quite clearly a problem-centered (picture) book, conceived in cooperation with the Swiss Central Agency for Addic- tion Prevention, the text and illustrations convey an atmosphere of security in Mat- thias's home as well as the vulnerability of: homeless drug addict. This book provides an opportunity for discussion and lets even younger children know how dangerous drugs are, but also that in certain cases addicts can be cured. (8+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1995 - 94
Tolstoi, Leo (text)
Abesinova, Elena (illus.)
Maja, Geise (German text)
Wieviel Erde braucht der Mensch?
Zürich: Speer, 1994.  p.
Farmer - Greed - Death
Pachom, the farmer, tries to think of way if purchase more land. He learns about a region where one can acquire as much land one is able to mark off by walking from sun-up to sundown. He decides to take up this good bargain but overtaxes himself with his march around his future land and dies. The German version of this Russian has been shortened and adapted for children. The illustrations contain the traditional Russian folk art motifs in richly detailed and yet grandly playful, humorous and brightly colored variations. Interspersed with ironic jabs at the religious practices and everyday life in grand old Russia, there is a new picture world of men, women, angels and animals on each page. Countryside and cities are boxed inside of one another, make-believe maps with cyrillic writing draw attention to themselves. The illustrator Elena Abesinova lives and works today in Kiev. (6+) ☼
(See also Nr. 25 and 26 (Romania))
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1995 - 115
Bille, Corinna (text)
Hainard, Robert (illus.)
Le mystère du monstre
(The mysterious monster)
Genève: La Joie de lire, 1994.  p.
Wallis/Monster - Wolf hunt - Media
In dialogue with her two little children, a mother tells about the tragicomic events which came to pass in the highest village in the canton of Wallis. An unidentifiable monster began to terrorize the inhabitants, stealing sheep and chickens night after night. The case become more and more widely known, a public disgrace, but no solution was found - until by chance months later a large wolf was shot. The story is so lively written that it really seems authentic. The personalities in this small community in the mountains are superbly characterized, the ups and downs of hope and error make the reader smile. With the help of the pencil drawings and colored prints of the well- known Swiss animal artist Hainard the publisher has succeeded in creating a minor work of art. (8+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1995 - 116
Chaillot, Nicole (text)
Europe est une femme
(Europe is a Woman)
Paris / Genève: La Nacelle, 1994. 57 p. With illus. chosen by Agnès Rosenstiehl
Art appreciation - Art history - Painting - Cultural history - Feminism
In this nonfiction picture book numerous portraits and pictures by famous artists from several centuries, citations from the works of famous writers and philosophers from the Roman times up to today document the role which women have been relegated by men in society and in the arts. Two children, a boy and a girl, discover page after page the passive role of the woman, who is supposed to be young and beautiful, and the prejudices under which women suffered in past epochs. The lovely, meticulously laid-out book is not only an interesting work on cultural history but also a history of women's liberation. Its unusual perspective deserves particular attention. (11+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1995 - 117
Je m' appelle Adolphe
(My Name is Adolf)
Paris / Genéve: La Nacelle, 1994.  p.
National Socialism – Hitler, Adolf - Peace/Pedagogy - Right-wing radicalism
Well-known in France for his humorous books, the author-illustrator Pef ventures to take on a serious subject, a treatment of his childhood memories during and immediately after the Second World War. Somewhere in France there is a boy named Adolf who bears a fatal resemblance to a historical figure. His easy-going parents have no time for him. He leaves home and goes alone into the woods where he meets a group of Neonazis having a wild party and a woman who survived the concentration camps. Both encounters are nearly fatal. Only when the old woman has explained to him the historical background does he begin to understand. This parable of the unreliability of memory, misleading appearances, and the necessity of passing on historical knowledge is consternating and foiling. The narrative seems to be fragmented, and little Hitler is a tragicomical figure. Nonetheless, or precisely therefore, it is a book which has a feeling of immediacy - enhanced by the style of the illustrations - and forms an important addition to the literature on this subject. (9+) ☆
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 103
Johansen, Hanna (text)
Bhend, Käthi (illus.)
Die Hexe zieht den Schlafsack enger
(The Witch Pulls the Sleeping Bag Tighter)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1995.  p.
Calendar - Poetry
Subversive and rebellious in content, conventional in rhyme and meter, these verses come from the whole year long. Without the aid of a continuous storyline, one still learns much about the joys, sorrows and everyday life of a little girl, about her family problems and celebrations. Käthe Bhend's well-received, bizarre illustrations are the ideal accompaniment to this volume. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 104
(The Winds of July)
Zürich: Diogenes, 1995. 136 p.
Self-identity - Friendship - Homeless man
Julius, nicknamed Schüül, makes friends with two men who are putting together a Cadillac from the wrecks in a car scrap yard, where one of them, Most, even lives. When the two men get into trouble with the police, they run away, taking Schüül - against his will - with them. He must find his way home all alone: the way from childhood to adulthood. He sees old Most just one more time, when the police have extradicted him from a southern country and placed him in a mental hospital. (14+)
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 105
Pacovská, Kveta (text/illus.)
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1995.  p.
Tower - Dream - Play - Sunset - Flying
A new artist's picture book that both challenges and quickens the narrative imagination. Where can »towers« be better imagined than in Bologna, Italy? They have much to whisper to one another in the magical hour between daytime and dreamtime - about flying, story-telling and celebrations. With this impressing large-sized format, with folds and flaps to look at and read - the artist has truly made this an uplifting book. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 106
Schami, Rafik (text)
Cools, Ed (illus.)
Streich, Oliver (illus.)
(Maker of Beak-stands)
Zürich: Nord-Süd-Verl., 1995.  p.
Single mother - Outsider - Courage - Vanity - Game
The little raven is still too young to fly - but no other raven child can stand on their beak like he can. Hence, it cannot understand why the pheasant is called the king of the birds, since he has those beautiful feathers through no effort of his own and he does nothing else all day but show off by faning his tail. The raven's efforts to dethrone the »king« are met with great approval by the other animals. So ever since then a beak-standing raven is regarded more highly than a peacock fanning his tail. This is a story of encouragement for young outsiders. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 107
Schneider, Jürg E. (text)
Siegfried, Anita (text)
Müller, Jörg (illus.)
Auf der Gasse und hinter dem Ofen. Eine Stadt im Spätmittelalter
(In the Alley and Behind the Chimney. A Town in the Late Middle Ages)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1995. 47 p. + 4 posters
Germany/1309-1349 - City/Everyday life - Plague
Four persons of different age groups and social backgrounds lead the reader into a foreign world, a city in the middle of the 14th century. A boy, a girl, a young woman and a monk go through a typical day, fulfilling different tasks and duties. In preparing the painstakingly elaborate frieze-style illustrations as supplements to the text, Jörg Müller used true-to-original models of towns. The extremely difficult plan to bring the historical context and traditions to life appears to be successful in this large-format portfolio of text and illustration. Factual materials are also included, so that the necessary imaginative processes can take place on the basis of solid facts. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 108
Traxler, Hans (text/illus)
Wenn Kühe Propeller hätten
(If Cows Had Propellers)
Zürich: Diogenes, 1995. 54 p.
Nonsense - Logic
The caricaturist Hans Traxler gives himself and his readers this gift of a book filled with relaxing double-entendre and so-called non-sense. In series of »if-then« sentences he creates the most absurd causal relations. The purpose behind this activity may lay in pointing out the irony of adult logic which in general usage and as forced upon children is often not easily understandable. Having a laugh over unexpected (word) imagery is a liberating experience. Especially when laughing together. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 1996 - 109
Weninger, Brigitte (text)
Marks, Alan (illus.)
Auf Wiedersehen, Papa
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1995.  p.
Marital separation - Everyday life - Anger
Only his Teddy can explain to Tom why he does not need to be angry with his absent father. When his mother and father (bear) no longer get along peaceably in their cramped cave, it is better for everyone when he meets the father outside to play and romp about. And soon he comes back again. This picture book does not make use of intellectual explanations to show young children how to make the best of an unsatisfying situation. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1996 - 160
Madeleine-Perdrillat, Alain (text)
Rodari, Florian (art comp.)
Un dimanche avec Cézanne
(A Sunday with Cézanne)
Genève: Skira, 1995. 56 p.
(Un Dimanche avec...)
Cézanne/Biography - Painting Cézanne - Painting - Biography - Aix-en-Provence - Sainte-Victoire
The task of leading children to appreciate art resembles that of the mountain guide. He choses the route, i.e. the language, that children will understand. But the »mountain«, art, remains independent of the route. Using this motto, the art historian Florian Rodari has created the series »A Sunday with...« together with the publishing house Skira, a specialist in exquisite art-books. In this book Cezanne takes the child-reader on a long walk through, showing all his favorite places. The path ends in the »great studio«, outside in nature, vis á vis his favorite motif, the mountain of Sainte- Victoire. Along the way Cézanne addresses his young audience in a slow, impressive monologue about ways of seeing, about colors and form, about his life, his studies in the Louvre, his friends, fellow painters and writers, his wife and her manner of modelling for him. His manner of speech is simple, reduced to the essentials and vivid. The words encourage reflection and the first attempts at seeing from an artist's point of view. The illustrative material, a cross-section of Cézanne's oeuvre, is nestled with the text so that additional captions are not needed. Several photos and documents, a brief biography and a map of Aix and surroundings round out this walk through Cézanne's world of art. (12+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1996 - 161
Begag, Azouz (text)
Louis, Catherine (illus.)
Ma mère est devenue une étoile
(My Mother is Now a Star)
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1995.  p.
Death - Mother - Burial - Father/Child
During the requiem for the mother, a father holds his child in his arms. They try to comfort each other. The text lets the child speak in the first person about what is happening in the church, about the impossibility of understanding the absoluteness of leave-taking and the roguish hope of making it all reversible. It is illustrated with abstract colors and color collages dominated by the blue and brown tones of religious panels and stained glass windows. A picture book that is only gradually accessible, and which deserves to be looked at and explained to a child over and over again. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 106
Diebold, Ute (text/illus)
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1996.  p.
Eating habits - Animals - Table manners
The menu at the zoo is certainly monotonous, at least for the giraffe, the elephant and the hare. So they decide to try getting something better at the restaurant - which is easier said than done. In the end, they can only wonder what people find so great about eating out. With the help of dramafilled pictures, the unsightliness of the many little pig-like eaters make it become clear, that certain general rules of good behavior and table manners, especially in public, are necessary for everyone's sense of well-being. (4+)
Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 107
Mama im Knast
(Mama in jail)
Luzern: rex, 1996. 216 p.
Mother/Daughter - Manslaughter - Prison - Discrimination
A middle-class family falls apart when the (patriarchal) father loses his job. As the successful, sole bread-winner, the mother finds herself pressured by her superior, becomes open for blackmail, and finally kills him one day in self-defense. After an unsuccessful suicide attempt, she is sentenced to prison for manslaughter. In this first-person narrative, a teenage daugther gives thought to her own situation and that of her family. Written with a certain distance, this novel shows how an adolescent can deal with exceptionally difficult family circumstances. (12+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 108
Zürich: Unionsverlag, 1996. 168 p.
Germany/Turkish youth - Crime - Family
As a very young child, the Turkish boy Ibrahim (Ibo) joins his father and brother in Hamburg. His mother and other brothers and sisters join them much later, but in the meantime Ibo has been expelled several times from school for fights and petty crimes. His is the world of the Turkish markets in the harbor district where he earns his own money with clever business »practices«. His tales betray, however, a longing for an intact family life and a knowable future, although he himself lives from day to day, deed to deed. Ibo's authentic narrative about the at times his asocial urban environment with unpolished and criminal but still likeable figures - both Germans and foreigners, his difficulties at home and his decision to enroll in job training, is an impressive reading both in terms of narrative style and content. (14+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 109
Manz, Hans (text)
Binder, Hannes (illus.)
Pantoffeln für den Esel
(Slippers for the donkey)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1996. 117 p.
Animals - Adventure
One day a donkey asks his farmer for a pair of slippers, because he wants to be just as happy in the evenings as his master. He is stubborn enough to get what he wants, but realizes that he hasn't done himself any favor. Proudly he parades with the splendid, but cumbersome foot-coverings back and forth in front of all the female donkeys and is happy at last to be able to present his footwear to a vain little donkey beauty - out of love, of course. Full-paged black-and-white woodcuts and largesized typeface make each of these 15 fairy tale or fable-like stories quite appealing. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 110
Rowe, John A. (text/illus.)
Baumann, Peter (German text)
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1996.  p.
(Engl. ed: Peter Piglet. New York: North-South Books, 1996)
Pig - Shoes - Vanity - Helpfulness - Sacrifice
One glorious morning, the kind little piglet Ferdinand finds a pair of golden shoes just lying about in the forest. He tries them on, walks about and feels like a dancer. But to his great disappointment, the shoes have disappeared the next morning. One has been turned into a turtle's house and the other into a bird's nest. Ferdinand decides to let well enough alone and rejoices over his new-found ease of movement. From his snout to his little curly tail, this is likeable little pig inspite of his forgiveable weaknesses. In each large-size picture the golden shoes cast a glow on everything and everyone around them. As a visual sign of reward for Ferdinand's willing sacrifice, he is shown walking barefoot toward the golden depths of the page. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1997 - 111
Slawski, Wolfgang (text/illus.)
(Waiting for visitors)
Gossau: Nord-Süd, 1996.  p.
Loneliness - Railway station - Travel - Friendship
A man waits everyday at the railway station for someone coming to visit him - in vain. Even when he decides one day to wait at a different station - no luck. But then he finds others in a similar situation, and their number grows and grows. When all of these visitor-seekers begin to travel the world without meeting a single visitor, they finally decide to visit one another from now on. Thus the problem is solved to everyone's satisfaction. The humorous text and pictures will encourage children to set off looking for people like themselves when no one comes looking for them. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1997 - 169
Bille, S. Corinna
L'attente des images
(Images in waiting)
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1996. 76 p. With illustrations
Middle East - Islam - Miniatures - Observation
The favorite book of Corinna Bille (1912-1979) in her father's library contained miniature paintings of the islamic world of the Middle East. The fascination of this lyrical, mysterious, stylistic world in miniature remained with the author her whole life long. A collection of reflections on these pictures has now been made accessible in a bibliophile edition by her husband, the writer Maurice Chappaz. He has also added three texts of his own and a very personal afterword. In the descrip-tions there is a union of microscopic observation, that perceives even the most unlikely feaures, and of sensiive intuition, that is capable of uncovering the melancholy that is present in these pictures. Both adults and youth will be tempted by this manner of observation to enjoy this leisurely en-counter with the princesses, princes and wisemen in the gardens of oriental poetry. (13+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1997 - 170
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1996.  p.
(Ciboulette et Léon)
Bear - Play - Book - Wordless picture book
This is an example of a series of four-inch square books made especially for little hands. Each contains a story without words in a sequence with all the charm and magic of an animated film. The two protagonists, a child and a bear, impishly show all the things one can do with a book besides reading it and how to perfect the art of playing with illusions. (3+)
Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 100
Fuffy und Max
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1997. 117 p.
Runaway - Drug scene
Quite unintentionally and trustingly, Max finds himself in the company, and soon dependent upon the drug-users scene in Hamburg. This and his father's remarriage lead him into a heavy emotional crisis. Fuffy, a girl at his school, helps him to get over it. This lively, realistic novel works without any noticeable didactic overtones. (10+)
Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 101
Hoffmann, E[rnst] T[heodor] A[madeus] (text)
Innocenti, Roberto (illus.)
Nußknacker und Mausekönig
(The Nutcracker and the Mouse King)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1997. 135 p.
Dream - Nutcracker - House mouse
An opulent text calls for the same quality of pictures and design. With Roberto Innocenti it finds its master and the publisher offers another example of excellent production. The illustrator's pictorial space make use of both the real and dream levels of the story. Exquisite detail ensures additional compositional fantasy. Innocenti lends his unmistakable perspective to this classic children's tale. (8+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 102
Janisch, Heinz (text)
Zwerger, Lisbeth (illus.)
Die Arche Noah
Gossau: Neugebauer, 1997.  p.
The centaur and the unicorn have been extinct ever since - if one is to believe this wonderful picture book - and on account of Noah, because they found no place on the Ark. A skilful narrative and inimitable pictures lead the reader through two levels of the story. On the one hand, in the obvious one as it has been handed down - with imaginative artistic enhancements - and on the other hand, strewn in perhaps as a reminder of the earnestness of God's intention to preserve one pair of each species, leaves reminiscent of old natural science books portraying the types and classes of animals. And also something usually not remembered - the sole beneficiaries of the great water were the fishes and creatures of the sea, who could now play in the cave-like windows of the flooded houses. The book radiates the contemplative clarity and serenity which often accompanies the inevitable. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 103
Maar, Anne (text)
Ballhaus, Verena (illus.)
Der Käfer Fred
(Fred the Beetle)
Zürich: Pro Juventute, 1997.  p.
Dung beetle - Stag-beetle - Costume - Competition - Victory - Identity
Fred the dung beetle is considered dirty and has few friends. And yet he wins first prize in the costume competition at the party of the arrogant stag-beetles. But when the rumor that a proletarian dung beetle is among them horrifies the noble group, Fred takes his leave of them with a defamatory song and gladly returns to his old - and clean - life as a dung beetle. Gentle insets, at times reminiscent of Ernst Kreidolf's creations, populate the pages of this book; the occasionally garish tones allude to the plot's image of a precarious social fabric. (8+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 104
Reider, Katja (text)
Roehl, Angela von (illus.)
Vom Glück ein dickes Schwein zu sein ... Eine Geschichte
(How lucky to be a fat pig... A story)
Gossau: Nord-Süd, 1997.  p.
Animals - Individuality - Insult - Apology - Joy of life
»To each his own« is the wish behind the text and pictures of this life-affirming book. Before a snail can imagine what it is like to be a pig, or a spider to be a goose, each of them insults the other out of pure ignorance. The initial lack of understanding is followed by thoughtful reflection and a round of mutual apologizing, thus assuring the individual joy of each protagonist. The paths of the animals shown here are paved with dramatic action and movement, earthy colors characterize the complacency of the individual realms, each with their own special pleasures. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 105
Steiner, Jörg (text)
Müller, Jörg (illus.)
Was wollt ihr machen, wenn der Schwarze Mann kommt?
(What will you do when the Black Man comes?)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1998.  p.
Rumor - Play - Threat - Mischief - Everyday life
The »Black Man« is both a children's game and a form of parental threat for misbehaving children. But one day the children make believe what it would be like if he really came. Suddenly there are black footsteps around town, for instance, though no one is able to see him. Security measures are implemented, people lock themselves inside. This goes on for a while, and then things return to normal. What really happened is never quite clear, but the fear of strangers and the security precautions remain. In one especially memorable full-size illustration scary nightmares are depicted in which black shapes creep out from the cracks in the wall, windows and even the pavement. This book can also be read as a bitter persiflage on today's craving for security. (8+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 106
Ungerer, Tomi (text/illus.)
Cramer-Klett, Anna von (transl.)
Zürich: Diogenes, 1997. 30 p.
Cat - Dog - Offspring - Outsider - Fraternity
A lovely child is born to cat parents. It is a little dog. (Wasn't there a pug dog in the family...?) The fact is that (parental) love alone is not enough for a child's well-being. So young Flix is an outsider in Cat City, until fate leads him to rescue a little cat child (fame in Cat City!) and a young poodle lady (love in Dog City!). They get married and have a baby. It's a little girl and its first cry is »Meow!« The story could continue this way forever. Just as in real life. With Ungerer's pictures it wouldn't be boring either. (8+) ☆ ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1998 - 107
Waechter, Friedrich Karl (text/illus.)
Da bin ich
(Here I am)
Zürich: Diogenes, 1997.  p.
Cat - Offspring - Drowning - Rescue - Irony
A young cat gives an account of its path of destiny in a brief text and expressive illustrations. The large litter is drowned by the fisher or eaten by sharks - all except one. In a reversal of roles the little cat kills the shark, eats from him to grow big and strong before returning to shore. As if a human being, it travels for a time by train all about Germany and then rings the bell at the right door and announces: »Here I am!« Full of irony, the text and the cat's facial expressions reduce all of our sentimental love for animals and mankind to absurdity and life itself to the law of »survival of the fittest.« In one sense, this message could even be called fatalistic. (9+)
Switzerland (French) - 1998 - 159
Thiel, Henry (text)
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1997. 40 p.
World War II - Persecution of the Jews - Horse - Friend - Escape - Death
For one whole summer, in 1943, the horse Hector is the focal point in life of the seven-year old Jewish boy, Moses. Fleeing from the Nazis, Moses is hiding on a farm. Due to their coarse manner, the farmer family is hardly able to show their love for him. Hence Moses is especially receptive to the vivacious, free spirit of the animal, which gives immediate expression of its affection for the boy. Forced again to flee, his happiness comes to a brutal end. The pursuers shoot the horse. The tragic events are given congenial expression in powerful, dark-toned watercolors. (10+)
Switzerland (French) - 1998 - 160
Tirabosco, Tom (text/illus.)
Ailleurs, au même instant ...
(Elsewhere, at the same moment ...)
Genève: La Joie de Lire, 1997.  p.
World - Diversity - Simultaneity
The events of one moment in time which take place at different places can be leafed through in a series of poetical chalk pictures. Each individual happening holds a story of its own and reveals another aspect of this world: while a child opens up a book in his room one evening, a whale lays dying on a distant shore, a pear falls from a tree somewhere, a piece of chewing gum sticks to a shoe ... and somewhere else a child on a sand dune near an ocean is closing its book. The infinite variety and simultaneity of real life is continued in a fictional, immaterial one through the opening and closing pictures, which each show a child with a book and seem to be saying that there is also a world, a life in books - at each place, for each reading child, something special happens. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 104
Zoë und Rea
Luzern: Rex-Verl., 1998. 176 p.
Friendship - Social inequality - Outsider -
Juvenile delinquency - Conflict resolution Zoë looks like a strange bird, she has family problems and she is new in the class. Rea, from an upper-middle class family, attaches herself trustingly to Zoë inspite of the considerable differences in character, but to no good. The two girls begin a series of thefts. Rea's family, who have warmly welcomed Zoë into their fold, know nothing of these adventures. Zoë falls in love with Rea's brother. But in the end Zoë steals even from her guest family. She is banned from the house and the friendship is broken off. An unusual book about social conflict and its effect on an adolescent. (14+)
Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 105
Gmehling, Will (text)
Ronnefeldt, Caroline (illus.)
Tiertaxi Wolf & Co.
(Animal taxi Wolf & Co.)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1998. 56 p.
Wolf - Talking animals - Taxi
The wolf lives in a large city and has two friends - Leila, the dog, and the fox, who he had once freed from a trap. The wolf loves taxis and so, with the help of the little Chinese girl, Fa Ya Wang, who repairs junk cars, they establish a taxi company for animals and enjoy great success. One day they all set off on a tour around the world. In China the great mountain tiger is planning his wedding and Fu Ya Wang is invited. With merry nonchalance man and beast encounter each other all over this book, getting along with each other on the whole. Highly detailed, gentle pictures give an adequate depiction of the sly humor in the text. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 106
Grasso, Mario (text/illus.)
Venedig - anders gesehen. Venedig - eine einzige und dauernde Metamorphose
(Venice - with different eyes. Venice - a permanent metamorphosis)
Basel: F. Reinhardt, 1997. 139 p.
»Venice - a single and constant metamorphosis,« is the subtitle of this unusual city tour guide. The changeability and alterations of the city over the course of centuries are depicted through the illustrator's unique artistic view of the world-famous squares and of the historical events which he distorts and populates with a great variety of figures. The necessary explanations accompany each of the fullpaged spreads. The artist's presentation of a city is refreshingly irreverent and not in the least antiquated. (12+)
Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 107
Johansen, Hanna (text)
Bhend, Käthi (illus.)
Vom Hühnchen, das goldene Eier legen wollte
(The chicken who wanted to lay golden eggs)
Zürich/Frauenfeld: Nagel & Kimche, 1998.  p.
Chicken - Wish - Persistence - Flight - Freedom
The little chicken wants to learn to sing, to swim and to fly, as well as lay golden eggs, but none of the 3333 battery chickens takes it seriously. But with much persistence it succeeds in pecking a hole in the wall. At last it is out-of-doors and has room to try out all its ideas. But the other hens also find their way out through the hold, begin to grow real feathers again and don't even cough any more. They are recaptured, but escape again and again. One day they are allowed to remain outside. Black-and-white graphics describe the life in a chicken coop and in the meadow, as well as the success brought on by persistence by only one individual and his crazy idea. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 108
Mühlenweg, Fritz (text)
Berner, Rotraut Susanne (illus.)
Lengwil: Libelle, 1997. 142 p.
Journey - Homecoming - Imagination - Constellation - Animals
Nuni is kidnapped from her parent's yard. She has to transverse imaginary worlds with names like »Desert Dull« and the dangerous »Forest Evergreen.« She makes exciting new friendships when the animals in the zodiac help her find her way home and the calendar man mixes up the course of time. Naturally Nuni is filled with fear. But in the end she finds her way home. The author packages little rules of life, which are hardly recognizable to children, into the fascinating plot, which takes its course, so to speak, between heaven and earth and essentially represents the maturation of a childlike consciousness. Moreover, the dynamic pictures and lovely layout are a delightful enhancement of this new edition of the classic Nuni story, which was first published in a different format in 1953. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 109
Schendel, Andreas (text)
Renn, Lola (illus.)
Die Geschichte von Gina und Herrn Seeger
(The story of Gina and Mr. Seeger)
Zürich: Palazzo, 1998. 53 p.
Old/Young - Friendship - Play - Death - Comfort
Gina is seven years old and Mr. Seeger's best friend. Mr Seeger is retired and lives with his wife live on the groundfloor of the same house. They love to tumble about together, playing makebelieve lion mother and lion baby. Then one day Mr. Seeger is no longer there. Gina dreams often of their afternoon walks and how she had to rescue him from his musty old books. An unsentimental story about friendship and leaving-taking. (7+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 1999 - 110
Waechter, Friedrich Karl
Der rote Wolf
(The red wolf)
Zürich: Diogenes, 1998. 58 p.
Wolf - Dog - Learning - Death
A young dog is brought up by wolves and learns to hunt and catch his prey just like any wolf. When he is wounded by wolf-hunters, he finds a new home with a young girl. She promises to take him back to the wolves' den, to his friends, when it is time for him to die. But if that were the whole story, it wouldn't be by Waechter. It so happens that this animal's fate takes place at the end of World War Two, when man and animal are on the run, some to the West, others - the wolves - to the East. In moving, lyrical images and text an unusual dog's life passes before the reader's eyes. (8+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 1999 - 166
Martingay, Claude (text)
Cardinaux, Xavier (illus.)
Genève: Joie de Lire, 1998. 22 p.
(Dialogues avec grand-père)
Grandfather/Grandchild - Love - Imagination
Grandfather is sitting in his chair. His little grandchild insists, »Teach me how to fish!« »First you must sit still for a long time next to the river until it begins to talk to you,« the grandfather answers, because it will then be possible for the young child to tell about his river, the words becoming like living fish that the grandfather can catch and eat. This short, gentle intercourse is accompanied by illustrations in shining gold-tone reflections of light and color, as segments taken from the several meters high abstract triptych by the Genevan painter Xavier Cardinaux. They encompass the patterns in both the carpet and grandfather's chair in the room, interwoven with the changes tones of a sun-flooded river. It awakens the association with the dreamy look of a child with half-closed eyes, drifting off into a fantasy world. (5+)
Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 102
Chudožilov, Petr (text)
Čapek, Jindra (illus.)
Das Wunder von Jasina. Eine Weihnachtsgeschichte
(The miracle of Jasina. A Christmas story)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1999. 53 p.
Ukraine - Nativity - Miracle - Christmas - Holy Family - Shelter
It is Christmas in a small, snowbound village in the Ukrainian mountains. A young stranger finds no one - neither rich nor poor - to take her in and let her warm up; no place to give birth to her child. Only old Giuseppe with the wooden leg is, like she, still out wandering through the cold dark night. He recognizes her situation and helps her. Then a Christmas miracle takes place. Giuseppe - Joseph - has his leg restored to health and the whole world passes by to honor the Christ child. This story is imbued with worldly wisdom and a love of mankind. The text and pictures acquaint young children with the miracle of Christmas in an unspectacular manner. (5+) ☆ ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 103
Lauf, Lilly, lauf!
(Run, Lilly, run!)
Zürich: Atrium-Verl., 1999. 319 p.
Germany - World War II - Friendship - Growing up
In the final year of the Second World War Lilly moves with her family away from the dangers of Hamburg to Mecklenburg in northeast Germany until the war comes to an end. She befriends Isa, a girl the same age, who lives in the local castle. The author vividly describes the day-to-day confusion of war-times, family conflicts, and the solitary actions of the girls when it is necessary to help a deserter. The protagonists just barely manage to survive the end of the war. And they have grown up. (12+)
Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 104
Kinskofer, Lotte (text)
Ballhaus, Verena (illus.)
(The piano elf)
Zürich: Palazzo-Verl., 1999. 134 p.
Elf - Piano - Lost/Found - Trickery
Piano elves are quite indispensable to piano players, both young and old. Because of their miniature size they can live in a piano, feed off the music itself and prevent wrong notes. One day, as fate will have it, young Crescendo becomes separated from the rest of the clan. He is in desperate need of human assistance in order to find his own kind again. The search for a good ending is taken up by the piano student Daniela and her friends. The author gives her clan of piano elves the measured language of their times, 18th century, because one of her ancestors had served the great Johann Sebastian Bach. When used alongside the lingo of contemporary kids, the result is a splendid mixture of form and content. (8+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 105
Pausewang, Gudrun (text)
Ballhaus, Verena (illus.)
Barfuß durch die große Stadt
(Barefoot through the big city)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1999. 153 p.
Moving house - Confusion - Dog - Death - Runaway - Returning home
David and his mother have moved house and he is alone in their new home. When he runs out of the flat in fright, the door slams behind him and he has to go off barefoot in search of his mother's workplace. On the way he has a long chain of experiences as he is sent on from one place to another. A strange dog joins him along the way. Due to David's carelessness, the dog is run over. At last he finds his mother again - but she will never be able to know about the wonderful dogfriend that he has lost. Realistic and unsentimenal, Gudrun Pausewang tells a lyrical tale for younger children. (7+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 106
Carolina. Ein knapper Lebenslauf
(Carolina. A short biography)
Aarau: Sauerländer, 1999. 175 p.
Prague - Theater - First love - Separation
Carolina writes down her own autobiography and a sketch of her family history for her teacher. This gives the reader, quite incidentally, an insight into the effects of historical and political events on the lives of the citizens of Prague. The reader also accompanies Carolina through the ups and downs of her first great love affair while she and her boyfriend are involved in a school theater group. In this novel the author easily finds the right register to arouse sympathy for Carolina. With this hero she creates an interesting figure that young readers will be able to identify with. (14+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 107
Schroeder, Binette (text/illus.)
Gossau, Zürich: Nord-Süd-Verl., 1999.  p.
Play - Night - Storm - Fear - Egg - Bird - Bad luck/Misfortune - Surprise
In the woods Laura finds a real Humpty Dumpty to play with. One stormy night she goes out to protect him. In the morning she finds only his broken shell, but next to it, unexpectedly, there is a lovely bird of paradise. Delicate, pastel-colored pictures show the theme of a unshapely thing being transformed into a beautiful creature. Mysterious dark tones emphasize the fairy tale-like nature of the events. (4+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 108
Siegfried, Anita (text)
Binder, Hannes (illus.)
Kleine Schwester der Nacht
(Little sister of the night)
Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1999. 123 p.
Friendship - Older man - Night - Imagination
Lynn is curious about what goes on at nighttime but at the same time she fears its multitude of noises and eerie secrets. Nighttime is her common bond with Josef, who tends the roses by day and tinkers around on his motorcycle at night. He offers to take Lynn for a nighttime ride. This is a special compensation for Lynn, who struggles daily with her jealousy of Olga, the pretty, friendly Olga who owns incredibly beautiful red sandals - and everyone finds loveable. In the slow sequence of pictures and events this book tells of the child-like conflicts and yearnings of the early teenage years and offers a good solution for some of them. (10+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2000 - 109
Wolfsgruber, Linda (text/illus.)
Zürich: Bohem-Press, 1999.  p.
Child - Search for identity
For a change, a cuckoo egg is pushed out of the nest by the owner and the little thing must go off in search of its true identity. It tries crowing, meowing, bleating and more, but nothing is really fitting. Its search goes on for all its childhood. Finally the little one scratches its little beard and discovers that it only needs to swim in its egg shell toward land to find the right family at last. Bizarre pictures for a bizarre journey through life. (6+) ☼
Switzerland (French) - 2000 - 158
Zullo, Germano (text)
Marta et la bicyclette
(Martha and the bicycle)
Genève: Joie de Lire, 1999.  p.
Cow - Hobby - Bike racing
Martha is a very special cow. Her orange-colored hide makes her something better than the rest of her sort. She cultivates her difference with exotic hobbies such as bike racing. It makes no difference to her that a cow is not necessarily built for bikes. With persistence and many bruises, and despite considerable competition, she manages to take the tour victoriously. The illustrations reflect Martha's athletic career with exuberant madness. The perspectives are overextended and the grotesque exaggerations is played out to the fullest. (4+)
(BIB-Golden Apple; 1999)
Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 102
Hartmann, Lukas (text)
Kaergel, Julia (illus.)
Zürich : Nagel & Kimche, 2000. 62 p.
Boy - Awkwardness - Wish - Fulfillment - Imagination - Identity
It is Leo's greatest wish to be a butterfly. One day, his parents even have to disentagle him from an artificial cocoon fabricated from woolen strings. Fortunately, the little birthday man is wise: he sets Jonas a few trials to solve and then, finally, he fulfills his dream: Or did the other children only dream of seeing a beautiful blue butterfly? Be that as it may, Leo's life has changed: He now knows what it feels like to float, even without a butterfly's wings. With the help of this story young outsiders will understand that it is possible to solve one's problems and to accept oneself with a bit of luck and courage. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 103
Lilly und Engelchen
(Lilly and little Angel)
Zürich : Atrium-Verl., 2000. 319 p.
World War II - Post war time - Young woman - Orphan - Adoption - Survival
Fleeing from the Red Army in 1945, Lilly saved an abandoned infant. Later, in Hamburg she registered the baby as her sister Angelika. Her family manages to survive in the post war period thanks to a good dose of ingenuity and good connections to the market. Neighbourhood assistance is part of everyday existence – also towards a Jewish couple – survivors of the Holocaust. But one day, the young Jewish woman claims Angelika as her own foster child. Lilly has to make a decision. The book explores the lives of men and women confronted with seemingly insoluble conflicts, (excessive) love of life and desperation at chaotic times at a high level of linguistic and literary sophistication. (14+)
Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 104
Aarau : Aare, 2000. 192 p.
Adoptive child - Family conflict - Unwanted pregnancy
Corinna, now 16, was put up for adoption at the age of three and found parents and a brother who wanted to provide her with an affectionate home. But Corinna knows nothing of her mother, whom she adored as a little child and who, all of a sudden, walked out of her young life. This uncertainty gnaws at her: she commits minor thefts, runs away from home and counters her family's love with coldness. An unwanted pregnancy makes things worse – but it seems as though life was taking a turn for the better. The author draws an arresting and nuanced portrait of the inner strifes and outer living conditions of young adults, fully aware of the contrasts and the variety of conflicts they have to face. (14+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 105
Meines Vaters Haus
(My father's house)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2000. 138 p.
Boy - Family - Rural life - Natural disaster - Death
A small family moves into an abandoned house by the forest. The house used to be an orphanage: 40 children lived there, now there are only four people. But things soon change: the grandmother, Hanna, a geologist, Oregano, a homeless man, and finally some of the former inhabitants – by now grown up – all come to celebrate Christmas there. But the wonderful times in the house by the forest come to a sudden and terrible end: the river overflows and washes people to their death. This sad story is told from the perspective of the only survivor. However, listening to him as he relates his memories to his children, the reader will wonder at the overwhelming impression of comfort, happiness and love of life one is left with. (14+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 106
Maar, Anne (text)
Mölck-Tassel, Bernd (illus.)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2000.  p.
Dog - Boy - Stature - Looking for a home - Training - Friendship
Pozor, the dog, is looking for a home with friendly people. But as he is so very big, people are afraid of him. Luck turns his way when he meets tiny Lukas, who wants to join the circus one day and trains guinea pigs in the meanwhile. When he gives a performance with Pozor, the »ferocious animal«, and even puts his head between the dog's jaws, everything is won: a home for Pozor, a strong friend for Lukas and a housekeeper for Lukas's Mom. Because Pozor certainly is qualified: he can wash the dishes, do the ironing, pass the vacuum cleaner. Life can be so beautiful! The pictures and the graphic design of the book lead the way to a happy, somewhat quaint and quirky imaginary world. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 107
Roller und Rosenkranz
(Motor scooter and rosary)
Aarau : Sauerländer, 2000. 219 p.
Granddaughter - Grandmother - Loneliness - Community - Creativity - Death - Love
Mimi has lost her parents in a car accident and goes to find her grandmother who knows nothing of her existence. The strictly religious old lady lives in a little house and owns a small, run-down shop of devotional objects. Mimi moves in, modernises the house with youthful enthusiasm and great success, falls in love and seeks comfort, love and security. When her grandmother dies after a fulfilled time spent together, Mimi has found her own way. With great empathy, Gudrun Pausewang describes an unusual, unconventional young woman who does not capitulate to difficult personal situations on her quest for her origins and her future. Maybe, this could be a way to reach across the generation gap. (16+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 108
Tielmann, Christian (text)
Knappe, Joachim (illus.)
Wie Gutenberg die Welt bewegt : von der Kunst, Bücher zu machen
(How Gutenberg moves the the world : on the ar)
Aarau : kbv Luzern, 2000. 32 p.
Gutenberg, Johannes - Book printing - Development - Spread
This attractively illustrated and well designed reference picture book extensively and clearly informs the reader with words and pictures about the development of book printing. Even though the possibilities of modern media are mentioned, the author expressively focusses on the good, old book: it never crashes, it doesn't need electricity or access to the net. A remarkable and knowledgeable contribution to the 600th birthday of Johannes Gutenberg. (8+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2001 - 109
Waechter, Friedrich Karl (text/illus.)
Die Geschichte vom albernen Hans
(The story of foolish John)
Zürich : Diogenes-Verl., 2000. 92 p.
Girl - Cat - Metamorphosis - Fool - Love - Trial - Rescue
A witch turns the entire court into cats. In a dream, the princess finds a way to lift the spell: Foolish John, the youngest of three brothers, can help. Classical fairy tale elements are put to use: the foolish, youngest brother who ends up marrying the princess, trials, which seem unsolvable, but are overcome with the help of loyalty and perseverance, the tower, emprisoning the princess, and, last but not least, many a great temptation along the way. The author repeatedly confronts the reader with reversals and encodings of these motifs, making this inventive story in the rare genre of a non-rhyming verse narrative an amusing and entertaining read. (16+)
Switzerland (French) - 2001 - 163
Eau de vie, eau de feu
(Water of life, water of fire)
Genève : La Joie de Lire, 2000. 43 p.
Father - Alcoholism
Father is different from all other fathers. He is full of crazy ideas. He is absolutely great at playing Indians and dancing. He always knows just the right thing to do. But his high spirits have a drawback. He is an alcoholic – and that destroys his family. Told from the perspective of a 12-year-old boy, this delicate subject matter loses all infamy. To him, just like to the father, the real and the unreal are equally accessible. The comforting images convey the power of the son's admiration and love which transform the ills with a child's imagination. At the same time, they express a profound and mature psychological insight into the dangers that are begetting his father desperately craving for adventure. (12+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 98
Das magische Licht
(The magic light)
Zürich : Nagel & Kimche, 2001. 181 p.
Initiation – Self-affirmation – Other World – Dream
Gabriele and Set, a boy from an imaginary time, meet in the »Mirror-World«, the legendary world of Erinn (today called Ireland). Set was sent to Erinn by his people to stand his first major test; Gabriele, who has a poster of Erinn on her bedroom wall, was confined to bed by an illness not long ago. Both children meet their second self, a mirror image expressing the children's mind and soul. They undergo ritual tests and have to prove themselves against characters from the Irish world of fairies and legends. For both children the exciting action comes to an end in their respective times. The story is narrated in an unspectacular but thoughtful manner. (10+)
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 99
Eggermann, Vera (text)
Huwyler, Max (illus.)
Dackel und Dogge
(Dachshund and Great Dane)
Gümligen : Zytglogge-Verl. Bern, 2001.  p.
Dog – Breed of dog – Height – Appearance – Prejudice – Tolerance
At a dog show, the Great Dane thinks »That can't be a dog!« when seeing the dachshund; »That isn't a dog« the dachshund thinks of the Great Dane. Nevertheless, both of them win a prize: for the most beautiful dachshund and the most beautiful Great Dane respectively. Others win prizes for the most beautiful poodle, St. Bernard, etc. … When they sniff each other they realize: hmm, they all smell like dogs. They go »Whoof!« and »Yap!« and then the show is over and they all pull their masters and mistresses homewards. Without explicitly talking about it, this book promotes the mutual understanding warning the readers not to give in to prejudice based on external appearances. Coloured pencil drawings illustrate the message of this profound story. (5+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 100
Gmehling, Will (text)
Grolik, Markus (illus.)
Der Yeti in Berlin
(The Yeti in Berlin)
Aarau [et al.] : Sauerländer, 2001. 145 p.
The Himalayas – Berlin – Snowman – Humans – Cultural conflict – Identity crisis – Magic
The world's only Yeti loves his life in the Himalayas and enjoys every single day. One day, however, he learns that the humans in the big cities claim he doesn't exist. He goes on a long journey to dispel this silly rumour. When he comes to Berlin, he sees a lot, experiences ways of life completely foreign to him, meets friendly people – but still no one believes in the Yeti's existence. After a while, even he himself doesn't understand his former life anymore. Only when he tells a blind boy about the Yeti – pretending it is merely a dream – he recovers his old self again and finds his way back to the Himalayas. This is an extremely interesting story with several thought-provoking twists from both the humans' and the Yeti's point of view. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 101
Kilaka, John (text/illus.)
Ulrich, Anna Katharina (adapt.)
Hatz, Christine (trad.)
Zürich : Atlantis Verl. Pro Juventute, 2001. 28 p.
Animals – Community – Dog – Petty theft – Punishment – Reconciliation
DOG is the villain who tries to steal food from the animal family, even though everybody had allowed him to eat to his heart's content. But now, he is caught and punished – and this is what makes the story particularly interesting for non-African readers: After DOG has served his punishment (he had to plant a huge field), the animals forgive him. They do not insist on treating him as their enemy any longer. The large-format pictures, painted by a new artist from Tanzania, are also quite unusual: Despite the cartoon-like style, the pictures clearly express the artist's profound knowledge of naïve African art and indigenous animals. Brilliant colours and African patterns on the animals' clothes demonstrate his deep joy of life. This original edition is a translation from Swahili. (4+)
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 102
Kinskofer, Lotte (text)
Ballhaus, Verena (illus.)
Der Tag, an dem Marie ein Ungeheuer war
(The day when Mary was a monster)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2001.  p.
Girl – Appearance – Perception by others – Self-perception – Language – Self-confidence
Today, Marie's day goes completely wrong: In kindergarten, the other children tell her she has huge feet, a fat belly, and a nose like a potato; at home, her brother calls her hands paws, and the boy next door calls her mouth a trap. With all these expressions turning parts of her body into strange and monsterous objects, Marie hardly dares to move anymore and her mother finds her in deep despair. She assures her daughter that she shouldn't take everything literally. With the help of a mirror and a lot of loving motherly care she finally manages to comfort Marie. Simple line-drawings on a background of rich colours show the reader how Marie changes from a girl into a monster and back again. A cut-out sheet for the readers to play with and gain confidence completes this comforting tale. (4+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 103
Kipling, Rudyard (text)
Zwerger, Lisbeth (illus.)
Harranth, Rolf (transl.)
Wie das Kamel zu seinem Höcker kam
(How the camel got its hump)
Gossau, Zürich [et al.] : Neugebauer, 2001.  p.
Camel – Stubbornness – Laziness – Vanity – Punishment
It is a well-known story: In the beginning of time, the camel's prominent characteristics were stubbornness, laziness, and (above all) vanity. The animals' supreme ruler, the Djin in charge of All Deserts, appealed to the camel's conscience – but in vain. »Humph« the camel said, but it said it once too often: A large hump of fat was magically attached to its body. Now that the camel did not need any food for weeks, it was forced to work hard and long. The delicate watercolour paintings lend persuasive power to this new translation of the classic tale: Rarely have readers encountered a camel as arrogant, or a stressed out master who inflicts the necessary punishment to the camel as gracefully. Ornamental vignettes perfectly round off the book's beautiful design. (5+)
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 104
Müller, Jörg (text/illus.)
Das Buch im Buch im Buch
(The book inside the book inside the book)
Aarau [et al.] : Sauerländer, 2001.  p.
Child – Book – Game – Optical illusion – Fantasy – Reality – Threedimensional picture – Infinity – Magic
Full of curiosity, a small girl walks into the mysterious space inside a book by following the vanishing point which perspectively narrows into a shining point of light. At its centre she meets a helpless painter who paints the very same subject over and over again in endless repetition. Using the simple sentence »Infinity stops right here« the girl breaks the vicious circle and liberates the painter. Afterwards, she goes back to reality, picture by picture, with the aid of a pair of 3-D-glasses. The real book also offers these glasses to its readers to show them the way into the book and back out of it. In his large full-page pictures the author plays a fascinating and confusing game with the imagination of his readers. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 105
Vettiger, Susanne (text)
Marti-Pichard, Audrey (illus.)
Das große Glück in der kleinen Schachtel
(The great happiness in the little box)
Zürich : Verl. Pro Juventute, 2000. 75 p.
Raven – Cow – Social inequality – Lovesickness – Separation
For evenings like this one, when she can't fall asleep, Carla has thought up something: she keeps stories in small boxes. Tonight, she tells her teddy the love story of Victor, the raven, and Charlotte, the cow. Inevitably – the two unequal lovers cannot live happily ever after. In the end, Charlotte has to relinquish Victor, who marries »within his own class«, a female raven. The plot, however, does not focus on the tragic side of the relationship; it rather dwells on the wonderful and happy time the protagonists enjoyed despite the resistance from society. Large, sometimes full-page illustrations show the unequal lovers in a distorted way, illustrating their happiness and their sadness with a fine sense of humour. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2002 - 106
Waechter, Friedrich Karl (text/illus.)
Steinhauers Fuß : ein Märchen
(The stonemason's foot : a fairy tale)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2001. 57 p.
Princess – Worker – Social inequality – Love – Test – Self-affirmation
This is a fairytale about the fortunate love between a princess and a simple stonemason who defeats Death to win her over. Both the king, who had planned to sacrifice the young man, and Death, who only gets the challenger's foot, feel they have been deceived. Yet, even military force cannot separate the two lovers again. The cut-off foot thoroughly kicks and tramples the soldiers and then voluntarily grows back unto its owner's leg. Life triumphs over death. Linocuts, in the style of Art Nouveau and Art Déco, demonstrate the dramatical events with a lot of artistic verve. Short and powerful sentences and dialogues correspond to the rhythm of the pictures. The overall design – heavy chamoix-coloured paper, almost full-page illustrations with units of text harmoniously placed on the pages – will have a great impact on the reader. (10+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (French) - 2002 - 159
Le temps des mots à voix basse
(The time of the quiet words)
Genève : La Joie de Lire, 2001. 71 p.
Friendship – Persecution of the Jews
The grown-up first-person narrator of this short tale remembers his childhood: Among two boys and their fathers a close friendship evolves. The fathers enjoy sitting in their garden, laughing together, drinking a glass of wine, and writing poems. Nothing seems to threaten their happiness. Yet, all of a sudden, an unfamiliar and brutal voice drowns out the sounds and voices of their formerly peaceful world. Without understanding anything, the child is forced to witness the gradual breakdown of his familiar surroundings. Why, for example, is his friend suddenly not allowed to go to school anymore? Readers immediately recognise the terrors of Nazism. Written from a point of view which lends particular emphasis to the threatening sounds, the vivid language pictures the horrible events descending upon the boy. Thus, a poetic text is created which looks at a well-known topic from a different angle and prevents readers from forgetting these horrors. (14+) ☆
Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 100
Dörrie, Doris (text)
Kaergel, Julia (illus.)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2002.  p.
Girl – Disguise – Cunning plan – Identity – Mischief – Confession
Just for today, Mimi is not Mimi Mueller, but Anna Anders (i.e. Anna Different). With a good disguise, this is easy to pretend – provided that her parents join in the game. And they do! The reason for all this is that Mimi – in her role as Anna – needs to confess that she has been up to some mischief: She has painted a large picture on the bed sheet … and the Muellers promise not to let on to Mimi that Anna has told on her. Anna leaves and returns as Mimi Mueller, obviously relieved, into the loving arms of her parents. In slightly surreal, large-format pictures, a white rabbit (could it be Harvey?) accompanies the girl’s disguises and mental experiments – and the reader certainly wishes, that such clever parents, who are willing to play this kind of game, really existed. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 101
Elschner, Géraldine (text)
Schwarz, Lieselotte (illus.)
Gossau, Zürich [et al.] : Neugebauer, 2002.  p.
Star – Starfish – Departure – Return
From the sky, a small star looks into space. How beautiful everything looks out there! Every night, the moon tells him about the earth, the ocean,… One day, the star is allowed to come down from the sky. Turned into a starfish, he meets wonderful plants and animals, and goes on a long journey following the sea current. Months and years go by, until the starfish eventually feels the urge to return home. Only his prickly shell remains on a rock near the sea. A child picks it up. This is a story of departure and return – events which also shape the life of a (human) child. Round, clearly defined forms in rich watercolours create a lively yet quiet atmosphere for the pictures. (4+)
Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 102
Garcia López, Brigitta (text/illus.)
Streuli, Felix (photogr.)
Flieg, Flengel flieg!
(Fly, Flangel fly!)
Zürich : Verl. Pro Juventute, 2002.  p.
Guardian angel – Eating – Invisibility
Every child has his or her own guardian angel called Flangel. In general, they are invisible – yet, when they become visible they also succumb to earthly temptations and addictions. Thomas’ flangel, for example, can’t resist chocolate. As he gains more and more weight, flying around soon becomes too exhausting for him. That is why flangels rather stay invisible, because then they can remain flawless. A new creative technique which is popular and familiar to the readers from animated films – using photographs of figures made from wax or modelling clay – adds a refreshing optical impression to this light-hearted (dream-)book. (5+)
Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 103
Hächler, Bruno (text)
Müller, Birte (illus.)
Gossau, Zürich [et al.] : Neugebauer, 2002.  p.
Raven – Child – Winter – Angel – Bad temper – Zest for life
In a large tree, two bad-tempered ravens loudly complain about the cold winter. Below, children play »snow-angel«: They let themselves fall backwards into the snow and spread their arms like angels’ wings. A third raven tries to copy them after the children have left. A delicate snow-wing-print remains. The following day, the children are astonished – and high up in the tree, they see a white snow-covered »raven-angel« cawing happily. This unspectacular, touching tale shows how the individual perspective on life can change everything: Either you regard the snow as a cold enemy or you turn it into an angel. Bright creamy colours in a glittering snowy landscape confirm this cheerful aspect of the cold season. (5+)
Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 104
Jaekel, Helmut (text)
Koppers, Theresia (illus.)
Hinter dem Berg
(Behind the mountain)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2002.  p.
Village – Enemy – Lie – Prejudice
Two remote villages in the mountains: On winter evenings the inhabitants tell many a tale, mostly about the strange (in-)human creatures on the other side. And the people over there do exactly the same. Things would remain this way forever, if it wasn’t for the children: Pius and Emilia here and Pia and Emil over there. One day, they decide to work their way through the mountains (of prejudice). After an initial shock when the four of them unexpectedly meet each other, everything turns out well. Finally, people can tell each other the true stories, the ones that make them happy and bring them together. Slightly distorted adult figures, carrying some features of allegorical monsters, are cured by the children’s courage and naivety. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 105
Junaković, Svjetlan (text/illus.)
Heufemann, Danielle (transl.)
Zürich : Bohem-Press, 2002.  p.
Circus – Animals – Circus performing – Help – Zest for life
A circus where the animals themselves organise the whole performance is something special indeed. An atmosphere of independence, zest for life, and sheer pleasure can be felt in the colourful pictures with their many flaps to lift. Each of them hides a surprise: The artistic performance depicted is continued differently than might be expected at first glance. The elephant seems to dance weightlessly on the tightrope – but only because his stablemates keep him in the air with a large belt. The rhinoceros seems to fall off the trapeze – but no, he is safely caught. This lift-the-flap picture book enables children to feel as if they were in the arena themselves, among all the courageous and cheerful animals. (4+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 106
Waechter, F. K. (text/illus.)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2002.  p.
Creation – Man – Creativity
This marvellous large-format book with its fulland double-page pictures is certainly appropriate for the great idea which it is about. The brief text gives all the basic information: A small male creature (who wears a top hat as a sign of his dignity but looks fairly ruffled otherwise) experiences the creation of the world as his own personal accomplishment. His way of going about is quite unconventional and certainly nothing to boast about; but in the end, there is a small female creature beside him, and the whole (old and new) world with plants and animals – where do they all come from? In a whisper, the girl explains the »where« and »why« to him. Waechter shows in his pictures – mainly delicately coloured drawings projected onto a number of very different backgrounds – that every little boy imagines himself as the Creator. But only with a strengthening refreshment, handed to him by the girl, is the male world-creator fit, or – as Waechter’s version rather implies – forced, to perform great deeds. Both a subversive and a loving-ironic-realistic view. (6+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2003 - 107
Weninger, Brigitte (text)
Ballhaus, Verena (illus.)
Tobi und der Zankapfel
(obi and the bone [here: apple] of contentio)
Zürich : Verl. Pro Juventute, 2002.  p.
Parents – Child – Quarrel – Victim – Talk – Game
Without the nice apple-pie-baking neighbour, Tobi would certainly despair because of his ever-quarrelling parents. But Mrs. Puntigam knows that when there is an argument, both parties usually want to be right, at least partly, and somehow they are – just as an apple may have two different sides, a green one and a red one. In between there is the core, just as Tobi between his parents. He will have to explain it to Mum and Dad. The puzzle-like pictures, with their ever-changing imaginative dispersion of graphic and printed parts, clearly show the chaotic state of mind of the family members. Apart from that, the topic of »quarrelling« is analysed in an extra folder from various points of view and can be experienced by children and adults together through various games which are suggested there. (6+)
Switzerland (French) - 2003 - 158
Bouchane, Marie (text)
Kroug, Simon (illus.)
Les rêves d’Angèle Molinot
(The dreams of Angèle Molinot)
Genève : Joie de Lire, 2002.  p.
(Collection les versatiles)
Grandmother – Grandfather – Daydream – Contentedness
This is the story of the narrator’s grandparents who live a quiet and peaceful life together filled with love. Yet, while Grandfather is rather concerned about having his button sewn on again, Grandmother looses herself in daydreams. »I want to see the ocean again. Before falling asleep, I often see myself standing on an opera stage. And if I had a feather boa...« The illustrations, radiating calmness and contentment, are drawn in shades of cream and brown and show the old couple at their daily routine, at work in the garden or inside the house, or at their morning toilet. The great gap between the quiet pictures and the text, which presents the old lady’s bold dreams, creates an amiable poetical aura. The picture book’s last sentence provides an excellent conclusion: »And you, what are you dreaming of?« (6+)
Switzerland (French) - 2003 - 159
Huelin, Michel (text/illus.)
Pas permis ou l’art de suivre ses idées
(Not allowed or: The art of following one’s own ideas)
Genève : Éd. Quiquandquoi [et al.], 2001.  p.
(Collection Art y es-tu?)
Prohibition – Proverb – Freedom of art
In this art book for children, published in the series called Art y es-tu? (Art, are you there?), proverbs that express well-known prohibitions and warnings such as »Ne demande pas la lune« (Don’t reach for the stars), are artistically interpreted through computerised images. Each of the 16 colourful doublepage illustrations is treated as one »level« – just as in a computer game – and subtitled with a warning. The interpretations of the sayings – such as »Ne te perds pas« (Don’t get on the wrong track), presented by a track of bread crumbs – do not only contain the literal meaning of the demand. They also include some always astonishing playful poetical quality, which eventually encourages readers to find their own way. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 91
Bolliger, Max (text)
Conno, Gianni de (illus.)
Der Weihnachtsnarr : eine Weihnachtsgeschichte
(The Christmas Fool : a Christmas tale)
Zürich : Bohem Press, 2003.  p.
Christmas – Fool – Search – Wisdom – Gift – Humanity
Max Bolliger tells a parable-like story about the search for wisdom and places it within the context of the Christmas story. The protagonist, a young fool who lived in the Orient 2000 years ago, strives to become a wise man. One night, he discovers the bright star of Bethlehem. Since he wants to serve the newborn Lord, he follows the star and takes everything he owns: his glockenspiel, a flower, and his fool’s cap. Along the way, however, he meets some poor children who need these items more desperately than anyone else. So he arrives in Bethlehem empty-handed. Still, Mary lays her son into his arms and the smiling child grants him the wisdom he desired. Static pictures with broad spaces of colour impressively represent the various episodes of the narration. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 92
Eggermann, Vera (adapt./illus.)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2003.  p.
Girl – Mischief – Obedience – Disobedience
»Don’t pull the cat’s tail!« and »Don’t drink the ink!« says Auntie to Lena when she leaves the house. But she didn’t mention anything about not cutting the napkins or the tablecloth. Lena sets to work. Splitting the table with an axe wasn’t on Auntie’s list of forbidden things either. But for lack of strength, the child fails to carry out this plan – and suddenly feels really small. Luckily enough, with only a few »Oh my!«, aunt and niece manage to sew together the cut up pieces – and are reconciled. Next time she goes to town, however, Auntie will probably take Lena with her. The beginning of the funny story, based on a text by Danijl Charms, strongly reminds readers of Hoffmann’s Slovenly Peter. The end, though, is influenced by the 21century ideals of cooperative education. Large illustrations in a naive style accompany the text. (5+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 93
Hoffmann, E. T. A. (text)
Koppe, Susanne (adapt.)
Zwerger, Lisbeth (illus.)
Gossau, Zürich : Neugebauer, 2003.  p. + 1 CD
ISBN 3-85195-728-8. - 3-85195-292-8
Literary fairy tale – Christmas – Toy – Dream – Good/Evil – Fight – Help – Reward
This well-known literary fairy tale, originally published in 1816, is presented here in a condensed text version and with new congenial illustrations. Little Marie dreams a Christmas dream: Toys are coming alive and a fight flares up between the evil mice army and the good tin soldiers. With Marie’s help, one of the tin soldiers ends the fight and eventually takes the girl with him to his marzipan castle. And they lived happily.... Detailed, witty scenes presented in fullpage pictures capture pivotal moments from the plot. Lisbeth Zwerger follows the narration without psychoanalysing it. Delicate vignettes create connections to the large illustrations. An audio-CD with music and excerpts from the tale are enclosed with the book. (8+)
Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 94
Irving, John (text)
Hauptmann, Tatjana (illus.)
Rumler, Irene (transl.)
Ein Geräusch, wie wenn einer versucht, kein Geräusch zu machen : eine Geschichte
(A sound like somebody trying to make no noise : a story)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2003. 32 p.
Brothers – Night – Fear – Noise – Falling asleep
Tom wakes up: An unfamiliar, low sound frightens him. A monster? He calls for his father, who makes a little inquiry. Dad finally realises that the wet, furry monster with no arms or legs crawling through the house, is nothing but a tiny mouse behind the wall. Meanwhile, little brother Tim is awake, too, and because he is longing to see the mouse, he is the only who can’t go back to sleep. The text of this book was taken from John Irving’s adult novel Widow for a Year (1998) and presents itself as a children’s picture book for the first time. Stairwell and garden are night-blue and the small hero in pyjamas wanders through threatening moonlight shadows. The illustrations marvellously capture the mysterious mood of the story and the children’s emotions. (4+)
Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 95
Kamm, Katja (illus.)
Das runde Rot
(The round red)
Zürich : Bajazzo, 2003.  p.
Colour – Shape – Game – Imagination
A girl’s two arms reach out for something round and red - a balloon, a ball, an apple? Yet, before the child can sink her teeth into the forbidden (?) fruit, a priest dressed in black grabs it and the round red thing turns into a spare wheel for a broken car, into a flat round record, into a lolly, and into a yo-yo, that finally flies away and finds its way back into the girl’s arms. This at once humorous and profound little book doesn’t need text. You can invent and tell your own stories, come up with tales and examples for other colours and shapes. This book offers a skilful and unpretentious introduction to abstract thinking and figurative representation for children. (5+)
Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 96
Müller, Birte (text/illus.)
Auf Wiedersehen, Oma
Gossau, Zürich : Neugebauer, 2003.  p.
Latin America – Village – All Saints’ Day – Celebration – Death – Tradition – Girl – Grandmother
In Latin American countries, it is common to organise a cheerful party on the Día de Todos los Santos (All Saints’ Day) and remember the family members who have passed away. Little Felipa, who lives in a village in the Andes, learns that her late grandmother’s soul will be very close to her on this day. Slowly she comes to understand that she cannot see people's souls and does not have to go searching for them - not among the animals, nor in the snow-covered mountains - but that she will still not remain lonely after their death. The author created this book from impressions gathered during a study trip through Mexico and Bolivia. Its pictures open up broad earthen-coloured spaces that offer room for imagination and contemplation. (4+) ☆
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 97
Walser, Robert (text)
Bhend, Käthi (illus.)
Einer, der nichts merkte
(Someone who didn’t notice anything)
Zürich : Atlantis, 2003.  p.
Man – Perception – Lack of interest
The short text, taken from Robert Walser’s book Der Spaziergang (The walk), originally published in 1917, seems like an omen of people’s isolation and lack of interest in the large or small things of the world. Naively and stubbornly, a man disregards everything that shapes his life: wife, children, possessions, environment. He knows nothing and feels nothing, loses everything, even – suddenly taken into a surreal setting – his head. Now he is indeed blind, deaf, and dumb. Luckily enough, an easy solution is at hand in the picture: Wife and children sew his head back onto his body. Nevertheless, this rescue is only shown in the picture and not confirmed by the text. Colourful panels in original planograph technique illustrate this profound tale and hint at its comical side. The text’s apparent simplicity and the sophisticated style of the illustrations make this book an exemplary story. (5+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 98
Wehrli, Ursus (illus.)
Olenhusen, Albrecht Götz von (preface)
(Tidying up art)
Zürich : Kein und Aber, 2002. 47 p.
Art – Adaptation – Order – Aesthetics – Perception
Based on philosophical research on art, corroborated by Swiss patent law, this book strives to introduce child and adult readers to a new way of looking at art. Selected works from the canon of figurative art are reduced to their basic components of shape and space, taken to pieces and arranged in a new way, so that the separate elements of form can be recognised. The two versions – the original work of art and the »tidied up« one – are sitting next to each other and inspire meticulous observation. Moreover, they prove once more that a work of art is much more than its single parts put together. Last but not least, this method includes a humorous aspect because it takes an ironic look at both aesthetics and the overly (un-?)intelligent art ‘expert’. (14+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2004 - 99
Weigelt, Udo (text)
Heusser, Sibylle (illus.)
Sandmännchens Mondfahrt : eine Geschichte zur guten Nacht
(Little sandman’s trip to the moon : a bedtime story)
Gossau, Zürich : Nord-Süd-Verl., 2003.  p.
Sandman – Friend – Search – Falling asleep – Night – Moon
Little sandman’s fate is a sad one. He feels utterly lonely because – due to his peculiar profession – he cannot find a friend. No matter where he appears, all the children and other people immediately fall asleep. Not even police officers or burglars are immune to his soporific influence. And neither are all the nocturnal animals on land, in the water or the air. Thus, there is only one solution for little sandman: the man in the moon; and he is already waiting for him. This imaginative bedtime story is accompanied by largeformat pictures painted in smooth colours. (4+)
Switzerland (French) - 2004 - 153
Salem-Marin, Anne (text)
Kroug, Simon (illus.)
Genève : Joie de Lire, 2003.  p.
Rumour – Thieve
When people claim that Madame Malika’s bracelet was stolen in the Turkish Bath, this rumour, which stems from nobody knows where and whom, spreads incredibly fast and feeds on exaggerations as well as distortions. Out of thin air, a description of the thief appears and becomes successively more elaborate: A man in slippers ..., with a beard ..., a foreigner with European clothes, tie, and striped trousers. And what if he is after the prince’s treasure chamber, too? Following the wellknown pattern of a rumour, the illustrations, supported by a short explanatory text, successfully depict the plot. The warm and light-hearted tone of the sepia-coloured illustrations corresponds to both the atmosphere of the Arabian setting and the ongoing talk’s ungraspable and ever-changing character. (6+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 91
Baltscheit, Martin (text/illus.)
Schwarz, Christine (illus.)
Gold für den Pinguin
(Gold for the penguin)
Zürich : Bajazzo, 2004.  p.
Animals – Olympic games – Magnanimity
Any person’s high performance in sports pales in comparison to that of animals. While humans have to train very hard, animals would (and in this picture book do) win Olympic medals without even preparing for them: penguins for swimming, bears for the shot put, emus for long distance running, etc. In the end, all the medals are awarded to the animals while the humans are left with absolutely nothing. However, the winners are deeply touched by their competitors’ desperation and magnanimously offer their medals to them. Having been part of the Games was the most important aspect anyway and all they wanted was the chance to put things into perspective again. The illustrations present animal and human plasticine figures that get along quite well thanks to the animals’ generosity. (6+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 92
Hächler, Bruno (text)
Ratto, Cinzia (illus.)
(Tim Bumpkin <proper name>)
Gossau : Neugebauer, 2004.  p.
Outsider – Theatre – Dancing – Public opinion
Clumsy Tim has blue feet and an unrestrainable desire to dance. Every night, Tim’s performance is met with thunderous applause until the audience is finally bored with it. Suddenly, they call him the »blue-footed bumpkin.« Tim decides to wear socks during his dance, but it doesn’t make any difference. For his final performance, he expects the theatre to be entirely deserted – but, what a surprise: The hall is packed with people wearing blue shoes, which have become the new fashion overnight, and thus Tim is granted a come-back. This tongue-in-cheek yet soothing story shows how easily the audience change their mind and how influential public opinion can be. Clear, slightly ironic pictures underline this message. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 93
Lins, Bernhard (text)
Sottler, Alenka (illus.)
Willi wünscht sich einen Bruder : eine Geschichte
(Willi wants to have a brother : a story)
Zürich : Bohem Press, 2004.  p.
Siblings – Family addition
A strong, big brother – that’s what Willi really wants. Instead, he gets a little sister who is allowed to do everything that Willi is said to be too big for now: She makes a mess – Mama cleans up after her. She doesn’t want to go to bed – Granny tells her one bedtime-story after the other, etc. Unfortunately, the sister grows up ever so slowly, but one day the boy realises that he himself is now the strong big brother and he comes to enjoy his new position. He builds a tepee with Lisa, they climb the apple tree together, and paddle around in their rubber boat. Without concealing the boy’s initial frustration, both the text and the large pictures, painted in strong colours in a pointillist style, describe how the difficult family situation ends happily. (4+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 94
Luchsinger, Sandra (text/illus.)
Paolos Glück : eine Geschichte zum Weinen
(Paolo’s happiness : a tale full of tears)
Zürich : Atlantis, 2004.  p.
Loneliness – Happiness – Crying – Publicity
There is a man who is satisfied with the quiet life he shares with his cat, his books, and his radio. Even though other people consider his life lonely and boring, he is happy. Maybe it’s because he enjoys crying while listening to sad or to cheerful music, while reading a melancholy story, or a happy one etc. When his tears touch the ground, huge red flowers start to sprout, and so his fellow humans suddenly take notice of him. They all beg Paolo to let flowers grow for them, too. That’s the end of his peaceful life. Eventually, he decides to secretly leave and find a new home. Nevertheless, since the people around him have learned how to cry – from now on they can let their own flowers grow. The short text and the protagonists, who somehow act in a comic-book-like manner, stand out against the pictures’ broad, flat areas of plain colour. This contrast creates a powerful tension that corresponds to the story’s cheerfully-sad content. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 95
Olten, Manuela (text/illus.)
Echte Kerle : ein Buch
(Tough guys : a book)
Zürich : Bajazzo, 2004.  p.
Boy – Girl – Sexual difference – Gender role
Sure! Boys are tough guys. Especially when they are together, they feel strong and they love to voice their opinion about these totally boring cowardly girls who do nothing but comb their dolls’ hair, dress them, and undress them, dress them, undress them… and who are afraid of ghosts! They are so chicken, they wet themselves! Oops... Suddenly the bragging boys’ courage vanishes into thin air. Do ghosts exist after all? Maybe even here? Quietly and discretely, the boys make themselves scarce. Large, powerful, humorous pictures accompany this never-ending story about the differences between the stronger (?) and the weaker (?) sex. (6+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 96
Petz, Moritz (text)
Jackowski, Amélie (illus.)
Der Dachs hat heute schlechte Laune!
(Badger’s in a bad mood today)
Gossau, Zürich : Nord-Süd, 2004.  p.
Bad mood – Cure
Badger is in such a bad mood that he manages to offend everyone around him. In the evening, he himself feels better, but all the other animals hide in their homes and avoid his company. Now Badger feels lonely. Then Blackbird – whom he had not met during the day (which is why she is still very cheerful) – happens to pass by. Together, the two of them come up with a great plan: They organise a competition about the worst mood. Staring ahead grumpily, hissing dangerously, or simply being unfriendly – it’s hilarious. Strangely enough, everybody is cheered up at once, even Badger. This parable about the influence of a single being on his surroundings and vice versa is presented in plain, earthy pictures. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 97
Schärer, Kathrin (text/illus.)
Wenn Fuchs und Hase sich Gute Nacht sagen
(When fox and hare wish each other »good night«)
Zürich : Atlantis, 2004.  p.
Fox – Hare – Threat to life – Trick – Rescue
No sooner does Little Hare realise that he is lost than Fox appears to gobble him up. Yet, hares are truly clever animals and so the little chap successfully prevents Fox’s bad deed: by tricking him into tucking him in, reading him a bedtime story, and singing a lullaby – until the fox grows tired and falls asleep. Help is at hand. Father and Mother Hare are coming home. They don’t even beat up the sleeping intruder, but instead take him outside on the grass and wish him a good night’s rest. This book illustrates how you might save your life in a dangerous situation by resorting to tricks. The slightly caricaturesque pictures show a clever mite and an overly greedy giant who grossly underestimates the potential victim’s intelligence. (3+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2005 - 98
Waechter, Friedrich Karl (text/illus.)
Der Affe des Strandfotografen
(The beach photographer’s ape)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2004. 52 p.
Ape – Humans – Cruelty to animals
This fable alludes to human cruelty, to the animals’ dependency and sufferings, and to their revenge. As an assistant to a beach photographer, a funny young chimpanzee is forced to make people laugh. Cheerful pictures sell well, that’s why, one day, the owner starts feeding the animal drugs and alcohol – until the ape gets back at the human and serves him his own drugs, thus killing him. Now, the educated ape takes over the photographer’s job and people hardly spot any difference to the former master. Inspired by an authentic report about a drug addicted chimpanzee, F. K. Waechter intensifies the animal’s misery in his pictures. They show – and at the same time parody – the common thoughtlessness and ignorance of human beings. (12+)
Switzerland (French) - 2005 - 149
Bille, S. Corinna (text)
Heezen, Janis (illus.)
Le masque géant
(The giant mask)
Genève : Joie de Lire, 2004.  p.
Wallis – Custom – Mask – Fear
The author S. Corinna Bille (1919-1979) was inspired to write a story by an old custom from the Upper Wallis in Switzerland. This picture book now offers a new interpretation of that text. During carnival time, people dressed in sheep-skin garments and wearing a belt of cowbells and a wooden mask walk around scaring the people in the streets. Children in particular are utterly fond of this frightening spectacle. One day, however, a masked giant enters the village. While the adults are suspicious and keep their distance, the children eagerly seek the intruder’s company. Fear and courage, appearance and reality, these are the book’s main topics expressed in predominantly greyish-brown illustrations through contrasts such as big and small, light and dark, etc. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 95
Bougaeva, Sonja (text/illus.)
Zwei Schwestern bekommen Besuch
(Two sisters have a visitor)
Zürich : Atlantis, 2005.  p.
Island Sisters – Household – Individuality
A relative’s visit can be wonderful, especially on a remote island. Yet, for the two sisters in this delightful book, their cousin’s stay turns out to be fairly strenuous. Without being asked to, he goes about changing the two ladies’ household, which they admittedly run in a very individualistic (i.e. chaotic) way, according to his own ideas of order and hygiene. And thanks to the good manners and politeness of his hosts, he is almost successful. However, their connivance is not enough for him; he expects full praise. When this isn’t offered and the sisters even dare to fall ill, the cousin leaves sulkily. Utterly relieved, the two sisters immediately get better and return to their former way of life. The pasty, earthen shades of colour as well as the chubby humans and animals in the illustrations are reminiscent of plasticine or wax figures. They lend a fairly cosy atmosphere to the pictures, which very effectively interprets the sparse humorous text and its plea for individualism. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 96
Maar, Anne (text)
Harjes, Stefanie (illus.)
Lotte und Lena im Buchstabenland
(Lotte and Lena in the land of letters)
Zürich : Bajazzo, 2005.  p.
Siblings Age difference – Speech impediment
Little twin sisters can be extremely annoying for their elder brother: His name is »Georg« but the two sisters’ limited linguistic ability makes them substitute every »g« with »d«. Therefore, for them he is simply called »Deord«. The young man has his siblings practice again and again because his girlfriend is about to visit them and of course he wouldn’t want to be ridiculed in front of her. Eventually, a dream comes to his rescue: The dream about the land of letters. The twins travel there to fetch the »g«. Unfortunately, they leave the letter »z« in exchange for their old »d«… but luckily enough this doesn’t worry Georg too much. Bold, witty, and colourful pictures invite readers to dive in and make their own discoveries. (4+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 97
Merz, Klaus (text)
Binder, Hannes (illus.)
Kunos grosse Fahrt
(Kuno’s long journey)
Gossau Zürich : Nord-Süd, 2005.  p.
Scooter Helmet – Globe – Imaginary journey
A motorbike helmet painted like the globe makes a young boy set off on a fantasy trip around the world on his scooter. Dressed in his red sweater, he passes black-and-white cities and sceneries, encounters many people and ways of life. He plans to travel all around the globe starting at the North Pole and has decided to accept full responsibility for his adventure. When he returns home just after midnight after a journey of self discovery – his parents eagerly await him. The impressive wood cuts make the readers hear the whirring of the scooter’s wheels and feel the boy’s determination to become independent. (8+) ☼
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 98
Ringelnatz, Joachim (text)
Hauptmann, Tatjana (illus.)
Das große Ringelnatz-Buch : die schönsten Gedichte und Geschichten
(The big Ringelnatz-book : the most beautiful poems and stories)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2005. 132 p.
Joachim Ringelnatz (1883-1934) was a sailor, librarian, poet, city guide, and many other things. His nonsense poems for children and adults who had not lost their child-like view of the world, possess a lot of profundity. He created his texts, prose as well as poetry, with wisdom, love, and foresight. In this large-format collection of his works illustrated for children, coloured pictures and black-and-white vignettes show a bold imagery that closely resembles that of the texts. The layout and the excellent design of the book also create an impression of openness and the longing for this openness a lifestyle and mentality that perfectly match the poet’s intention. (6+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 99
Schneider, Antonie (text)
Möltgen, Ulrike (illus.)
Jako : eine Geschichte
(Jako <proper name> : a story)
Zürich : Bajazzo, 2005.  p.
Girl Wish – Dog – Daydream – Community
There is nothing better that a little girl could wish for than a dog. She waits for a long time, a whole summer, a whole winter, and then, suddenly, there he is: a big dog that she can talk to. So, she shares all her questions, worries, and fears with him and he answers. That’s what a mere dog can do for a little girl – even if he is only a dream-dog. Pencil drawings on coloured cardboard, cut-out and arranged on dyed background in collage style, create a characteristic and distinctive shape for the protagonists. The clear forms and language confirm that the child’s desire for this pet and playmate is as urgent as it is justified. (5+)
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 100
Fritz Hartnagel : der Freund von Sophie Scholl
(Fritz Hartnagel : Sophie Scholl’s friend)
Zürich [et al.] : Arche, 2005. 266 p.
National Socialism Resistance
In 1937, 16-year-old student Sophie Scholl met 20-year-old soldier Fritz Hartnagel. They developed a close but complicated friendship, which was tragically cut short when Sophie Scholl was sentenced to death by the Nazis in 1943. Following his own determination and in memory of Sophie Scholl, Hartnagel continued to spread the ideas of »Die Weiße Rose« (The White Rose Society) after the end of the war. From interviews with the family and hitherto unknown documents, the author has created a detailed portrayal of this resistance movement against Hitler, which invites readers to explore a new dimension of German history. (14+) ☆
Special Mention - Switzerland (German) - 2006 - 101
Waechter, Friedrich Karl (adapt./illus.)
Prinz Hamlet : frei nach William Shakespeare
(Prince Hamlet : based loosely on the play by William Shakespeare)
Zürich : Diogenes, 2005. 63 p.
William Shakespeare / Hamlet Adaptation
This picture book for young adults is based on Shakespeare’s famous play »Hamlet«. Two characters belonging to the nursery world Teddy Bear and Mr. Punch – are trying to cheer up the sad prince. They discover his love for Ophelia and her father’s intrigue. They stage the play »The Mousetrap« for the king and convict the former king’s murderers. However, they do not manage to bring the two lovers together because they are both victims of the intrigue at court and the resulting events. In this book, Friedrich Karl Waechter adapts the classic theme to create a tale from and on large-format text- and picture-collages. His pencil and colour-pencil drawings perfectly complement the abbreviated yet highly dramatic plot. (14+) ☼
Switzerland (French) - 2006 - 153
Lestrade, Agnès de (text)
Bravo, Constanza (illus.)
Le plus gentil loup du monde
(The nicest wolf on earth)
Genève : Joie de Lire, 2005.  p.
Wolf Girl – Grandmother – Vegetarian – Trick
A hungry wolf meets a girl and, quite naturally, he wants to eat it. Yet, this clever girl is probably the wrong person to address: »Don’t you know that eating so much animal protein is going to raise your cholesterol to a dangerous level?« With her arguments, she easily manages to convince the wolf. He accompanies her to the grandmother’s house and turns into a vegetarian. But a wolf is still a wolf, and at night he can’t resist the temptation any longer. Just like its source text, this humorous, modern adaptation of »Little Red Riding Hood« comes to a happy, if surprising, end. It is complemented by equally creative illustrations rendered in a refreshing and unconventional layout and variety of techniques. (6+)
Switzerland (German) - 2007 - 97
Bougaeva, Sonja (text/illus.)
Zürich : Atlantis, 2006.  p.
Dog – Dog owner – Moodiness – Escape
If a bad-tempered man constantly bullies his amiable little dog and never shows any concern for the pet’s needs (»Shame on you, Barnie!«, »Come here immediately! «, »Stop that noise!« etc.), then it is bound to happen one day: Together with one of his fellow dogs, Barnie escapes. True, the flight itself with the two dogs at the steering wheel of a delivery van is a bit farfetched; still, Barnie seems truly relieved. The contrast between the evil dog owner and the dog, who is happy at last, is presented in such a convincing combination of text and pictures that there is no need for any comment on the action other than the child’s final question: »Dad, where is Barnie?« The answer is evident: The dog has left. (4+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2007 - 98
Kiefer, Gabriele (text)
Graupner, Sylvia (illus.)
Meine erste Hochzeit
(My first wedding)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2006.  p.
Girl – Wish – Wedding
»In the past, every little girl wanted to marry her father« – or so Dad says. »Well, that must have been a very long time ago«, answers the small, wedding-crazy protagonist of this cheeky picture book with its slightly caricature-like illustrations. All of the relatives she asks offer some good advice, but only her best friend (and the tiny Cupid-putto fluttering about) get to the heart of the matter: She needs to learn how to kiss. Little Robert, whom she never even noticed before, agrees to teach her (»But you were not allowed to dribble«). That settles it, and Robert is the one to marry! It may be some consolation to the parents that, after such a first wedding, a young girl may still live at home for a while. (5+)
Switzerland (German) - 2007 - 99
Pin, Isabel (text/illus.)
Ein Regentag im Zoo
(A rainy day in the zoo)
Zürich : Bajazzo-Verl., 2006.  p.
Zoo – Father – Daughter
Anna and her father go to the zoo. It’s a rainy day and all the animals hide inside their »houses«. Father and daughter are eager to visit certain animals and are wondering where each one might be living. On every cardboard page, readers see a dwelling specially built for one of the animals. They are asked to find out which architecture was constructed for which inhabitant. The questions are easily answered by opening the flaps in the book. The illustrator presents these buildings as abstract form-clusters, against a background of idyllic and pastoral vegetation. Everything is drawn in quiet colours with clear-cut outlines to create an unpretentious novelty-picture-book with a lot of charm. (3+)
Switzerland (German) - 2007 - 100
Wittkamp, Frantz (text)
Brosinski, Jenny (illus.)
Gute Nacht – oder : der lange Weg ins Bett
(Good night – or : the long way to bed)
Zürich : Atlantis, 2006.  p.
Falling asleep – Storytelling
This outstanding bedtime story introduces a multitude of stops that you have to pass until you finally reach your bed. There is the blue house and the bronze horse with its rider – be careful not to get sidetracked by other things like the cat on the roof or the crying woman who seems to be looking for it – then you pass by the post office and »over there to the right, you see an old streetlight«. On each new page, readers discover a delicately drawn chaos of many different events through which they will only get by sticking exactly to the written directions. It is easy to imagine that all these adventures will make children so tired that they are happy to fall asleep at the end. The rhymed text offers a calming rhythm and inspires readers to repeat it together and learn it by heart. (5+) ☼
Switzerland (German) - 2007 - 101
Zippert, Hans (text)
Hurzlmeier, Rudi (illus.)
Weihnachtsmänner frisst man nicht
(You mustn’t gulp down Santa Claus)
Zürich : Kein & Aber, 2006. 77 p.
Africa – Lion – Christmas – Santa Claus – Present
Heribert’s father, the leader of the lion pack, simply loves hunting down »raw-meat-owners«. Since Heribert does not share this passion, Father Lion is (almost) convinced that he was accidentally swapped at birth: A lion who wears glasses, collects stamps, and eats vegetarian food sticks out from the pack. When Santa Claus swoops down on the savannah to practise for his annual delivery of presents, the old lion pushes him off the sledge and devours two of his reindeer. This leaves the lions with an organisational problem, and it is Heribert who has a field day solving it. The witty complications that the lions face when organising the delivery of gifts are presented in a hilarious voice. Full-page pictures in surrealistic colours accompany the entrancing text. (10+)
Switzerland (French) - 2007 - 155
Carrer, Chiara (text/illus.)
Le lutin des couleurs
(The colour pixie)
Genève : Joie de Lire, 2006.  p.
Colour – Nature – Chromatics
A cute little pixie leads readers into the world of colours and introduces a detailed colour spectrum based on the colours found in nature. They range from earthen brown, the ochre of the desert snake, and the plums’ purple to ocean blue, the dark green of juicy leaves, and the white of polar bears. Lively pencil sketches are coloured in the respective shades while the correct mixture ratio of basic colours is given in the top margins. As a »counterpart« to the friendly pixie, a devilish shadow creature can be spotted hiding on the pages, watching the pixie and trying to assist him somehow. This introduction to chromatics for young readers thus also offers a light-hearted and humorous exploration of the unknown. (3+)