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New Children’s Books
Bury Your Nose in Books

© Beltz & Gelberg, Hummelburg, Jacoby & Stuart, Sauerländer
© Beltz & Gelberg, Hummelburg, Jacoby & Stuart, Sauerländer

Some recent children’s books take readers to magical worlds of adventure. In another, an unexpected inheritance changes lives. And because children should be able to talk about climate change, we present a suitable book on the topic.

By Holger Moos

In Wieland Freund’s children’s book Dreimal schwarzer Kater, the little tomcat Krispin is washed out of the moat in a sack right at the feet of goblin Hillebingel. All of the animals and magical beings know that they have to hide him because the irritable magician Medardus won’t tolerate a black cat in his castle. An exciting story of hide and seek and leaps in time ensues, in which an assertive “Chicken Little” also plays an important role. Plenty of magic and unexpected twists are the ingredients of this unusual and magical story.


The boy Jukka lives with Captain Bittermond on a lonely bay where they have no contact with other people. The captain’s greatest treasure is a glass heart. Their idyll is disturbed one day when a bold witch-like woman appears with her daughter and stays. After an argument, she grabs the glass heart and disappears. The two children follow her. In Bittermonds Bucht (Bittermond’s Bay), Maike Harel leads her readers into an almost medieval world, painted broadly like a backdrop. It is full of magical beasts and people who help the children on their trek. In the end, even the riddle of the boy’s origin is cleared up. And the suspicion that Bittermond is a robber and a pirate also turns out to be false. Really good literature to bury your nose in.

Kathrin Tordasi’s fantasy novel Brombeerfuchs. Das Geheimnis von Weltende (Blackberry Fox. The Secret of the End of the World) is inspired by an old legend from Wales that the author heard during her stay there as a student. Once humans and fairies were good neighbours; they wandered back and forth between the worlds. Only the empty stretch of land where the grey king lived was dangerous. He brought death and ruin with the fog and now, after a long sleep, has reawakened. Portia, on holiday with her aunt in Wales, gets into a struggle against him. When a mysterious fox keeps appearing, she follows it, together with a boy named Ben. Both have to endure some dramatic adventures before they defeat the king. An exciting book with a lot of Welsh flair. 


An inheritance can have pretty complicated consequences as Andrea Schomburg shows in her children’s novel So ein verflixtes Erbe. When Malina’s fun-loving grandfather dies at the age of 99, he bequeaths his “mansion” to his two quarrelling children, Malina’s father and his sister Rosie and her son Alexander. The condition is that they all move in the house together. The mood remains tense, but when two crooks appear, all the family members get caught up in a dangerous crime thriller. The children join forces and there’s a happy ending for everyone. An exciting story, told in a comical way.
Despite the seriousness and care with which Kristina Heldmann’s Ohne Eis kein Eisbär (Polar Bears Need Ice) reports on the consequences of climate change, the layout and title of each of the chapters exude confidence. For example, “Pedestrians have no exhaust pipe – how do you get ahead without a carbon footprint?” The colourful illustrations reinforce the impression that fighting climate change takes courage. This non-fiction children’s book conveys – as the subtitle promises – “climate knowledge empowerment.” The author emphasises how important youth movements around the topic of climate are. However, she also reminds us of the responsibility of adults to implement the appeals and demands in policies.

Logo Rosinenpicker © Goethe-Institut / Illustration: Tobias Schrank Wieland Freund, Sabine Mielke (Ill.): Dreimal schwarzer Kater
Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg, 2020. 226 S.
ISBN: 978-3-407-75822-4
You can find this title in our eLibrary Onleihe.
Maike Harel, Florentine Prechtel (Ill.): Bittermonds Bucht
Ravensburg: Hummelburg, 2020. 278 S.
ISBN: 978-3-7478-0019-5
Kristina Heldmann: Ohne Eis kein Eisbär. Klimawissen zum Mitreden
Berlin: Jacoby & Stuart, 2020. 92 S.
ISBN 978-3-96428-055-8
Andrea Schomburg: So ein verflixtes Erbe
Ravensburg: Hummelburg, 2020. 176 S.
ISBN: 978-3-7478-0013-3
Kathrin Tordasi: Brombeerfuchs. Das Geheimnis von Weltende
Frankfurt: Fischer Sauerländer, 2020. 378 S.
ISBN 978-3-7373-5693-0