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The German classics from the fourth to the nineteenth.


Grown-ups might find this book about the little mole with poop on his head a bit embarrassing, but that hasn't kept it from becoming internationally known. Wolf Erbruch's 1989 book has a promising title — and doesn't disappoint. In 2017, Erbuch became the first German to win the Astrid Lindgren Prize, which was founded in 2002 in honor of the Pippi Longstocking author from Sweden.

"Max and Moritz (A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks)" was published by Wilhelm Busch in 1865 and has since found its way into countless German children's rooms. The illustrated story about the two mischievous boys is told in rhymes that are still quoted to this day. The book's title satirizes the way theater plays were often given subtitles at the time.

The book "Die Häschenschule" by Albert Sixtus, illustrated by Fritz Koch-Gotha, is also told in rhymes. The story of bunny siblings Hans and Grete was first published in 1924 - a time when teachers were authoritarian, pupils were well behaved and foxes were naughty.

This 1958 children's book by Nils Werner, illustrated by Heinz Behling, was a classic in communist East Germany and was adapted as a film. Even today, it's particularly popular in eastern Germany. In the story, a little devil steals the pancakes for grandma's birthday party and a wild chase ensues. Behling was also a caricaturist and co-founder of the East German satire magazine, "Eulenspiegel."

Ali Mitgutsch is considered the father of hidden-picture books in the German-speaking world. His first volume, "Rundherum in meiner Stadt" (Around in My City) came out in 1968 and received the German Youth Literature Prize the following year. Since then, numerous volumes of highly detailed illustrations have been published in Germany and abroad. His books contain no words, but lots of humor.

In 1982's "Friends" by Helme Heine, a pig, a chicken and a mouse go on adventures together. The author, a Berlin native, currently lives in New Zealand and his works have been translated into many different languages. "Friends" was adapted as the animated feature "Mullewapp" from 2009.


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