Who designs university picture books

Didactic Reviews (Books of the Month)

The didactic reviews are regularly written by various team members from the field of German didactics. They each analyze a selected picture book with regard to its content as well as with a view to a suitable application in practice.

Book of the month (February 2021):
Mina discovers a new world by Sandar Niebuhr-Siebert and Lars Baus (didactic review by Sarah Sudikatis)

A creative book that focuses on learning a second language and both arouses empathetic understanding and encourages you to discover this new language world.


From the first day in kindergarten, Mina not only enters an unfamiliar room and meets unfamiliar children, she is mainly confronted with an unfamiliar language. The recipients follow step by step how Mina finds her way around this (language) world, which is new to her, and discovers it - from tingling in the stomach before the first day of kindergarten to the point in time when a new boy joins her group. Sandra Niebuhr-Siebert (author) and Lars Baus (illustrator) use all imaginable means of symbolism, color and choice of words to lovingly and sensitively depict the experiences and developments Mina has been through with the new language. The book offers an intensive, vivid insight into the perspective of a child who is beginning to become capable of acting in a new world of language. Readers for their part discover a new world by immersing themselves in the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist, which in turn can cause understanding for those who experience situations similar to Mina.

Symbolism on the picture plane

From a didactic point of view, the richness on the pictorial level, which Mina's development visualizes, offers many points of contact. Initially, Mina's environment in the kindergarten is shown in black and white. In the course of the story, the proportion of color gradually increases - depending on which objects Mina can already name and which people she has met. In the end, all pictures are colored in color. Due to the diegesia, which alternates between Mina's experiences during the day and her dreams at night, there are stories both with and without text. The dreams are overwritten with the sentence "Mina dreams at night ..." and show the processing of Mina's experiences exclusively on the pictorial level. There are many symbols on these double pages: Both Mina and the other children are represented as small fish. At the beginning there is only one colorful fish with a hanging flower in its mouth, which is supposed to symbolize Mina with her communication difficulties. Next, she seems to make friends with a small fish that does not have a flower, but is also colorful. With their increasing knowledge of the language, the other fish are also shown more and more colorful and each receive a flower. The distance to the Mina fish and the swimming direction of the school also change. Mina's last dream - the penultimate picture - shows her with outspread arms on a large fish swimming (or even flying?) Through a sea of ​​flowers. Compared to the previous pictures, which show the experiences during the day, Mina's dress is no longer covered with flowers, but with fish. Everything has changed, she moves freely in the new (language) world that she has made her own and enjoys its beauty. In Mina's dreams there is therefore a lot to discover and there is room for interpretation through which the inconclusive process of meaning formation can be promoted in conversation (according to Spinner 2006): “What happens in the dream? Who are the fish? What does the flower in the fish's mouth stand for? What could the dream mean? How do Mina's dreams change? "

Narrative design & identification options

At the level of understanding characters, various situations offer the opportunity to identify with Mina as a reader: For example, the teacher misunderstood her when she would like to have something from lunch and so there is no look-up. Elsewhere it becomes clear that Mina doesn't talk much in kindergarten, but she does at home. Since the story is told from Mina's perspective, both recognition effects for children who have had similar experiences and a broadening of horizons for children who are unfamiliar with such an experience are made possible. It is also beneficial that Mina's first or family language is not mentioned by name, but is only shown on the image level as curved linguistic threads. This conscious 'gap' makes it easier for different children to identify with Mina. In the end, the circle comes full circle when a new, shy boy joins the group, who suggests that the language is new to him too. It seems like an open ending or the story is starting all over again. This can be followed by a conversation: “How do you think Mina behaves towards Tarek? How can she help him? How can the other children help him? What would you do? ”In the course of this, the book is particularly useful if a group or class is to be prepared for a new child and sensitized to the language difficulties. If necessary, one could talk about the transfer of content from the action area kindergarten to school. Furthermore, one could take up a situation in which Mina and the other children listen to a radio play in which someone speaks Russian and then tries to imitate the sounds. Later they also hear a story in Mina's language. As a result, one could play songs and stories in the children's first languages ​​with a group or class so that the others could gain an insight into that language. The role of the adult (mother, educator) is to be classified as support in the background in all of this. This means that the focus is on the children, which in turn can encourage readers to act on their own. In conclusion, it can be said that the book is in every respect well suited for promoting identity development (according to Pfäfflin 2010).

Secondary literature:

Pfäfflin, Sabine (2010): Selection criteria for contemporary literature in German lessons, Baltmannsweiler: Schneider Verlag Hohengehren.

Spinner, Kasper (2006): Literary learning. In: Praxis Deutsch. Volume 33. Issue 200. Velber: Friedrich, pp. 6-16.

Year of publication: 2020

Published by Carlsen Verlag

ISBN: 9783551512703

Book of the month (January 2021):
A. von Pavel Cech (guest review by Jochen Hering)

What if everything is "A"? This comic novel tells of a numbered life without basic rights in a totalitarian ruled city and gets along completely without words. Even the cover picture by Paul CechsA. makes a gloomy impression. From a bird's eye view we look at a gray and, in its monotony, desolate nocturnal skyscraper city. Black smoke rises from gigantic chimneys, individual apartments are lit, there is no lively life to be discovered. In the middle of the picture is a blood-red "A". At the beginning of the story we are in the protagonist's apartment. He's just being woken up by a loudspeaker above the bed from which an "A" can be heard. He freshened up for a moment, puts on a cap with a visible number: 21868 and leaves the apartment on his bike. On the next few pages we accompany him through the city, which, when viewed from close up, has obvious signs of decay (holes in the pavement, crumbling plaster on the house walls, wooden sheds instead of windows). The wordless images take us into a disturbing city life. A huge leader figure, which could already be seen on the cover, dominates the first double page. Everywhere guards, controllers, military police with disgruntled closed faces, wanted posters on the house walls, scenes of violence that bystanders hurry past, including our protagonist. In general, the people on the streets seem indifferent, almost like convicts, with their heads bowed. And the "A" is omnipresent, also in the media.

Finally we arrive at our protagonist's workplace, an antiquated metal factory in which - as shown by pointed grenades standing around - obviously weapons are made. During the lunch break we find him in the back yard of the factory. He sits leaning against a chimney, chewing his bread and - indeed with a smile on his face - watching the birds in the sky. In the evening, in his apartment, he continues to work. As the construction plans on the wall of the room obviously show a mixture of bicycle and flying machine.

The next day goes by in a similar way. This time he climbs up the chimney in the backyard during his lunch break, we look with him over the city walls, out into a colorful distance, the sea and the lighthouse on the horizon.

After the lunch break, all workers are ordered out to the market square. The people of the city take part in a demonstration. From his balcony the guide speaks to the assembled crowd. The evening goes on as usual. Our man continues to work on his flying machine with a satisfied face.

He wakes up at night. A look out of the window shows military police storming a neighbor's apartment. Shortly before his arrest, the old man managed to throw a paper airplane, labeled with a "B", out of the window. A next day follows. And then, during the lunch break in the backyard, there is the paper airplane with its "B". Our protagonist carefully pocketed the plane and had to keep staring at the "B" at home. A school scene marked by violence rises in his memories. He lies awake for a long time.

The next day in the factory, he whispers a "B" to a work colleague. Hopeless panic on his face, his hands raised in defense, he only has an "A" left for our man. And he is already being observed in his rebellious actions. Microphones and cameras hidden everywhere have already determined his number, arrest teams are on the way. The hunt for number 21868 has started.

21868 can escape home via roofs and backyards. With his bike and the parts of his flying machine he hurries onto the flat roof. There he assembles his plane in next to no time while the pursuers are already storming up the stairs. At the last second he can escape into the air and over the city walls into the surrounding area. He ends up in a colorful, diverse world in which - as shown by the cityscape and everyday life there - all letters are obviously allowed. Guards, controllers and military police cannot be seen here. A year goes by. Then one day our hero will swing himself back into the air. He reaches the gloomy city and throws colorful books with titles like "M", "C" and "T" over it.

"A" is a political action thriller, a comic novel, peppered with revealing secondary scenes, which tells of conformity, oppression and resistance and does not need any text. The picture on the last page is titled Dedicated to the man with the bags. You can see two tanks faced by a man with a shopping bag in each hand. If you enter tank and the man with the bags as the search term, you will find out: “Tank Man and Unknown Rebel are the names for a man who has not yet been publicly identified, who achieved international fame by himself during the massacre on Tiananmen Square (Tian ' anmen square) in front of a convoy of tanks and blocked their advance, carrying a shopping bag in each hand. This scene ... was captured by numerous photographers and television crews. The incident occurred near Tian’anmen Square on June 5, 1989 ... The day before, the demonstrations in Tian’anmen Square had been violently suppressed. The man was standing alone on the road when the tanks ... approached. He had a grocery bag in each hand. When the tanks pulled up in front of him, he tried to stop them. The first tank then tried to drive past him. The man stood in his way again. He got on the first tank and started arguing with the driver. After the man got off the tank, the driver started his engine and wanted to start the tank again. The man immediately blocked the journey again. The video shows that the man was pulled away by four people within a few minutes and disappeared into the crowd. It is controversial whether the four people were passers-by who wanted to save him or security officers who took the man into custody. The tanks then advanced further ”(Wikipedia 2020).

Secondary literature:

Wikipedia (2020): Tank Man. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Man. Access: January 28, 21.

Year of publication: 2019

Published by Alibri Verlag

ISBN: 9783865693112

Book of the month (December 2020):
A for Antarctica. Views from the other end of the world by David Böhm (didactic review by Mats Pieper)

A non-fiction book is expected to provide information on a specific topic or topics and to do so in the most descriptive and helpful manner possible. If this is intended for children and young people, it may also be assumed that the content is limited to the essentials and provides information that is easy to understand. The non-fiction book, which was awarded the German Youth Literature PrizeA for Antarctica by the Czech artist David Böhm breaks these clear expectations and offers, in addition to the facts and content, according to the subtitle:Views from the other end of the world.What at first might sound a bit like alternative facts, on a second glance, in addition to the fascinating overview of the Antarctic, also contains philosophical, personal and cross-thematic questions and perspectives that are far from the topic of Antarctica.

These perspectives arise in different ways. First of all, the Antarctic itself offers itself to be explored from different perspectives. Several exciting subject areas such as flora and fauna adapted to extreme weather conditions, meteorological and geological phenomena as well as aspects affecting and made people - be it historical explorations, international scientific cooperation, architecture or political and climate-critical issues - come together and come together. Böhm presents the multitude of topics on (fold-out) double pages, each dedicated to a main topic. The further design also contributes to a diverse view, as the artist approaches the topics with various "types of text and creative techniques" (working group for youth literature 2020) such as photographs, cards, comics, mind games, caricatures, comic elements and graphics makes every page a sophisticated text-and-picture-interwoven experience. This leads to the fact that the book is suitable for gradually being developed double-page by double-page across the board. Right from the start, the viewer is sworn to the book and the book's own way of looking at things, in that the artist questions their own perspective on the Antarctic object and this is also reflected in the text-image relationship. At the text level, the recipients are asked by questions to reflect their own principles and the accompanying perspective and are further encouraged to turn this into a book. With this action, the viewer is now animated on the image level to question their own perspective. This change of perspective on the image and text level is rewarded because on the one hand the title and the page numbers - this runs through the whole book in the case of the page numbers - can now be read correctly and on the other hand with the earth, which can now be found at the bottom right instead of the top left is. Böhm now maintains this perspective, questioning facts and perspectives, on the text level, so that the readers are always encouraged to compare the facts with other aspects or to relate them to one another. For example, Böhm asks about an Antarctic-centered map: “Isn't this map somehow strange? And why actually? [...] When we have got used to a certain point of view, it suddenly seems natural to us. "

These doubts and questions are not limited to scientific content, but Böhm also dares to tackle social and philosophical topics: “Where does this longing to conquer something and to be the first at any cost come from? [...] The world deserves to be discovered and explored, but not blindly. ”According to this meta-level immanent in the text level, the book calls for reflection on various areas of life and personal attitudes in addition to the content on Antarctica. This leads to the fact that the process of receiving the book can be described as a very demanding matter, which is also reflected in a linguistically demanding design - e.g.Terms such as vegetation or idleness have to be developed from the context - precipitates.

In addition to the numerous exciting contents, the personal insights of Böhm and his sons, to which a double page of the book is dedicated, also fascinate. Because the artist and his two sons and a friend had the chance to visit Antarctica for two months in December 2017. The short travel entries reflect the enthusiasm and fascination of the experiences of the author and his sons and make you want to discover new places, especially in this time of low travel. Nevertheless, here too, the impressions do not only remain on the text level, but are also expressed in a textless comic about the shipping to the Antarctic by the friend Jirka Franta, who also traveled with them.

Especially these two elements of the book are suitable for literary didactic suggestions, as different text formats (travel diary, comic) can be discussed but also tried out and the existing gaps can be designed fictionally by the children. You can write your own travelogues or draw comics for different content pages. Likewise, Böhm's various philosophical and critical questions can be taken up and answered by the children or discussed in a group about the book. However, the occasion can not only be the questions, but also a caricature in which, in line with stopping climate change, it is demanded, “Don't want so much! That saves the world. ”Regardless of or in connection with literary didactic implementations, the book is a non-fiction book that can be incorporated into subject teaching. In this way, a topic is developed and worked on in various ways on different levels. In conclusion, it can be concluded that the non-fiction book offers the recipients a challenging discussion on all levels, be it linguistic, content, literary or in relation to the text-image relationship, which is why the book is only available from the (third) / fourth grade seems suitable.

Secondary literature:

Working group for youth literature (2020): A for Antarktis. Views from the other end of the world. https://www.jugendliteratur.org/buch/a-wie-antarktis-4210-9783792003718/?page_id=1. Access: January 26, 21.

Year of publication: 2019

Published by Karl Rauch Verlag

ISBN: 9783792003718

Book of the month (November 2020):
Everywhere Popos by Annika Leone and Bettina Johnson (didactic review by Niklas Jacobs)

It's finally Saturday and Mila goes to the swimming pool with her parents. There she wants to jump from the edge into the large pool all by herself for the first time. Mila is a bit excited, but she finds the many different bodies that she sees in the locker room at least as exciting. When her father later loses his swimming trunks while jumping from the three-meter board, Mila takes her courage and jumps into the water to get her out again. In the end, she gets to choose sweets. They look just as different as the bodies in the swimming pool, and that's a good thing.

With Überall Popos, the Swedish journalist and blogger Annika Leone and the illustrator Bettina Johansson have published a picture book that celebrates body positivity and body diversity in a humorous way. At the center of the story is the trip to the swimming pool with Milas jumping into the large pool, which gives the body theme a pleasant casualness. There is great physical diversity, especially on the pictorial level. Here hairy and hairless, smooth and wrinkled bodies in different skin colors stand side by side without any value judgment. You can see tattoos and sunburns, muscles and dents as well as faces with glasses, ear rings and dark circles. Instead of depicting different bodies in relation to norms and deviations, diversity is the norm here.

By the way, gender clichés are broken up in Überall Popos, for example when Mila asks herself at first whether she should put on her “cute spider bathing trunks” or “the cool princess one-piece” or when the mother rides the cargo bike on the way to the swimming pool Father and Mila sit together on the loading area. In addition, the story counts more feminine than masculine characters, both on the text and on the visual level, and with Mila it has a female main character who is primarily portrayed as curious and courageous.

The fact that nudity and the body are also shame in society is dealt with marginally and not least addresses adult readers. For example, the mother turns red when Mila loudly describes the vulva of another woman in the shower. Mila's father also makes it clear that such an inexperienced handling of bodies cannot be taken for granted. Instead of admitting that his swimming trunks have become too small, he tells himself they are in. When Mila is sitting in the whirlpool with her father, there is a subtle hint at the image level that women * and men * are measured by two different standards with regard to their bodies in public. While Mila's father and another man are sitting topless and with body hair in the pool, a woman with armpit hair who is not wearing a top receives looks from the others that are skeptical or indignant, but also an admiring smile from Mila. Your chain with a Venus symbol pendant is a further example of the sometimes tongue-in-cheek double addressing.

Overall, humor plays an important role in Everywhere Popos. Even the title and the open approach to everything to do with the body have the potential to make children and adults laugh. Mila, for example, says that the air bubbles in the whirlpool feel “like little farts” on the skin. On the image level, the pluriscene representations invite you to discover details, while colorful tiles dominate in the background.

According to the publisher, Überall Popos is suitable for children aged 4 and over. This offers a didactic opportunity for use in kindergarten. The book can serve as a stimulus for conversations about bodies. For example, questions can be discussed such as: How do I look? As you can see from? Are there “normal” bodies and does that even matter?

In primary education, the book can contrast with common images of slender, white, able-bodied people. The Bremen educational plan provides for the subject of “development and personality” for the general classes in grades 1/2, which includes, among other things, “getting to know and accept one's own and the individual characteristics of other people”. It is precisely this acceptance and appreciation of all bodies that is illustrated in Überall Popos.

In years 3/4 the book can be used to deal with the topic of “Ideals of Beauty in the Change of Times and in Different Cultures”. It can be an introduction to the topic and encourage open discussion about bodies, their diversity and social norms.

Secondary literature:

The Senator for Education and Science (2007): Sachunterricht. Education plan for primary level. Online in: https: //www.lis.bremen.de/sixcms/detail.php? Gsid = bremen56.c.15222.de. Access: December 4th, 2020.

Year of publication: 2020

Published by Klett Verlag

ISBN: 9783954702343

Book of the month (October 2020):
Triangle, square, circle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (didactic review by Jack Lindner)

“Idea, story, graphics and serial concept - everything is just right here” (Working Group for Youth Literature 2020) is the assessment of the jury for the children's and youth literature prize in the picture book category of this year's winnerTriangle square circle by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. The American author and the Canadian illustrator, who, among other things, worked for theWhere is my hat Trilogy have worked together to create three stories in three different forms. The books appear in a slipcase, are almost square with their dimensions 22.8 x 3.8 x 23.1 cm and thus close to the shape of one of the three protagonists. On the individual covers only the respective shapes (triangle, square, circle) are shown without a title. The reinforced cover leads to a haptically appealing experience when opening the books. The book of the triangle is dedicated to the meeting of triangles and squares. Triangle wants to play a nasty trick on the square. However, this ends in a threatening situation for the triangle itself, which is afraid of the dark. In the story of the circle, all three shapes play hide-and-seek at a waterfall and Triangle wants to prove its courage by going under the waterfall into the dark. This ends in a mysterious encounter that leaves open which mysterious figure lives under the waterfall. In the story of the square, his / her everyday work in a cave is told at the beginning. In the seemingly monotonous work, the circle sees an artistic genius and asks the square to make a sculpture of the circle. The square tries to meet this wish, but fails in the perfection of the circle. But the circle sees perfection in the fragments of the work. The stories are not only connected to one another by the protagonists. Recipients can always discover new and complex relationships between the stories. The jury of the German Youth Literature Prize speaks of an “intertwined whole” (ibid.). This can also repeatedly provide new information and raise questions for adult readers. For example, the triangle's fear of the dark is directly addressed in the history of the triangle and the circle. Knowing that the triangle develops fear in the dark through the appearance of an unknown pair of eyes under the waterfall, it can be assumed that the square is playing this trick on it, because fear of the dark uses the square in the history of the triangle. By working in the cave, however, the square is used to the darkness, so it is not afraid. The coloring is characterized by the duo's typical screen prints. Mostly muted dark shades on a cream-colored background are used. These look mysterious and warm. The image-text ratio varies from book to book. While the story of the triangle is predominantly told in parallel, accordingly the images and the text convey the same content synchronously, in the story of the circle, especially in the scene under the waterfall, the interaction of the forms is conveyed via the text, whereas that Picture shows the position of the forms to each other. The content of the scene only becomes clear in the interplay of image and text.

The materials from the practical seminars on the nominated books by Eder and Pfeifer-Spiekermann use a circle of seats to begin with, in which associations with circles, squares and triangles are to be expressed. For this, the figures from the book and other identical shapes are in the center of the circle. Then three sets of impulses “This is triangle / circle / square” are reversed and assigned with justification. The justifications can be based on the mathematical properties of the respective shapes. A problem arises with the legs of the square and the triangle, because the formal criteria, a triangle has three and a square has four corners, are no longer met. In addition, it should be addressed that the figure of the book represents only one possible triangle, in addition, right-angled triangles and other triangular variations should be explained in order to show the students the shape in its appearance variants. Then the students choose one of the stories. Before introducing the chosen story, ask the children to guess which stories a circle / triangle / square experiences and which properties the shapes have. The forms as protagonists have little relation to the everyday life of the students and represent abstract constructs. Assigning properties or possible stories to these forms is a cognitively demanding process that would have to be guided at this point by possible assistance. Especially since there will only be a limited number of preconceptions for the shapes as figures. Then one of the three stories is read out in the workshop. When the story of the circle is read out, ask the children to think of the mysterious figure under the waterfall and make it. This task is to be considered under the aspect of "Developing ideas while reading and listening" by Kaspar Spinner. Spinner stipulates that a deeper understanding of the text should be developed through information inherent in the text; this aspect of literary learning does not include any fantasizing, as required by the task described. The tasks for the other stories aim at mathematical skills and provide impulses for learning about shapes and their relationship to one another. If the books are to be used to learn forms, it must also be reflected critically that the children develop a relationship and attitude to the forms. A favorite shape and a shape that is not liked because of its behavior is a hindrance to math class. To what extent literary learning can be promoted with the book, the materials of the practical seminars do not show.

The tasks of the practical seminar would have to be supplemented in order to promote concrete aspects of literary learning according to Kaspar Spinner. The task that inspired the children to create another possible shape should first ask to what extent the square is not an option as another pair of eyes under the waterfall. This would help link the books together as the children will consider the role of the square in the other stories. On the one hand, you might notice the cave of the square as a dark place and, on the other hand, the behavior of the square towards the triangle. At the end of the story of the triangle, the square darkens the door of the triangle and frightens him * her through the resulting darkness. If the square is precisely perceived in his * her actions, a process of identification and demarcation can begin with the children and thus the perspective of the literary figure can be understood. Finally, the children can judge whether the square under the waterfall appears as a pair of eyes. Since this question cannot be fully clarified and other shapes could also live under the waterfall, it must by no means be assumed that the square is actually the mysterious figure. This openness should be discussed in the conversation and the children can now think of other forms that could live there. These results can be presented and, at the same time, getting involved in the incompleteness of the process of creating meaning can be practiced, since various interpretations of a story are equally important. Since the connection of the stories and the recognition of the role of the square is a highly complex cognitive process, this connection should be simplified by means of tools. It would be possible to print out the relevant parts of the books for the children again and distribute them and, with the help of impulse questions, create a kind of profile with information and actions of the square. You can also ask about the relationships to the other two forms. This supports the understanding of the logic of action around the figure of the square. On the basis of this profile, the scene under the waterfall could be discussed in conversation before a work phase and a presentation of possible other forms follow.

With the help of such an approach, an understanding of the logic of action and the perspective of the literary figure of the square, as well as engaging in the incompleteness of the process of meaning formation, could be promoted. Here, three aspects of literary learning according to Kaspar Spinner are addressed.

Further primary literature:

Barnett, Mac / Klassen, Jon (2012): Where's my hat. Nord Süd Verlag.

Secondary literature:

Working group for youth literature (2020): triangle square circle. https://www.jugendliteratur.org/buch/dreieck-quadrat-kreis-4195. Access: 4.1.21.

Eder, Katja / Pfeiffer-Spiekermann (2020): I see what you're talking about! “Https://www.jugendliteratur.org/_files_media/djlp_titel_pdf/4195.pdf. Access: 4.1.21.

Spinner, Kasper (2006): Literary learning. In: Praxis Deutsch. Volume 33. Issue 200. Velber: Friedrich, pp. 6-16.

Year of publication: 2019

Published by NordSüd Verlag

ISBN: 9783314105517

Book of the month (September 2020):
Juju and Jojô - A story from the big city by Eymard Toledo (didactic review by Mats Pieper)

For children, picture books open the door to their own and strange worlds. These worlds are fictional, but often claim to be close to the reality of life of children in order to create an easy transition for children through authenticity. If the German picture book market is examined to what extent a picture of society is shown here, the picture book landscape is not as miserable as politics or the management levels of commercial enterprises, but there is still a great need for action.Because within picture books we mainly encounter white figures in a heteronormative world. Figures of color, figures with disabilities or figures with different sexual orientations and even more intersectional figures are still few or nonexistent in picture books. It should be noted that there are more and more books in which figures of different dimensions of heterogeneity appear, but the books often deal with certain topics or act with the pedagogical index finger. In such books, racism or sexual orientation becomes the central theme of the book and only allows corresponding figures to appear in this context. These books are important and in some cases make a significant contribution to educating and informing children, but they must not remain the only books in which figures of different dimensions of heterogeneity appear. To find books in which disability, sexual orientation or racism are not explained, but which naturally contain various different figures of identification, unfortunately too often remain the exception. This leads to a massive imbalance and increases the marginalization of certain groups. If, for example, black children cannot find themselves in children's and youth literature or if they do, then only in the context of racism, then this has a negative impact on the self-image of children on the one hand and also creates the image that these characters do not belong to society on the other . In addition, it restricts children in their possibilities and future images. Can't a black figure be a hero? Why are people with disabilities not naturally represented in different professions? etc. Why is there this discrepancy between the picture book world and reality? Because if everything were like a picture book, you would want a little more variety.

In addition to the negative effects for the individual marginalized groups, such a limited representation also narrows the view of the world with which children grow up. Picture books offer the opportunity to create your own, strange and special fantasy worlds and to get to know them, which in turn hold and open up new perspectives and ways of thinking for children.

Illustrations of figures of different dimensions of heterogeneity help to create a more tolerant society simply with their presence in picture books, in that the recipients naturally perceive them for what they should be. The so-called KIMI seal is a seal that deals with German children's and youth literature with regard to various dimensions of heterogeneity and distinguishes books that take the different dimensions of heterogeneity into account. On the side of the seal there are various books that are awarded according to their topic and their protagonists.

In January 2019 the picture book is in the diverse Baobab VerlagJuju and Jojôpublished, which shows how naturally black protagonists can appear in picture books. Eymard Toledo tells inJuju and Jojôthe story of two sisters who grow up in a high-rise building in a major Brazilian city. The story is told by the protagonist Juju, who gives insights into her family life, life in the city and her fascination for insects. Her family doesn't really share her enthusiasm for insects, but she finds an ally in her older neighbor, Dona Filó. In addition to the topic of insects, which can be deepened in the appendix with a glossary, Toledo also tells of the sometimes arduous and sometimes exciting life in the big city. So we accompany the protagonist and her mother on the full bus that brings the cleaning staff to the offices of the large companies early in the morning and learn, in addition, how dad hides his money in the toilet's sink. Due to the variety of topics, but also through Toledo's unique collage style, the book opens a door for the recipients, which can be far away but also right on the doorstep due to the diverse points of contact. From a didactic perspective, the book can be used and edited in many ways. On the one hand, the various topics that are addressed, such as the coexistence of the family, the importance of insects for the ecosystem and life in a (Brazilian) city, and on the other hand the first-person narration of the protagonist, which empathizes with the main character, help , but also made possible from a different perspective. The collage-like style is certainly also interesting from an artistic point of view. This invites you to imitate, so that you can create your own collage cities with many jabuticaba trees, for example.

Secondary literature:

Felker, Olga / Jammeh-Siegel, Ndey Bassine / Niminde-Dundadengar, Tebbi / Fajembola, Olalolu / Heher, Carla (2020): Diversity in children's books. About black princesses and male mermaids. https://www.spiegel.de/familie/diversitaet-in-kinderbuechern-schwarze-prinzessinnen-und-maennliche-meerjungfrauen-a-dc349201-c14d-4ffd-a182-9436832b967d. Access: 4.1.21.

KIMI seal (2020): https://kimi-siegel.de. Access: 4.1.21.

Knödler, Christine (2019): Taboos in picture books. Everything is allowed. Or? https://www.deutschlandfunk.de/tabus-im-bilderbuch-alles-ist-erlaubt-oder.1202.de.html?dram:article_id=459004. Access: 4.1.21.

Sandjon, Chantal-Fleur (2020): Black children, white perspectives. How diverse is the children's book industry?https://heimatkunde.boell.de/de/2020/10/08/schwarze-kinder-weisse-perspektiven-wie-divers-ist-die-kinderbuchbranche?fbclid=IwAR1lSWuwbZlXluk9xO8h-QbSLnlIsuFhAPFfh8vHiW7khun2VusTh3Access: 4.1.21.

Year of publication: 2019

Publisher: Baobab Books

ISBN: 978390580492

Book of the month (August 2020):
Queen for one night by Leonora Leitl (didactic review by Sarah Sudikatis)

The queen for one night is not only a special type of cactus that blooms for a few hours once a year, but above all Roberta Tannenbaum in this picture book. With the help of her husband and three children, she overcomes the "dark blanket of sadness" triggered by her job loss. The story deals with the unemployment of the parents - here the mother - which is seldom discussed in picture books, and develops from an initial lack of prospects and discouragement to new hope.

In metaphorical language and with comparisons it is described how the mother feels and behaves after she has lost her job: “The melancholy is like a swamp in which everything slowly sinks”, “She says she feels like a worn out couple Shoes that have been thrown into the used clothes bin. ”And consequently“ no longer dresses in fancy clothes and sits in front of the TV in her sweatpants ”. Since the illustrations literally take up the descriptions, which are to be understood in a figurative sense (e.g. "your colleague [saw] on her armchair until he got her work"), the story is told in a humorous way despite the serious basic topic. As a result, the processes do not seem unbearable and access to the content is made easier. This combination of comparisons on the language level and the literally matching illustrations also invites you to talk together about the mother's emotional world: e.g. “Why does the mother want to hide in the dog house?” Furthermore, this could be taken up didactically insofar as children of their own Find metaphors or comparisons and translate them into images.

After the three children initially see the advantages of their mother being at home, they also feel the consequences of spending their vacation in their own garden, for example. Worst of all, however, her mother seems to be changing by stopping making music and getting sadder and sadder overall. It is sensitively conveyed which situations children of unemployed parents experience and how they are affected by them. This offers opportunities to talk about the children's perspective and experiences and, if necessary, to find oneself in them as the child's recipient.

In addition to the subject underrepresented in the picture book, the specialty of this book is the dissolution of social role stereotypes: the mother is a biologist, the father is an educator. In the course of this, the value of a job that gives you pleasure becomes clear. Despite the unemployment, there is no existential fear at any point, as the family has valuable resources such as a house, garden and car. Rather, the focus is on the psychological consequences of unemployment and the associated desire of a person for a job. In all situations - from lost work to solving problems together - family cohesion is shown as the most important resource. However, since the individual family circumstances of affected child recipients may be different, it is important to take up this in the conversation and to talk about other support networks, such as friendships or neighborhoods.

The change comes from the idea of ​​the children that their mother could use her skills and knowledge as a biologist to find a job herself, whereupon they and their father support them to open their own gardening business. At this point, the symbolism that is hidden behind the title and is hinted at over and over again in the course of the book is explained: The rare cactus selenicereus grandiflorus blooms on the evening of the opening ceremony and stands for a long-awaited new beginning. However, it should be noted here critically that the symbolism of the “Queen of the Night” also has a negative resonance: It appears as if a heyday - transferred to the opening of the nursery - was only short-lived. As much as the symbolism can serve as an occasion for discussion, the more this meaning would have to be critically reflected. Furthermore, the problem solution, which is presented as being very quick and easy to implement, must be viewed critically. Child recipients must not get the impression that this is the way out for their situation at home or that they are responsible for ensuring that their parents find work again. These aspects should be clearly pointed out in a conversation.

Nonetheless, the picture book shows hopeful perspectives and gives courage not to focus on what is missing, but on your own possibilities.

Year of publication: 2019

Publisher: Kunstanstifter

ISBN: 9783942795739

Book of the month (July 2020):
I am a thief! by Abigail Rayner / Molly Ruttan (didactic review by Lina Marie Brinkmann)

The picture bookI am a thief! is about the protagonist Elisa, who steals a green stone at school at the beginning. Plagued by her guilty conscience, she finds out that “her family is teeming with thieving characters, but she still doesn't feel any better” (NordSüd Verlag AG 2020). Her feelings of guilt keep increasing, which is why she ultimately decides to return the stolen stone. In this work, the author and the illustrator manage to "put the protagonist's world in a clever way and counter small human weaknesses with a wonderful wink" (ibid.). In spring 2020, the work was included on the list of the best for the HUCKEPACKPREIS due to its unconventional theme.

The extent to which it is also suitable for teaching can be determined based on the selection criteria of contemporary literary texts according to Sabine Pfäfflin (2010). With regard to the thematic and content-related presentation, it can be said that with theft and a guilty conscience it takes up topics with a high relevance to everyday life. By focusing on the protagonist's feelings and thoughts in the context of the theft, it offers recognition effects, but also an extension of one's own perspective, as it is portrayed as courageous that the protagonist Elisa admits her deed. The fact that there are no negative consequences for them can on the one hand contribute to a positive reinforcement of the recipients with regard to their honesty and sincerity, on the other hand it also provides opportunities for discussion with regard to the trivialization of theft as "normality". Because of the feelings outlined, the theft is portrayed in the book as something negative, but this is put into perspective by the ironic and never sanctioned thieving behavior within the family.

The formal-aesthetic representation is particularly characterized by a clear language that supports the formation of ideas and further thinking in the logic of history. The protagonist's feelings are illustrated in the form of speech images, e.g. through the heaviness of her heart or her burning cheeks, which enable the children to imagine the feeling more intensely. The text language is also supplemented by the visual language, e.g. when it says in the text that the protagonist has the feeling that everything about her is glowing green and the picture shows how her upper body takes the shape of the stolen stone. This interaction can also be taken up in the classroom, e.g. by having children visualize what their guilty conscience feels like.

The picture book also offers a high potential for identification, since the protagonist herself is a child of elementary school age and the narration is from the child's point of view. This enables the inside view into the emotional world of the main character, which is why the recipients particularly empathize and can possibly also empathize with their feelings of guilt. On this basis, especially in elementary school age, it is easy to build on the previous experiences and experiences of the students by talking to them about this. Above all, it is important that the children should critically question the extent to which it is okay to steal something and justify this by stating that others do it too. In doing so, they should always reflect on what options there are for dealing with it and solving the problem.

Interesting didactic perspectives also result from the blank spaces and the associated scope for interpretation, e.g. in the statement: “Nobody is just a thief. All are very many things at the same time ”. that children can increasingly get involved in the incompleteness of meaning-building processes. an intellectual impulse that can be dealt with in this context, whereby no roles have yet been assigned. Although various roles are illustrated in the book, ultimately the recipients can form their own ideas and use this statement as a food for thought. An all-encompassing answer is almost impossible, which is why the statement contains an immense scope for interpretation.

In summary, it can be stated that the work I am a thief!Offers potential for use in the elementary sector but also in a school context, whereby, for example, the thoughts and feelings of the protagonist can be looked at and brought into connection with their social environment. In addition, the moral of the book can also be questioned together with children. In addition, the picture book offers various didactic perspectives.

Secondary literature:

NordSüd Verlag AG (2020): I'm a thief! https://nord-sued.com/programm/ich-bin-ein-dieb/. Access: 08/28/2020.

Pfäfflin, Sabine (2010): Selection Criteria for Contemporary Literature in German Classes, Baltmannsweiler: Schneider

Hohengehren publishing house.

Spinner, Kasper (2006): Literary learning. In: Praxis Deutsch. Volume 33. Issue 200. Velber: Friedrich, pp. 6-16.

Year of publication: 2019

Published by NordSüd Verlag

ISBN: 9783314104701

Book of the month (June 2020):
The day the sea disappeared by Sam Haynes / Jago (didactic review by Elisa Hollerweger)

“Some things have their own magic - the kind of magic that tingles your stomach like you've swallowed butterflies. For Jack the sea was such a magical thing. "

With this declaration of love begins the story of Jack, who involuntarily witnesses how the sea disappears the very day after a plastic straw fell into it. The dreariness that remains is particularly evident in the comparison of the glittering surface of the water on the first double page with the puddles on the fifth double page and prompts Jack to go in search of the beloved element. His way across the dried up seabed is told in several episodes in which he discovers exposed piles of rubbish, freed six seagulls from their captivity in a beverage package, loosens a mermaid from tangled fishing nets, meets a whale ejecting plastic bags and finally climbs a mountain of plastic straws, at the tip of which he also finds his own in the nostril of a turtle.The diversity of his encounters is reflected on the picture level in different color nuances and changing perspectives: The pictures show Jack in the vastness of the mountains of rubbish from a bird's eye view, his horror at the seagulls hanging together from the frog's eye view, his rescue of the mermaid from near and his Conversation with the whale from a long shot in order to underline the proportions and the associated power or ineffectiveness. The tedious climb up the mountain is captured in several successive, ever smaller images of the figure and illustrated by the typography that runs upwards at an angle. In other places, too, the font is used in bold, size to emphasize key findings ("It was just everywhere. Plastic. Plastic. Plastic.") And messages ("In the hands of children like you.“).

Precisely because Jack appears as a problem-conscious nature lover right from the start, his development from environmental knowledge to environmental action is staged in a comprehensible manner. Because it is only in the gradual confrontation with marine pollution and its consequences that the protagonist realizes that a single drinking straw can be one too many, that each individual can make a decisive contribution in both a positive and a negative sense. The fact that the boy is able to bring back the sea by taking back his own drinking straw and his promise to use less plastic and recycle more seems too simple and harmonizing in view of the far-reaching pollution, but ultimately relies on the recipient's real freedom of design * inside on. Because like Jack, they have neither the power nor the means to repair the damage that has so far occurred. Like Jack, however, they can actively contribute to keeping this damage within limits in the future.

For the didactic work with the book, the subjective approach to the experiences of the character Jack is appropriate. The episodic structure of the narrative in connection with the individual episodes with the overarching garbage issue can be taken up by an episode puzzle, in which the children assign the characters to the respective problem-relevant garbage (seagull drinks packaging, mermaid fishing net, whale plastic bags, turtle drinking straw) and select an episode from this that you want to study more closely. In order to achieve joint results despite this individual selection, work orders are suitable that include both the central core problem of the respective episode, Jack's solution strategy and the specific representation in text and images. At this point, adding your own episodes can be used both as a creative variation and for differentiation. As the children present their processing of the individual episodes following the chronology of the story, parallels and developments between the episodes can be gradually discovered before the framing of the episodes through the disappearance and return of the sea becomes the focus of joint consideration. This opens up various possibilities for personal and social application, in which the children interact with Jack, evaluate his decisions in the course of the action and his final promise, make further suggestions to reduce waste or by formulating promises with him to do this To take “fate of the sea” in hand, as the end of the story suggests. In this way, literary understanding in identity-oriented literature lessons can be combined with education for sustainable development.

Year of publication: 2020

Published by Knesebeck Verlag

ISBN: 978-3957283986

Book of the Month (May 2020) and Piggyback Prize Winner 2020:
Adrian does NOT have a horse from Marcy Campbell and Corinna Luyken (didactic review by Elisa Hollerweger)

The HUCKEPACK PRICE, which will start on May 15th, 2020Adrian doesn't have a horse at all was awarded, honors picture books that support children in their identity development and, in a figurative sense, can piggyback on them. This piggyback potential unfolds not least through the access that children have to the books and the worlds they create.

InAdrian doesn't have a horse at all First two worlds collide: the fantastic world of Adrian Simmer and the realistic world of the first-person narrator Zoe. The fact that Adrian's detailed descriptions of his horse are nothing more than lies for Zoe is gradually developed on the first double pages through the first-person narration from Zoe's point of view and through Zoe's conversations with her school friend Jenny and her mother. The effect Zoe's accusation has on Adrian is particularly evident on the pictorial level when Adrian first paints street chalk horses surrounded by children full of vigor and on the next page stands with bowed head in misshapen blue chalk stains. At this point, the book invites you to talk to the children about the situation and encourage them to make an initial assessment. Questions like “What's the problem in this scene? How does Zoe behave / feel? How does Adrian behave / feel? How can you tell? Which of the two can you understand better? Why? What would you do in the situation if you were one of the other children? ”Allow a step-by-step approach to the characters without having to adopt their perspectives or roles. At the same time, the vocabulary of emotional words can be expanded in this way and accurate reading of the visual language can be promoted.