People, animals and numbers – a global network

Current children’s books tell of animals going on vacation on a farm, a girl upset with her football-loving family, and a math professor who realizes that not every equation in life adds up. and two non-fiction books for children about numbers and slugs.

By Holger Moss

© Moritz

In Regina Little Power Errfin and the Congo beetle A number of animal parents are ready for the vacation, but they have to work. So at least they send their kids on vacation. A Congo beetle, a parrot, a black stallion, a tiger, two flamingos and a llama travel one by one by train to Plattling in Lower Bavaria. There they all spend their holidays in the farm of farmers Arfin and Kolda. The children experience the animals this time from their animal point of view. All of this is narrated in a surprising, imaginative and delightfully non-pedagogical way and illustrated by Lillian Osser so creatively that it is pure reading pleasure.

Football and Mathematics

Drvenkar/Keller: Oh dear, football is back
© Peltz & Gilberg

Little Eddie really gets on the nerves with her family’s passion for football. During the European Football Championship, Eddie’s parents and younger brother only watch football, discuss goals and neglect food, for example – at one point Eddie had to ask if pizza and popcorn were a reasonable diet. Then her father also won tickets to the European Championship final with the German national team at Wembley Stadium in London. Eddie travels with him somewhat reluctantly, but immediately gets acquainted with the national team. Finally, she can use her big toe, so strong that she can break a nut in unexpected ways. The football miracle happens! Co-author Zoran Drvenkar and illustrator Patricia Keeler Oh dear football again Create an awesome and funny first read book that’s not just for young football fans.

Huppertz/Jung: Pretty as eight
© Tulipan

In Nicolas Huberts beautiful as eight He is about 12 years old, an only child who is well protected. Life and communication with others are not easy for him, but he is a professional in mathematics. The numbers give him direction and security. But his well-ordered world is thrown into disarray when his 16-year-old half-sister, Josephine, suddenly moves in, and a new girl appears in the math club who knows the numbers at least well. Malte is confused and has to realize that life is not just a math task. Huppertz tells the story from the perspective of a boy, who is still very childish in many ways, but is already in the process of transitioning into an emotionally turbulent and unsettling adulthood. The book has already won the 2022 Bible Award. It was also nominated in the children’s book category for this year’s German Youth Literature Prize. The jury praised the straightforward and unenthusiastic narrative style and linguistic design. It is “variety, encompassing succinct – vulgar passages through atmospheric poems with numerical symbolism”. Also highlighted were Barbara Young’s “warm-hearted, black and white illustrations showing fragile, thoughtful teens”.

Lots of pizza and chocolate

Drösser / Coenenberg: break all-time records
© Gabriel

There will be the multi-award winning duo Christoph Drosser and Nora Koenenberg (illustrations) Totally breaking records. Your life in numbers Another book for number freaks. The pool of numbers in life begins with the number 1, with birth, because after death, this is one of the few unique events in the life of every human – unless one believes in reincarnation. Then it is easy to calculate how many things a person goes through or consumes on average in 80 years of life: for example, in the course of his life, a person owns about three pets, falls in love four times, sheds 50 liters of tears and buys 183 A pair of jeans. It also counts the number of plastic bags we use. The 1,040 frozen pizzas and 7,296 bars of chocolate we eat in our lifetime prove that we don’t eat particularly healthy – fewer books have been read. Surprisingly, more men go to the hairdresser than women, although the latter spend twice that amount on restoring their hair. At the last number in the book, man has overtaken the world’s smallest mammal. Because the heartbeat of the Etruscan shrew adds an incredibly large number. But their hearts are racing, too. It beats 800 times per minute! Totally breaking records It is a real treasure and invites you to browse. The numbers and their associated connections are highly understandable and close to everyday life thanks to the concise text and beautifully designed diagrams.

Stavarič / Ganser: a charming octopus
© Lycam

Austrian author Michael Stavarich wrote the first non-fiction book for children. at octopus magic Explains why these mollusks are so smart, cuddly, and adorable all around. They have three hearts, eight arms, and two thousand suction cups. They have also inhabited the Earth for about 400 million years and are among the most intelligent animals. During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the octopus Paul achieved special media fame, even being trusted as an oracle to correctly predict the outcome of football matches – well, humans are known to have a tendency to exaggerate. In any case, the octopus belongs to the family of cephalopods. This word comes from ancient Greek and means cephalopods: “Sure, because what do octopuses look like?” After a big head and many feet! “Stavarich’s book is a charming declaration of love for these animals, filled with knowledge, humor, wisdom, and sayings, as well as far-fetched jokes. In addition, Michel Ganser beautifully illustrated the book. Not only did the fantastic book receive the 2022 Austrian Children and Young People’s Book Award It was also awarded a science book of 2022 in the category Books of Knowledge for Beginners. For the jury, the film tells “a true story that is not lacking in poetry, creative ideas, and mysterious adventures, despite all the experience.” His book… is as unusual as such a highly intelligent and somewhat strange sea creature… the fact that you learn something about light, earth, evolution and genetics is an added benefit.”

cherry picker
© Goethe-Institut / Illustration: Tobias Wardrobe

Christoph Druser/Nora Koenenberg (Illinois): Totally broke the record. Your life in numbers (from 8 years)
Stuttgart: Gabriel, 2022. 107 p.
ISBN: 978-3-522-30606-5

Zoran Drvenkar/Patricia Keeler (Illinois): Oh dear, football again (7 years ago)
Weinheim: Peltz & Gellberg 2022. 60 p.
ISBN: 978-3-407-75639-8
You can also find this address in our online library

Nicola Hubertz / Barbara Jung (Illinois): Pretty Like Eight (10 years of age)
Munich: Tulipan, 2021. 224 p.
ISBN: 978-3-86429-484-6
You can also find this address in our online library

Michael Stavarich/Michelle Ganser (Illinois): The magic of the octopus. Creatures of an Unknown World (from 8 years old)
Graz: Lycam, 2021. 144 pages
ISBN: 978-3-7011-8202-2

Regina Wing / Lillian Oser (Illinois): farmer Irvine and the Congo beetle (from 7 years old)
Frankfurt am Main: Moritz, 2022. 823 p.
ISBN: 978-3-89565-428-2

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