HCA Award Illustrator Winner 2010

Jutta Bauer - Germany

I believe that stories are like vessels. They offer a form, but every reader-- no matter whether young or old-- fills it anew with their experiences and their individual stories.
- Jutta Bauer 


Born in 1955 in Hamburg, Germany, Jutta Bauer grew up in the town of Volksdorf, near Hamburg. Bauer's father was a schoolteacher and after graduating from the College of Design in Hamburg, she drew a comic strip for the popular woman’s magazine, Brigitte, for seven years, while she began illustrating children's books on the side. After her first books were published in 1981, she worked full-time authoring and illustrating cartoons, textbooks, and picture books. She has also created animated films for which she has received several awards, as well as cartoons for the television program, The Show with the Mouse, which were later published as picture books. Through these experiences, she began to apply herself increasingly toconcentration and reduction, paying reverence to the great masters “who simply left more andmore out,” like Picasso, Miró, and Klee, thus developing a greater sense of spontaneity in her art.

Mareile Oetken noted, “Bauer’s pictures are alwaysimbued with sincerely felt devotion, humor, and optimism, as well as uncommon humility inthe face of the ups and downs and contradictions that life holds. When one takes a closer, attentive look at her picture books, one always gets a feeling for twothings: Those things that hold the world together at its innermost core – trust, love, security –or, in short, the threads of hope that she wants to give children through her pictures andpicture books, and which is, to her mind, the true purpose of children’s literature; but also,that it is not always possible to resolve such contradictions. Intruding into such scenes ofwarmth-giving closeness are also other characters who do not seem to belong there: thehomeless, the abandoned.”

She favors the media of ink, tempera, colored pencil, and crayon and is known for the simplicity of her style that conveys great feeling through subtle colors and line. Her work has been called “subversive,” “poetic,” and “inventive.” She has authored more than 40 books for children, and her work has been translated into 18 languages.

Jutta Bauer has won awards for her work in books and film, including the Troisdorfer Bilderbuchpreis for Gottfried, das fliegende Schwein, the Prix Danube for Grandpa's Angel, the German Youth Literature Award for Schreimutter, and the Chicago International Children's Film Festival Award for Die Königin der Farben.  

Bauer lives with her family in Hamburg.

Selected bibliography

Selma(2003) Geneva: La Joie de Lire Jeunesse.

Die Königin oder Farben (The Queen of Colors) (1998) Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg.

Schreimutter(The Screaming Mother) (1998) Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg.

Opa’s Engel (Grandpa's Angel) (L’Ange de grand-père)(2002) Paris: Gallimard Jeunesse.

Aller Anfang (The Very Beginning) By Juerg Schubiger and Franz Hohler (2006) Weinheim: Beltz & Gelberg.

BOOKBIRD, 2/2010