The Blue Bus by James Kruss, a children's book, displayed at the James Krüss Tower at Blutenburg Castle, a museum dedicated to him.
James Krüss (1926 – 1997) was a German writer of children's and picture books, illustrator, poet, dramatist, scriptwriter, translator, and collector of children's poems and folk songs and the winner of Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 1968 for his contribution as a children's writer, had a very untypical life, full of changes. He was born on Heligoland but in 1941, the island had to be evacuated because of military reasons and his family was resettled first in Arnstadt and later to Hertigswalde near to Sebnitz in Saxony. After graduation, Krüss taught high school first in Lunden, then in Ratzeburg and then finally in Brunwick. In 1944 he volunteered for the German Air Force and was stationed in Ústí nad Labem, now Czech Republic, where he stayed until WWII ended, when he moved with his parents to Cuxhaven. It was in 1946 that Krüss published his first book Der goldene Faden and in 1948, he moved to Reinbek, near Hamburg where he founded the magazine Helgoland for the expropriated inhabitants of the island and stuck with it until 1956 when he started writing audio dramas for children and children's poems together with Peter Hack and in the same year, published The Lighthouse on Lobster Cliffs. During the period, he travelled to Italy and Yugoslavia. It was another two years before he published his now well-known picture book Henriette, whose eponymous protagonist is an anthropomorphized steam locomotive-hauled train, and which started a small series of similar, related picture books.After a reading of My Great Grandfather and I (which won the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in 1960) in the Tagesschau in 1960, he became famous. In the same year he bought a house with garden in Gilching, Bavaria. Too years later, published his most famous book Timm Thaler (entitled in UK as" The Boy Who Lost His Laugh) which was turned into a mini-TV series in 1979 directed by Sigi Rothemund. In 1965, he moved again, this time to Gran Canaria where he died from heart trouble after three decades, in 1997. He was buried at sea on 27 September near Heligoland. Krüss was a good storyteller in the oral story telling tradition and his fantastic and whimsical tales are deeply rooted in folk tales. Many of his books are actually collections of tales held together by a frame story e.g. My Great Grandfather and I (1959), based on his own experience of growing up in Heligoland with which he won the German Prize for Children's and Youth Literature, with its sequel My Great Grandfather, the Heroes, and I (1967).
Another one of Krüss' books, James' Tierleben (James' Animal Lover)
The cover of an old vinyl LP by Erich Kastner "Die Konferenz der Tiere" (Animal Conference): Wort und Stimme (Promise and Voice) featuring James Krüss with others
Every October since 1956, a prize the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis is awarded for the best children and another for the best youth book at the Frankfurt Book Fair by the German Federal Ministry for Families, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth selected by a jury of literature specialists and critics under four categories: picture book, children's book, young adult book and non-fiction. In addition, since 2003 an independent young adult jury gives its own award. Each category now carries a value of 10,000 Euro.Furthermore, a special 12,000 Euro annual award by the Federal Ministryfor lifetime achievement is given alternately to a German author, illustrator or translator. The prize announcement and ceremony for all these awards takes place at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Arbeitskreis für Jugendliteratur is responsible for awarding the prize. The photo above shows the 1964 winner, the Dutch woman writer, Miep Diekmann's Und viele Grüße von Wancho. For more than thirty years, from the mid 1950's onwards, Miep Diekmann (b. 1925) has played a prominent role in the world of children’s books. She stimulated the developments within Dutch youth literature through reviews, interviews and readings. She was also a translator and coached budding authors of children books. Her own works number some fifty titles in various genres, for differing age groups. It was the five years she spent in Curaçao when she was young which inspired to write her gripping West Indian tales. Typical of Diekmann’s work are her impressive choice of subjects, her social involvement, the convincing characterizations of the figures in her stories and her confidence in the her reader's cognitive and emotional capacities.
The Alphabet Zoo: letters of the alphabet in picture form.
A book of Japanese tale translated by Michael Ende and his wife in the Michael Ende Museum
One of his books translated into Japanese
A plate made by Michael Ende's father Edgar Ende
Part of the collection of books of Michael Ende on Magic, Horoscope, Astrology etc
More of his books on magic etc.
I was quite surprised that he was deeply into one of my favourite philosophers, Arthur Schopenhauer, who had his own ideas about how the artist may transcend the limitations of this material world through art through acts of the human will.
The original illustration of one of Michael Ende's stories
Another original illustration another one of his books
More literary prizes he won in 1980
original sketches for various of his books
More such sketches
A book of paintings, gouaches, drawings by his father Edgar Ende
The cover of one of Michael Ende's most popular books "Das Traumfresserchen" ( "The Dream Eater") about how a girl who could not sleep without having bad dreams every night overcame her problems.
A portrait of Michael Ende
the various pipes he smoked
The original manuscript of one of his books
Michael Ende and his first wife Ingeborg Hoffmann
His walking stick and hat
Part of Michael Ende's rock collection. He was an avid collector of different kinds of geological specimens.
We were given a guided tour of the Internationale Jugendbibliothek,(The International Youth Library) a library specializing in the collection of children and youth literature from around the world in order to make them available to the public. This library is the largest of its kind worldwide, and has been operating since June 1983, in Blutenburg Castle. Before that, it was located in Schwabing. The library offers reading sessions, workshops, podium discussions, developmental programs, exhibitions and through the assistance of other literary establishments, a forum for international child and youth literature and since 2010, it has been hosting the "White Ravens Festival for International Child and Youth literature", a biennial affair. Every year, it publishes a catalog "The White Ravens" of recommended books for children and youths. From the large quantity of the review and donation copies, which the library receives from publishing houses, institutions, organizations and other friends of the library, the lectors select 200 new releases from over 40 countries in more than 30 languages, based on the unversality its topic and/or their innovative literary and picture-formative quality for the relevant groups. Each book listed in the catalog is briefly described with short annotations. Using identification symbols, the "special Mentions" are identified, as well as the books that are found to be a contribution to the communication between cultures and people, and easy-to-read texts, which also apply to the older readers. The catalog contains books from 81 countries and in 58 languages. In 2013, it started its first James Krüss Prize for international child and youth literature for the most innovative new author of chidlren's books.Its year book "Das Bücherschloss" (Castle of Books) help promote discussions about international child and youth literature. With its "Arche Kinder Kalenders" (Arche Calendar for Children) the library tries to broaden the cultural horizons of children. It regularly organizes joint programs with schools and day care centers. It houses more than 30.000 books, all donated by publisher, which is its main source of book acquisition. The library also operates an electronic media in over 20 different languages that is available free to borrow and is staffed by 30 paid employees with many more volunteers.
A corner of the fun-filled library
a cosy reading corner
Some of the books to be borrowed free of charge: children are encouraged to take the book home and return them when they have finished reading
The Chinese section
The French section
The librarian who returned specially for this very informative guided tour of Blutenberg Castle.She explains the library was founded in 1949 by the journalist and author Jella Lepman who had lots of political and literary connections. The idea was a huge success because of the youth book exhibition in 1946, from which the exhibition material became the basis for the library's collection.When it first started, it had only just slightly more than 8000 volumes. As a result of the bad experience of WWII, Jella Lepman thought it might be a good idea to encourage understanding between people of different cultures through reading books about about each other's lifestyles, customs and values and through that to help promote world peace. The idea was well received. Now library serves as an archive of the valuable and rare collection, as well as a place for children’s gathering and interacting and to promote its objectives.The international book inventories and historical collections of the library are one of a kind and it has special rooms for researchers in a scientific reading room for studies. A scholarship program for foreign scientists, financed by the Foreign Office, supports research in the area of the international child and youth literature and book illustration. It now has more than 600,000 child and youth books in 150 languages, including valuable collections of historical children's books. In addition, it has more than 30,000 books on research on children literature and about 150 current technical periodicals in many languages.The collection is also expanding with the addition of estates from authors such as James Krüss or Hans Baumann.The library is also the home of several literature museums: The Michael-Ende-Museum (opened 1998), the James-Krüss-Tower, the Erich-Kästner-Room, and since July 2005 the Binette-Schroeder-Kabinett. Each showroom is filled with numerous books and illustrations and also letters, diaries and personal articles of the represented people.
The Spanish section
The table top may also double up as chessboards
a card board cut out figure
books on different culture
dolls and toys for children
Its shoulder bag
The children and youth literature research section
The work desk in the research library
The walls are filled with fun figures. A very cosy and lively environment.
(To be con'td)