Find me on #Instagram and learn Italian

hoffmanillustrates! friendly little illustrations since 2004

Connect with me on instagram. Let's learn Italian together.

I've finally joined those who seek perfection in a square—that's right. You can find me on #Instagram!

And I'm learning Italian from the ground up. To help me, I am sketching my way through the language, noting in pictures what words and expressions mean.

Learn along with me and enjoy my sketchbook project 'Imparlo Italiano,' which is also going to help me get around the International Children's Book Fair in Bologna, where I hope to get a bite of real Italian spaghetti and acquire a few new book projects.

Schwarz/weiß Illustration einer Klapperschlange auf einem Kaktus

The Rattlesnake and the letter K

Tongue Twister Illustration of a rattlesnake.
Die Klapperschlange klapperte bis ihr Klapper schlapper klang.

‘K’ and the Rattlesnake

Why is there a 'K' behind a rattlesnake wrapped around a cactus?
Well, that isn't too difficult to explain. You see 'rattlesnake' and 'cactus' both begin with a 'K' in German, and both being nouns, they begin with a capital 'K'.
Test your German and your ability to speak a foreign tongue twister:
Die Klapperschlange klapperte bis ihr Klapper schlapper klang.
(Try it with my American pronunciation: Dee klah-per-schlahng-eh klahp-pear-teh bis eer klah-per schlahp-pear klahng.)
This silliness means: The rattlesnake rattled till her rattle rattled out.

Heidelberg wimmelt! Frau B. an der Neckarwiese

Look! My work-in-progress hit German TV!

I can’t believe all the hype my new search-and-find book, “Heidelberg wimmelt” is getting. Last week, I was in Heidelberg for a second to for research and two event drawings (I even got to draw the Oberburgermeister (Mayor in Chief)). All in all there were seven interviews: one tv, two with radio stations and four with print & online journalists, including the German national press association, the DPA.

I’ll be adding more links to this and showing off my event drawings as the week goes along.

And I’d like to say here thanks to all the Heidelbergers who showed up to have their portraits drawn and to be included as figures in ‘Heidelberg wimmelt’, including Frau B. who wanted to be drawn directly as a figure for the book.

Look here for more of my event portraits for ‘Heidelberg wimmelt’.

Pirates entering a ship, illustration

Enter!

The Pirate Life

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The Pirate Life

A rough life at sea on board tight quarters, it must have felt like a blast of adrenaline and a a sense of freedom flying from ship to ship. But most of the pirates couldn't swim. Modern kids with their beginner's swimming insignia probably are stronger swimmers than any a pirate who went to sea ever was. 

Often the 'pirates' were sailors hired by monarchies to plunder their enemies' treasure chests. "I don't think much of our profession, but, contrasted with respectability, it is comparatively honest.". (The King, Pirates of Penzance) 

 

And many a pirate had never set out to be a pirate. Some were just kidnapped and set to sea. From there there was no going back to 'normal' life, because once you'd been forced into piracy, you could be hung for piracy.

The Pirate Kids! One for all and all for one! Illustration

The Pirate Kids

Oh, We are the Pirate Kids! Hurrah for the Pirate Kids!

All for one and one for all! We are the pirate kids!
All for one and one for all!

Who never wanted to live the adventurous pirate life as a kid? Find buried treasure? Living life with just a bit of larceny in their heart?

The Pirate Kids are part of a personal project for a birthday planner, full of ways to involve the whole family in the preparations, with easy pop-up invitations and party favors to make. My book project includes original fun, pirate themed recipes and activities with a special secret bonus in the back of the book.

 

Tongue twister illustration of seven giants in a rain storm.

“Die Sieben Riesen” – the Seven Giants

Die Sieben Riesen – The Seven Giants

Tongue twister illustration of seven giants.
Die sieben Riesen niesen während die Nieselwinde bliesen. Liesen die Winde das Nieselen, würden die Riesen nicht niesen.

The seven Giants… another German tongue twister

If you have been following along with attention, you'll already know that I am an American illustrator based in Germany. And that I do enjoy funny tongue twisters. Here is one that is a little long: Die sieben Riesen niesen, weil die Nieselwinde bliesen. Liessen die Winde das Nieseln, dann würden die Riesen nicht niesen.

And all that boils down to: The seven giants are sneezing because the drizzly winds are breezy. Were the winds not so breezy, then the giants wouldn't be so sneezy. 

(Admittedly not as cute as in German, but you get the idea).

What is your favorite tongue twister? Maybe I'll sketch it for you.

The seven Giants as a Coloring Book Image

Here you see the idea behind the tongue twister drawings. Tongue twisters are great for children who have speech deficiencies (and are really good for adults who need to keep a nimble mind). Children can color during speech practice and laugh while they are doing it, too.

tongue twister coloring book picture of seven giants
Die sieben Riesen picture to color
How the mighty Amazon was formed. Illustration ©Kimberley Hoffman

How the Mighty Amazon River came to be

How the mighty Amazon River came to be.
How the mighty Amazon River came to be.

This is the tale of two brothers who turn themselves into a scorpion and a hummingbird to secretly follow their grandfather to a secret well, which was actually a tree from which water flowed. The brothers gathered the forest animals together to try to chop down the tree, but the tree was so mighty, that they could hardly saw through the wood. They tried many times over many days and saw to their chagrin, that every morning, the tree showed no signs of their efforts.

But what was Grandfather\'s role in all of this… and what does the tree have to do with the Amazon River?

 

Read more about it in \'Im Kochtopf um die Welt\', ISBN 978‑3‑9814448‑0‑3.

Max and the Orange Clock

Max and Mia Experiment “The Orange Clock”

Meet Max and Mia, friends having great fun discovering scientific principles. Play, learn, and laugh with them as they find out how to make a clock run from two oranges…everyday is an adventure with Max and Mia.

Max and Mia, Illustrating Science

Smutje is the Northern German word for ship's cook.

Smutje, the pirate ship’s cook

Smutje is what the Northern Germans once called the ship’s cook and he was a pretty important man on board.

He was the one who kept his comrades happy by keeping their tummies full and healthy in his secondary role as a ship’s doctor who would perform an occasional emergency amputation. (Not that an amputation would make a person happy, but the alternative would have been bleaker).

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LineLino Auf dem Bauernhof

LineLino–Auf dem Bauernhof

LineLino—Auf dem Bauernhof
Learn to color and draw with LineLino—Auf dem Bauernhof

LineLino–Auf dem Bauernhof is a unique learn-to-color-and-draw book for children and adults alike. And was nominated for the German Design Award 2016.