Leave a Comment · Posted on October 20, 2017
One of the highlights of the year is always the Frankfurt Book Fair. Even if fewer halls have been used at the fair in recent years, the book fair can still be overwhelming and incredibly exciting.
This year, I couldn't go to opening day on Wednesday, as it was my son's birthday. I went on Thursday, which meant getting up (almost) in the middle of the night to take the earliest possible train from Braunschweig to Frankfurt. Once I arrived, I filed into the long queue to get through security and then went to Hall 3.0.
Leave a Comment · Posted on October 12, 2017
The funny ostriches are queuing up to weigh in on the zoo's scale. Adult ostriches can weigh between 100-150 kg, depending on the species and gender. Their eyes and eyelashes remind you a of those of a camel, which is why the latin name for ostrich is: Struthio camelus. They are fast and have an interesting diet - sand and gravel – and includes ocassional small animals which complement their mainly herbal diet.
You can learn a lot about these fascinating animals at the Heidelberg Zoo's Zoo School. Just like you can find out about the other wonderful creatures that call the Heidelberg Zoo their home. The Heidelberg Zoo School provides a huge educational palette for school classes, children's birthdays and ready even for adults. (It is never too late and you're never too old to learn about the wonderful world of animals)
And precisely because the work of the Heidelberg Zoo School is so important and informative, I've drawn them in "Heidelberg wimmelt", which you can get at your favorite book store, from the , directly from Silberburg-Verlag, or at the online bookseller of your choice. I've heard that the zoo is currently sold out of them.
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1 Comment · Posted on October 4, 2017
Last week I admitted publicly that I have a bird phobia and stated that it was founded. It is true that the visit to the Falconry Tinninculus took some of the fear from me. But where did this fear come from? Perhaps you have a phobia,too; many people are afraid of spiders and snakes, for example. Not me. My father used to have two full grown boa constrictors. Spiders can surprise me if they crawl quickly over a wall out of nowhere, but I'm not afraid of them. They won't harm me.
My ornithophobia was caused by ostriches and emus. Just like the funny ones from the Zoo Heidelberg, which are pictured here. They are famously large animals and I have always secretly thought they must be closely related to dinosaurs. (A few years ago I found my suspicions confirmed in an article that scientists believe the dinosaurs were the precursors of modern birds)
I was a little girl, about four years old when we visited a nearby animal park, "the Catskill Game Farm". For some reason, now forgotten, I was having a raging tantrum on that day and my parents and uncle warned me to stop and calm down. Otherwise the animals would eat me up. Back then the emus and ostriches were allowed to move freely in the park. And what had to come, did: I didn't stop crying and yes, the flock of ostriches came and did what the adults had in jest prophesied: The birds surrounded me and started hacking me on the head with their big beaks. While the other adults laughed, my father recognized very quickly the seriousness and danger of the situation and saved me. (Thanks, Dad)
How many of us carry such stories around with us? Stories that prevent us from doing things? This true story almost prevented me from visiting the Falconry Tinninculus and their fine hunting birds. I would have missed out on this experience and not have been able to illustrate that scene.
Sometimes you need to find just the right bridge. Sometimes it is so that the weight of the past leaves you tired and exhausted. In that case, you should put it down. Just put it behind you. Pack it in tissue paper and place it with the memories that you no longer need. Feel free to share your fears that you have packed away in the comments below.
I still have great respect when it comes to emus and ostriches. Even if my fear hasn't entirely disappeared, it has been reduced to a trivial size. I can even laugh about ostriches now, like in the todays Wimmelsearchtip of the Week. They have a beautiful feather dress and are said to be as easily scared as chickens are. (THAT gives a new meaning to "You big chicken!")
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1 Comment · Posted on September 29, 2017
In order to draw "Heidelberg wimmelt", I had to overcome something big and personal... I have a deep seated (and justified) fear of birds, which is officially called "Ornithophobia". Yes. Just the idea of visiting the falconry "Tinnunculus" in Heidelberg made me break out in a cold sweat and left me feeling very anxious. But the owners allowed me to spend as much time as I needed there before, during and after the show. I am very grateful for that, because the treatment of the animals there is very affectionate and respectful.
I met the falcon, Prince, and his Princess. The other female falcon, The Chubby One as well as Nadia, the Steppe Eagle, and Julian, the mighty owl. And for the first time in years I could stand having a bird near me… the American Stained Falcon female, small, cute and curious with her colorful head. (She hopped on my sketchbook as I was drawing her) And I met yet another animal there - Frieda, the ferret, who won everyone's hearts with her wobbly gait.
On this day, my knowledge of ornithology grew and my ornithophobia receded (at least a little bit).
If you look at the Wimmelsearchtipp you can see how relaxed the animals are. If you have time, visit them in Heidelberg on the Koenigstuhl. And if you are too far away for a visit, you can see them in "Heidelberg wimmelt", of course, which you can get from your Lieblinglingsbuchhändler, directly from the publisher, Silberburg-Verlag, or at an online bookseller of your choice.
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Leave a Comment · Posted on September 21, 2017
TBT - Throw Back Thursday. And time for a new Wimmelsearchtipp of the week!
The autumn has come to rest with us in Lower Saxony. The weather is cooler, the days shorter, and gradually you can find signs of autumn. The leaves are still green, but I now and then I find chestnuts and acorns, and spy squirrels, stashing away their food for the winter. I love autumn. But today being TBT I am thinking back to my journey to Maerchenparadies in Heidelberg. Maerchenparadies means "Fairytale Paradise" – an apt name for a magical place.
Our Wimmelsearchtipp of the week can be found in the autumnal "Koenigstuhl" (Kings Chair). I like thinking back to the first time that I'd seen the Dwarves' Mountain at Maerchenparadies. The fairytale treasures of this park make my illustrator heart skip a beat. You can discover the dwarves in this colorful forest where they mine for coal and treasures.
Since having been there, I've become a fan of Maerchenparadies. It is a family-run business that makes this park a magical place with wonderful ideas for kids and continues the tradition of narrative fairy tale dolls for all their visitors (these mechanical dolls are older than the Maerchenparadies itself), and offers families a wonderful day together, where kids have freedom to explore and the parents give the feeling that the world is really intact.
What are you waiting for!?! Breathe in the scent of the forest in a place deserving of its magical name, Maerchenparadies. And while you are there, you're can purchase my book, "Heidelberg wimmelt", directly from Maerchenparadies and listen to the enticing fairy tales in the park. There is so much to discover there.
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Leave a Comment · Posted on September 14, 2017
As I promised you last week, today's Wimmelsearchtip includes another bonus drawing and a short story about my Wimmelbook "Heidelberg wimmelt."
The little girl with the blue hat and the red sock really exists. She played with pure delight, engrossed with her water bucket. While she played on the water playground, she found a lonely red sock, which lay on a large stone. She took the wet thing, looked at me, and dipped it into her bucket, as if to wash it. Now and then she held it up to show how clean she had gotten that little red sock. When she was finished, the girl put the sock aside and began to drink the water from the bucket.
Hmm. How yummy.
If you have experienced similar humorous situations with your children, write about it in the comments below. Who knows, maybe an illustration will grow from your story.
It is such moments that I like to illustrate in my book. A rough sketch lets me remember a whole story. In the short few weeks when I was on location in Heidelberg, I filled a whole sketchbook with such small drawings.
You can find such illustrations of children and adults in my book of Wimmelbook, "Heidelberg wimmelt." Below you can see my original sketch of the girl in her hat about to drink from the bucket. If you have the book, you can discover even more funny moments.
The fun hidden object book can be gotten from your favorite bookshop, directly from the publisher, Silberburg-Verlag, or from an online bookseller of your choice.
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Leave a Comment · Posted on September 7, 2017
Today there is not only a Wimmelsearchtip of the week, today there is a bonus: you get to look behind the drawing, and discover how I created this figure. (It is like x-raying an image or taking a trip through time) This week and in the next I'll show you my personal creative process on the basis of the Wimmelsearchtips.
I like researching what I illustrate. I would like to know not only how something looks, but discover all aspects of my subject to give it more dimension in the illustration. I play with and exaggerate the perspective of a Wimmelbild to create the opportunity of developing many different stages within the image. Sometimes I have the opportunity to draw on location. Like here.
It was a slightly windy summer day on the Neckar meadow. The sounds of the playground at swelled with children's laughter, sometimes it got louder, sometimes it was quieter. The scents of KU17, a snack bar at the Neckar meadow, floated through the air. I had just finished up my event drawing at the KU17. The water of the playground fountain splashed from all corners. And I sat down near the water pump. A girl with beautiful, dark curls was playing there. She was totally absorbed in her play. The girl was the reason for me to get out my sketchbook and draw.
And because life is not static, children came and went. When I was almost finished, I discovered a baby in the shade of the table underneath the pump. I knew that this baby had to be in my book, "Heidelberg wimmelt", too.
It was one of those iconic days you just don't forget because it was so pleasant and perfect. You experience this little children's cosmos, but at the same time you can see how immense their worlds are. There are pirates, cooks, explorers, athletes conquering our world and capturing our hearts.
This is what the perfect day for children looks like in my hidden object book, "Heidelberg wimmelt". You can see my sketch and a small excerpt from the book below. If you have the book, you can discover even more children's worlds.
The fun hidden object book can be purchased from your favorite bookstore, directly from the publisher, Silberburg-Verlag, or at an online bookseller of your choice.
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Leave a Comment · Posted on August 30, 2017
My readers will have probably noticed that I hadn't posted any Wimmelsuchtipp of the week last week. Why not? How this could have happened is also the reason that I am posting this little image from "Heidelberg wimmelt" this week: Just barely two weeks my daughter was accepted at the Hochschule Harz.
We were more or less just back from vacationing in the Alps when I heard a very loud cheer (reminiscent of a yodel from the decibel level, but with a decisively different tone) coming from my daughter's room, because she'd just opened her mail about being accepted to college. Actually the semester begins on September 18th, but she would like to participate in an induction course, therefore on the 4th of September "das Ernst des Lebens" (German for "the profound seriousness of life") begins again. So, my daughter and I were busy last week visiting her new college, and finding an apartment for her. We found an one very quickly. (It sounds really cool because it is a bungalow apartment and bigger than a dorm room) The lease is signed. And "The Big Move" is this weekend. Sigh, after 19 years… everything is going a bit too fast.
You might ask, why is this crazy person using illustrations of gorillas in a zoo as a symbol for a move? When I painted these figures, I had read of a young gorilla, Kwame, who was relocating from Heidelberg Zoo to Rostöcker Zoo. So, I imagined that he would be happy going out into the big wide world, while his mother symbolically gives him a heart shaped balloon. You notice that it is a little hard for her to let him go, even though she is glad that he is facing an exciting new part of his life.
Have you already visited the monkeys' revier at the Heidelberg Zoo? Maybe you've seen Kwame there. And if not, then simply take a look at the Zoo in "Heidelberg wimmelt". If you don't have one yet, you can get the fun hidden object book from your favorite book store, directly from the publisher, Silberburg-Verlag, or at the online bookseller of your choice.
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Leave a Comment · Posted on August 17, 2017
One thing for certain: Heidelberg is full of storks. They have selected the city to be their home. If you look closely, you will find nests everywhere and with a bit of luck and at the right time of the year—in March and April—you will find the baby storks, too. Storks are symbolic of fertility and, as illustrated elsewhere in "Heidelberg wimmelt," deliver babies to their happy expectant parents.
When I drew this pair, I wanted to show these storks looking for potential parents. On the real Neckar meadow there are many people who could become great parents, just like here.
Which child needs a new sibling? Which couple should be blessed next with a new bundle of joy or Kinderglück, as the Germans call it? (And with this thought, I send my warmest regards to the little "Murmel" or baby-belly, whom I wrote a special dedication to in "Heidelberg wimmelt" this summer at my book signing in Märchenparadies. I hope you had a smooth arrival into this world and wish you, little Earthling, and your family much love and joy).
In "Heidelberg wimmelt" you can find other storks, too. If you want to count exactly how many are there, then you need to have the popular hidden object book about Heidelberg. "Heidelberg wimmelt" can be purchased at your favorite bookseller, directly from the publisher, Silberburg-Verlag, or at the online bookseller of your choice.
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Leave a Comment · Posted on August 9, 2017
The current Wimmelsearchtip of the Week honors the most wondrous creature on Earth, the cat. This pair are very special cats, because they belong to my sister, Gretchen, who lives in upstate New York. The two are called "Duck" and "Mallow", but my youngest sister, Suzanne, has a different name for Mallow, namely Double-Wide or DW for short namely because— as the Germans say—the description of the cat suits it like a fist on your eye. Gretchen is not amused by this name and defends her little baby, but I think she likes that her cats on the front page of my wimmelbook, "Heidelberg wimmelt".
Have you found Duck and Mallow yet, sunbathing themselves cat style on the tourist ship on the Neckar river? Have you ever been selected by a feline to do her bidding, feeding and amusing it, opening the door in mid winter (brrr) just to relish in the highest reward of petting her? Tell me about your cat in the comments. What are some funny things makes your cat does? How did you come to be a cat owner? I would like to illustrate some of your cat's shenanigans for my Instagram page. Perhaps your cat gain Instafame, too.
In "Heidelberg wimmelt"Â you will also find a very lovely big cat, a tiger. Have you found it yet? He isn't on the Neckar meadow, but he certainly isn't far away…
The best thing to do is to grab the popular hidden object book about Heidelberg and look yourself (you don't want a tiger pouncing on you, now, do you?).
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