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What would

The Gruffalo

be without

the hairy monster that leapt into the

world from the pen of Axel Scheffler?

Or A. A. Milne’s

Winnie the Pooh

without the unmistakable drawings by Ernest Shep­

ard? How many children haven’t, at one time or

another, immersed themselves in the vibrant world

of a picture book, such as those by Ali Mitgutsch or

Rotraut Susanne Berner?

Pictures can be understood immediately; pictures

shed light on the text. Even a child who hasn’t yet

learned to read can understand the language of

pictures, the mood that develops over the pages of

a story, the unexpected details that breathe added

life into the story. Despite that, for a long time

pictures were seen as just decorative adjuncts to

books, not as integral components. They served to

illustrate a story and were usually subordinate to

the text.

Yet children’s and young adult books are an import­

ant source of revenue not least thanks to their

outstanding illustrations. As a rule, it is the illus­

trations that catch the eye first. They boost the

recognition value of a book and provide a guarantee

of its quality. As such, the illustrators contribute

a lot to their books’ sales. Their style is always a key

selling point, not only for the booksellers but also –

and especially – for the buyers.

For this exhibition we have brought together 30 of

the best illustrators living and working in Germany,

who have yet to make their international break­

through, as well as 55 established masters of the

craft whose names are familiar to readers around the

world. Viewers will be entranced by the diversity

and beauty of their work – by its style, its artistic

approach and its execution. As part of the joint

German stand at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair

2016, we invite you to dive into the imaginative

world of illustrations, to discover something new

and to be inspired and delighted. It is not without

reason that the slogan of our stand is “Look!”

I would like to take this opportunity to express our

thanks to the jury members who took on the diffi­

cult task of selecting from a huge number of superb

illustrators the ones who you will now find exhib­

ited in Bologna. Thanks also to the German Federal

Foreign Office which, through its work as a cultural

intermediary, constantly champions mutual under­

standing and promotes our comprehension of

various social processes. It also provided financial

support for Germany’s guest of honour appearance

in Bologna.

I hope you – and your inner child – find much to

enjoy as you explore the exhibition.

Juergen Boos,

Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair