When one of our illustration students said she was taking a trip to the Frankfurt Bookfair, I said, Oooooh. Then I asked her if she'd do a guest blog post for us. And lucky for us she said yes. So here it is!! By the way, Sanne's work is equally awesome to anything she posted below, so do check out her website. Thank you Sanne!
For many illustrators here in Germany, September and October is the time to update their websites, have new cards printed and add fresh work to their portfolios.
Every year in October, the Frankfurt Bookfair opens its doors. For two days for trade visitors, authors and illustrators, then three days for the public. It is the largest fair of its kind worldwide.
Unlike Bologna Children's Bookfair, it is traditionally a fair for 'adult' books, but with a whole hall only for children's books, there's more than enough to look at in one day.
There's an abundance of stunningly beautiful picture books!
For the CBAblog, I took along my camera this year, and took some pictures of some of my favourites.
There are some booths that are especially beautiful. This year, my favourite was that of Bohem Press, a Swiss publisher, who produces exquisitely designed picture books.
In this one, 'Der goldene Käfig' (The Golden Cave) by Anna Castagnoli, pictures by Carll Cneut I admired the originality of composition of every single double spread. Just try to find the main character on the cover! Also the color palette is very unusual: Mainly subdued yellows, little orange an red and some black – and off-white paper.
The handlettering is not only found on the cover, but several times throughout the book. There's even one double spread containing only hand lettering!
Very loose, sketchy drawings contrast with the exquisite paintings.
The next one that caught my attention is a new interpretation of good old 'Little Red Riding Hood' by Roberto Piumini, illustrated by Elena Temporin.
Here I love the simplicity of the cover, and the combination of fonts.
I love the composition of this...
Then there's 'Schnip', a story about a little bird who doesn't dare to fly, by Claudia Lagermann, illustrated by Hanneke Siemensma.
I think what I love so much about this is is the contrast between the sophisticated painting style and the simplicity of the little characters. They're not much more than two spheres with a beak and a dot for an eye, yet so full of expression and – yes – grace.
And here I've chosen yet another one from the same publisher: 'Marie und die Dinge des Lebens' by Tine Mortier, illustrated by the incredible Belgian illustrator Katie Vermeire. A very deep and thoughtful book about a little girl and her grandmother, about age, illness and death.
The next one is a piece of American history: 'Lindbergh', by German author illustrator Torben Kuhlman. It's the story of Lindbergh, the first, well, mouse to cross the Atlantic ocean in an aircraft.
It was published by NordSued, another Swiss publisher.
Here's the cover:
It's been made to look really vintage, which matches the style of the traditional watercolor paintings and the subject of the book perfectly.
The last one I add, I love for its simplicity. 'Das Herz des Affen' (The Monkey's heart) by Anja Nikolajetz Aladin-Verlag) impresses by its minimalistic yet powerful (and joyful!) pictorial language. Simple colors and patterns, thick black outlines and a lot of white space in what looks like woodcut technique. Great fun!
So much for now, but of course this is only a tiny, tiny glimpse of what was there.
See you there next year!
Sanne Dufft lives with her family in beautiful Tübingen in the south of Germany. She is an illustrator and author who loves looking at other artists' picture books, and creating her own. She is a member of SCBWI Germany/ Austria and the winner of the 2015 SCBWI Europolitan Portfolio Award.
This year, she was delighted to find her first own picture book on the shelves at Frankfurt Bookfair ('Der Sandelefant' written by Rinna Hermann).
While working on this post, she participated in the CBA's wonderfully inspiring 'The Craft and Business of Illustrating Children's Books' course.
You can find her work at www.sanne-dufft.de or (and!) follow her on twitter @DufftSanne
11/9/2015 07:41:02 am
Thank you Sanne, for showing us such lovely books!
11/9/2015 08:31:16 am
Excellent. Fresh! Loose! Thanks Sanne.
11/11/2015 11:30:29 pm
Thank you! It's so inspiring to look at other people's work.
11/11/2015 11:28:11 pm
It was such a pleasure finding them!
11/9/2015 08:26:40 am
I really enjoyed this. Such deliciousness! Thanks for giving us a taste of your experience!
11/11/2015 11:32:28 pm
So glad you did! Delicious comment :-) !
11/11/2015 11:33:28 pm
(-: So was I!
11/9/2015 09:31:49 am
Thank you for sharing your trip - beautiful books!
11/11/2015 11:35:09 pm
My pleasure, Doreen!
11/9/2015 01:19:35 pm
great article, sanna!! and just breathtakingly beautiful children's books... i am sure my heart will beat too fast if i ever visit the book fair... lol
11/13/2015 12:44:23 am
Thanks, Emiko! Just come over one day, we'll take care of your heart ;-)
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We are so excited to be mixing things up at CBA, beginning with some delicious additions to the Blogfish. Meet our awesome bloggers!!
Here's our lineup:
1st Mondays begin with awesome multi-published former student Shirin Shamsi who will be focusing on Muslim and cultural kidlit.
2nd Mondays will feature super smart Melissa Stoller whose career is taking off with several new books.
3rd Mondays will feature Bryan Patrick Avery, published writer, man of mystery, and professional magician among other things.
4th Mondays will feature STEM, STEAM & SEL obsessed author Kourtney LaFavre sharing delightfully dorky, quirky, and fun info.
And 5th Mondays we'll be taking a break