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Udo Weigelt (1960–) Biography - Personal, Addresses, Career, Writings, Sidelights

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Born 1960.

Addresses

Agent—c/o Author Mail, North-South Books, 875 16th Ave., Ste. 1901, New York, NY 10001.

Career

Writer of children's books.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

The Strongest Mouse in the World, illustrated by Nicholas d'Aujourd'hui, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1998.

All-Weather Friends, illustrated by Nicholas d'Aujourd'hui, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Hiding Horatio, illustrated by Alexander Reichstein, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 1999.

Who Stole the Gold?, illustrated by Julia Gukova, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2000.

Ben and the Buccaneers, illustrated by Julia Gukova, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2001.

The Easter Bunny's Baby, illustrated by Rolf Siegenthaler, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2001.

It Wasn't Me! (sequel to Who Stole the Gold?), illustrated by Julia Gukova, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2001.

What Lies on the Other Side?, illustrated by Maja Dusikova, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

The Wild Wombat, illustrated by Anne-Katrin Piepenbrink, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Old Beaver, illustrated by Bernadette Watts, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Alex Did It!, illustrated by Cristina Kadmon, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

Miranda's Ghosts, illustrated by Christa Unzner, translation by Marisa Miller, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2002.

The Sandman, illustrated by Sibylle Heusser, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2003.

There's Room in the Forest for Everyone, illustrated by Gianluca Garofalo, translation by Martina Rasdeuschek-Simmons, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Fair-Weather Friend, illustrated by Nora Hilb, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Bear's Last Journey, illustrated by Cristina Kadmon, translation by Sibylle Kazeroid, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2003.

Santa's Lucky Charm, illustrated by Rolf Siegenthaler, translation by Marianne Martens, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Sleepy Bear's Christmas, illustrated by Christina Kadmon, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2004.

The Legendary Unicorn, illustrated by Julia Gukova, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Mole's Journey, illustrated by Jakob Kirchmayr, translation by Sibylle Kazeroid, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Little Donkey's Wish, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Spring Fever, translation by J. Alison James, North-South Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Sidelights

German writer Udo Weigelt is the author of many children's picture books, all which feature animal protag-onists. He has also written several titles about characters gleaned from legend. Weigelt's first book, The Strongest Mouse in the World, tells of Lizzie, a young rodent who believes she is the strongest in the world. Lizzie becomes so convinced of her strength that she challenges Albert Bear to a wrestling match. Even when her friends try to talk her out of the match, Lizzie insists she can win, and to the surprise of everyone, the little mouse does win the contest. In fact, Albert Bear has allowed her to win because it is Lizzie's birthday. The story ends with all the forest animals enjoying a birthday party. Ilene Cooper, reviewing the title for Booklist, believed that "little ones will empathize with Lizzie's desire to be strong."

A similar theme is found in Ben and the Buccaneers, in which a young sparrow wants to join the adventurous Buccaneers, a group of older sparrows who enjoy taunting a neighborhood cat. The Buccaneers daringly fly, in formation, just out of the cat's reach, and they dodge and flip away from him as he tries to catch them with his claws. When the cat suggests a way for Ben to join the Buccaneers, the sparrow readily agrees, only to find out later that he has been tricked; all the Buccaneers are now endangered because of him, and he must show courage to save their lives. Shelley Townsend-Hudson, writing for Booklist, noted that "children will root for Weigelt's The Sandman finds the fanciful nighttime worker wishing for a companion but worried that everyone, even a new friend, will fall asleep in his presence. (Illustration by Sibylle Heusser.)Focusing on the richness that myths and legends bring to our perception of the world, The Legendary Unicorn finds a group of animals unwilling to believe what they see with their own eyes. (Illustration by Julia Gukova.)the brave little sparrow," and School Library Journal reviewer Susan Marie Pitard concluded that Weigelt's tale "will ring true with many young children."

Alex Did It! tells of three clever rabbits who invent an imaginary friend named Alex, whom they can blame for all their own mischief. The ruse works fine, allowing the rabbits to get away with all sorts of pranks. But when a new rabbit really named Alex moves into the forest, the three troublemakers must come clean and confess to their misdeeds. A critic for Kirkus Reviews called the story "a playful tale of mischief and redemption," while a Publishers Weekly reviewer concluded that "Weigelt's premise will hook readers."

Weigelt's The Sandman tells of the legendary character who spreads magical sand each night that sends every person and animal to sleep. One night, as he is floating above the world in his blue dirigible, the Sandman finds that he is lonely. Everyone is asleep, after all. Finally, the Sandman realizes that the moon, who has been patiently watching him as he works, is also awake and looking for a friend. A critic for Kirkus Reviews called The Sandman "a simply told, quietly beautiful tale."

In The Legendary Unicorn, the forest animals gather to tell stories every evening. One day, the hedgehog sees a unicorn as he is on his way to the storytelling. When he tells his friends, they refuse to believe him; after all, the unicorn is a creature from legends and is not real. This refusal to believe brings about a change in the forest. Life seems more dull and dreary, and things become less interesting to do. Worse, no one can think up an interesting new story to tell at story time. Though the animals search for the unicorn, they cannot find her. Only by creating a new story together do they prove they still believe in magic, and enable the unicorn to return to the forest. A reviewer for the Children's Bookwatch called The Legendary Unicorn "a simple, joyful picturebook."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 1998, Ilene Cooper, review of The Strongest Mouse in the World, p. 1455; April 1, 2001, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of The Easter Bunny's Baby, p. 1480; August, 2001, Shelley Townsend-Hudson, review of Ben and the Buccaneers, p. 2133; January 1, 2002, John Peters, review of It Wasn't Me!, p. 868.

Childhood Education, spring, 2003, review of Old Beaver, p. 180.

Children's Bookwatch, December, 2004, review of The Legendary Unicorn.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2002, review of Alex Did It!, p. 191; February 1, 2003, review of The Sandman, p. 243; March 15, 2003, review of Bear's Last Journey, p. 481; December 1, 2005, review of Spring Fever, p. 1281.

Publishers Weekly, January 14, 2002, review of Alex Did It!, p. 60; September 23, 2002, review of Miranda's Ghosts, p. 72; September 26, 2005, review of Little Donkey's Wish, p. 89.

School Librarian, autumn, 1998, review of The Strongest Mouse in the World, p. 134; spring, 2001, review of Who Stole the Gold?, p. 19; autumn, 2001, review of Ben and the Buccaneers, p. 134; summer, 2003, review of The Wild Wombat, p. 76, and review of Miranda's Ghosts, p. 78; autumn, 2003, review of The Sandman, p. 134; summer, 2005, Sarah Merrett, review of The Legendary Unicorn, p. 78.

School Library Journal, January, 2001, Maryann H. Owen, review of Who Stole the Gold?, p. 112; April, 2001, Blair Christolon, review of The Easter Bunny's Baby, p. 126; August, 2001, Susan Marie Pitard, review of Ben and the Buccaneers, p. 164; February, 2002, Susan Hepler, review of It Wasn't Me!, p. 116; June, 2002, Maryann H. Owen, review of Old Beaver, p. 114; July, 2002, Patricia Pearl Dole, review of Alex Did It!, p. 100; September, 2002, Be Astengo, review of What Lies on the Other Side?, p. 208; December, 2002, Gay Lynn Van Vleck, The Wild Wombat, p. 112; February, 2003, Kathleen Kelly, review of Miranda's Ghosts, p. 124; October, 2003, Lisa Dennis, review of Bear's Last Journey, p. 141, Shelley B. Sutherland, review of The Sandman, p. 142, and Tali Balas, review of There's Room in the Forest for Everyone, p. 142; February, 2005, Susan Hepler, review of The Legendary Unicorn, p. 110.

ONLINE

Udo Weigelt Home Page, http://www.uweigelt.de (February 21, 2006).

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