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Jutta Bauer (1955-) Biography

Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights

Born 1955, in Hamburg, Germany. Education: Studied illustration at Fachhochschule für Gestaltung, Hamburg, Germany.


Agent—c/o Author Correspondence, Kane/Miller Book Publishers, P.O. Box 8515, La Jolla, CA 92038.


Cartoonist, book illustrator, filmmaker and author. Films for children include Julie und das Monster, 1996, Die Königin der Farben (The Queen of Colors), 1997, and Grandpa's Angel, 2003.

Honors Awards

Numerous awards and honors in Germany for books, for illustration work on German children's books and for German language films for children. Selected awards include Troisdorfer Bilderbuchpreis, 1985, for Gottfried, das fliegende Schwein; Chicago International Children's Film Festival Award, 1997, for Die Königin der Farben (The Queen of Colors); Prix Danube, 2003, for Grandpa's Angel.


Die Königin der Farben, Beltz & Gelberg (Weinheim, Germany), 1998.

Ein Engel trägt meinen Hinkelstein, Lappan (Oldenburg, Germany), 1999.

Schreimutter, Beltz & Gelberg (Heinheim, Germany), 2000.

Selma, Lappan (Oldenburg, Germany), 2000, Kane/Miller Book Publishers (La Jolla, CA), 2003.

Opas Engel, Carlsen (Hamburg, Germany), 2001.

Ich sitze hier im Abendlicht: Briefe gesammelt und illustriert von Jutta Bauer, Gerstenberg Verlag (Hildesheim, Germany), 2003.

Illustrator of numerous books published in Germany, including Gottfried, das fliegende Schwein, by Waldrun Behnecke, Das Herz des Piraten, by Benno Pludra, and Kein Tag für Juli, by Kirsten Boie.


Although she is relatively unknown on American shores, Jutta Bauer is a popular children's writer and illustrator in Germany who also makes films for youngsters. Bauer's lack of recognition in English-speaking nations is somewhat the unfortunate result of the language barrier. Only one of her titles, Selma, has been translated into English. Selma was a huge hit in Germany, selling more than 200,000 copies in its author's native language. Since then English-speaking audiences have received their first glimpse of the popular Bauer's work. Selma is not intended solely for a juvenile audience. Its theme of self-sufficiency and satisfaction in the small pleasures of life resonates as well with older readers, and it is this theme—as well as Bauer's whimsical line drawings—that assured the book's commercial appeal.

Selma the ewe possesses the key to happiness. In the morning she eats a little grass. Then she plays with her children, enjoys her lunch, and spends her afternoon rambling in the pasture. When asked what she would change about her life if she had more time or money,

An uncomplicated message about the true meaning of happiness shines through Jutta Bauer's bestselling picture book. (From Selma, written and illustrated by Bauer.)

she cannot think of a single item that would enhance her contentment. Bauer charts Selma's blithe passage through a day using cartoon-like pen and ink drawings with a wash of watercolor. A Publishers Weekly reviewer felt that Selma's penchant for living in the here and now, and her unhurried, pleasurable daily schedule, provide a "charming antidote to the clamor of consumerism."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Publishers Weekly, August 11, 2003, review of Selma, p. 277.

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