Africa – the Story of a Multicoloured Continent

by Lutz van Dijk Afrika

Africa—with 54 states, more than 1,000 languages and the youngest population of the world—is multicoloured and multifaceted, age-old and modern. This diversity is rarely addressed in Europe’s narrative about the “dark continent”. It clings to the fairy-tale of Africa’s lack of history and political insignificance with incredible tenacity. Current media portraits remain reduced to terrible and shocking political news and exotic folklore.

Lutz van Dijk’s fascinating history of Africa—written foremost for young readers—wants to break with this approach and sheds light onto the continent’s innumerable facets. It begins with the genesis of this part of the Earth and the first humans that set out from here to travel into all corners of the world. It tells of the early advanced civilisations in the Islamic North and the Christian and traditionally African civilisations in the South, of life in the steppe and in the modern big cities. The author recounts the centuries of European colonialization as well as the liberation and finally sheds an explanatory light onto current topics such as Aids and Ebola, China’s new role, the “Arab Spring”, Boko Haram, flight and displacement.

The greatest strength of this work lies in the fact that Africans themselves have their say: they tell of their lives and their hopes and ultimately render the image of Africa humane and animated—the most effective means against the stereotype of the dark continent!

Peter Hammer Verlag | hc | 320 pp | 160 x 240 mm | July 2015 | 14+

Rights sold: Korean

[original title: Afrika – Geschichte eines bunten Kontinents]

How to Philosophise with Fire

Wie man mit dem FeuerChemistry and Alchemy for the Unafraid

by Jens Soentgen & Vitali Konstantinov

When we think of chemistry, we envisage scientists in white lab coats that handle conical flasks and raw chemicals over  Bunsen burners in their laboratory.
Or we think of complicated formulae which we already failed to understand in school.
Who would have thought that today’s white-lab-coats’ chemistry has a wonderful and wildly adventurous history that dates back to Amazonia’s
forests and into the monasteries and castles in Europe! This is where centuries ago fire was used to transform materials: the rind of lianas into deadly poison, salpeter into gun powder, (huge amounts of ) children’s wee into (tiny amounts of) phosphor. Generations of creative alchemists in vain put their entire life’s energy into the production of gold and instead discovered porcelain and much more without which our world would not be imaginable today.
Jens Soentgen, natural scientist and philosopher, moves from one fire place to the next and enthusiastically narrates the most crazy and suspenseful stories of substances, alchemists and chemists. He doesn’t forget to include the often fatal mixture of chemistry and power.
The second part of the book includes many new experiments with which the unafraid can spark their own passion for the metamorphosis of substances!

  • Non-fiction Book of the Year 2016
  • One of the 7 Best Books for Young Readers – December 2015 & January 2016
  • Winner of the EMYS Non-Fiction Book Prize – February 2016

A chemistry book for the entire family. – Süddeutsche Zeitung

 

The highest commendation for a nonfiction book that fabulates. – NZZ/Hans ten Doornkaat

 

Jens Soentgen is an exceptionally gifted story-teller with poetic flair. – Tagesanzeiger, Christine Lötscher

 

The crimson endpapers, the velvety-red cut edges – just like the highly-symbolic colour combination of black, white and red on the outside as well as the inside make you wonder whether the content of “How to Philosophise With Fire” can keep up with its spectacular visual appearance. It can. – Eselsohr, Heike Byn

Peter Hammer Verlag | hc | 320 pp | August 2015 | 14+

Rights sold: Chinese (simplified), Korean

[original title: Wie man mit dem Feuer philosophiert]

Merken

Merken

Merken

Merken

Is it Really True?

52 Opportunities to Talk About Lies and the Truth  Echt wahr

by Antje Damm 

Does everyone lie every now and again? Is it allowed to tell white lies?
Why do we want to know the truth?
Is there always just one truth?
Can animals lie?

Lies can have far-reaching consequences. But they can also be a last resort. When do we have to say the truth? Are invented stories not often the more interesting ones? This book contains many fascinating starting points to give thought to the lie and the truth.

  • Recommended by Stiftung Lesen
  • Book of the Month – Feb 2015, German Academy for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
  • Best Books of 2014, Category “Non-fiction” – Leporello

An ingeniously small book on a big topic. – Hans ten Doornkaat, NZZ on Sunday

A playful yet philosophical approach of the vast and diverse topic of the truth and the lie. – Leporello.ch

The entertaining and inspiring book encourages reflections about moral and tolerance and it opens windows for the discussion about the last things which are often the first for young people. – Angelika Overrath, NZZ

Moritz Verlag | hc | 112 pp | 20 x 15 cm | Sept 2014 | 5+

Rights sold: Korean, Spanish

[original title: Echt wahr?]

Think for Yourself! 20 Philosophical Strategies

by Jens Soentgen & Nadia Budde  selbstdenken

What do philosophers do when they philosophise? Books that deal with philosophy tell of great thinkers, their views and their lives. Philosophising itself remains in the dark. How it works, how it fosters creative and independent thinking, is now demonstrated by Jens Soentgen.

He introduces the most popular and effective practices of philosophy, not abstract, but as an entertaining game – closely associated with the invitation to play along. The illustrations by Nadia Budde effectively support the text and render the reading into pure pleasure.

Link to the Litrix website with detailed description and English sample translation

  • German Children’s Literature Award 2004 – Nomination

Peter Hammer Verlag | hc | 224 pp | 220 x 164 mm | 2003 | 14+

Rights sold: Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Dutch, Korean

[original title: Selbstdenken!]

Merken

Merken

Naught and Nothing. Occasions to Think about Nothingness

by Antje Damm Nichts und wieder nichts

Are we nothing before we are born? Is it possible that nothingness is a hole? Where does a journey into nothingness lead?

It is questions such as these that Antje Damm asks in this book and she thus takes children absolutely seriously. Her unique composition of succinct phrases with often mind-boggling pictures instantaneously animates children to think for themselves – because philosophising in this way is fun! And along the way you learn of composers who have an orchestra play nothing for 4 minutes and 33 seconds, of artists who tried to paint nothing. And who was it that said “I know that I know nothing”?

  • “Kröte des Monats” [Toad of the Month] – STUBE, Jan 2010
  • Recommendation – Illustration Award for Children’s Books 2010

Moritz Verlag | picture book | hc | 96 pp | 20.2 x 15 cm | 2009 | 6+

Rights sold: Korean, Spanish (Latin America)

[original title: Nichts und wieder nichts]

browse a few sample pages here:

Is 7 a Lot? 44 Questions for Numerous Answers

by Antje Damm  Ist sieben viel

Will the earth always be there? This is one of the questions Antje Damm poses in her book. Who wants to answer it? But to discuss it, to philosophise about it is fun and prompts us to think about the world in which we live. Where does fear come from? Does it hurt to grow old? Why do we all look so different?

Antje Damm brings up questions about heaven and earth, about life and our world, about death and love. She wants to initiate conversation, provoke stories and pique our curiosity. She takes children seriously as the little philosophers that they are and doesn’t put complex topics past them.
To each question are allocated two images that inspire you to find your own answers. These are sometimes photos, sometimes illustrations, but they always correlate in that they form a contrast or pose different approaches or similarities.
This book is the ideal introduction for children and adults to the great questions about the world.

Moritz Verlag | hc | 69 pp | 173 x 172 mm | 2009 | 6+

Rights sold: Korean, Spanish (Latin America)

[original title: Ist 7 viel?]

From the Stars to Morning Dew

A Voyage of Discovery through the Natural World Von den Sternen

by Jens Soentgen

Jens Soentgen’s voyage through nature stretches right through, from top to bottom, from macrocosm to microcosm. In doing so, the natural scientist and philosopher accomplishes something rare: he describes the phenomena he encounters with impressive subject-specific knowledge and romantic enthusiasm. Unearthing magnificent stories from the scientific findings on nature and cosmology, he tells these with such an enthusiasm that you are unable to put the book down. As it is only possible to learn through your own perception, the book contains easy experiments. Luminous bacteria, for example, can be discovered on dead herring and the secrets of Stonehenge viewed on nothing but a window.

  • German Children’s Literature Award – Nomination
  • Science Book of the Year Award 2011

Peter Hammer Verlag | hc | 405 pp | July 2010 | 13+

Rights sold: Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Russian

[original title: Von den Sternen bis zum Tau]

All the Time in the World. Opportunities to Talk About Time

by Antje Damm  Alle Zeit der Welt

Summertime, wintertime, spare time, timeout, best-before-dates – everything has its own time. Antje Damm renders time both visible and tangible -with photos, pictures and thought-provoking impulses. A book that not only children can spend a great deal of time with!

  • One of the 7 Best Children’s Books (June 2007)
  • List of Recommendations – Luchs Jury
  • List of Recommendations – Catholic Prize for Children’s and Young Adults’ Books
  • List of Recommendations – Illustration Award

One cannot look at such a book for long enough – Die Welt

There are few books that are so gentle, so artistic, so convincing and at the same time truly and in the best sense suitable for children. Antje Damm’s timeless as well as universal picture book belongs to those books for which you should absolutely take the time! – kinderbuchcouch.de

Moritz Verlag | hc | 96 pp | 19.8 x 15.2 cm | 2010 | 6+

Rights sold: Korean, Spanish (Latin America)

[original title: Alle Zeit der Welt]

Ask Me!

by Antje Damm FragmichCover Kopie

This is a little book with big ideas. Sometimes provocative, always interesting, every page can be the start of a new discussion. Reading the questions, and looking at the pictures, each child will have different answers to give, and things to ask. The questions are intriguing, the images sometimes startling, sometimes beautiful, and always engaging.

This is a deceptively simple book which is an absolute treasure. – The Bookseller

Parents will find the book excitingly open-ended, while children are simultaneously challenged and charmed. – Time Out

Moritz Verlag | trade pb | 240 pp | 154 x 152 mm | 2012 | 4+

Rights sold: Chinese (compl.), Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, French, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Luxembourgian, Spanish

[original title: Frag mich!]