Eva Muggenthaler, born in 1971 in Fürth, studied Illustration and Graphic Design at the Fachhochschule für Gestaltung (Higher College for Design and Art) in Hamburg. She works today as a freelance illustrator for various publishers. Her breakthrough came in the mid-1990s with the picture book »Der Schäfer Raul« (1997, tr: Raul the Shepherd) which is the story of a grumpy sheepherder who wants to start a new life. This book already exhibited qualities that would characterise the illustrator’s work in later years: the opening of free associative spaces in the interplay between her illustrations and the text that create completely new contexts for meaning. »Paulas Reise« (2007, tr: Paula’s Journey) is another example of this. The picture book tells the story of little Paula’s wondrous dream journey through fantastic countries in which strict laws and rules effectively homogenize the behaviour and appearance of all the inhabitants. Those who don’t conform are forced to conform. All individuality is subjugated to the collective equality. Rejecting this, little Paula finds herself constantly on the run, and it is only when she is back in the country of soft pillows, in her own bed, that she can be herself again. Closely oriented to Paul Maar’s rhymed text, which he re-titled for this new edition from one of his earlier poems from 1996, Muggenthaler here sensitively and subtly arranges challenging themes like tolerance, identity and the courage to be different. She retains her eye for the child’s perception and imaginative world throughout her work and her logic. The same is true of her illustrations for the picture book »Der weiße und der schwarze Bär« (2007, tr: The White and the Black Bear), in which she expands on Jürg Schubiger’s text and portrays the protagonist’s fear of the dark, blurring the borders between the children’s room and the childlike world of the imagination. Her creative use of materials and the medium of the book in general is also apparent in her collaboration with her husband, the artist Ernst Krahl, in the joint work »Papa, ich will einen Hund« (2008, tr: Papa, I Want a Dog). The book makes use of scribbled notes, grocery bags and envelopes, as well as numerous other everyday objects. »The choice of colours and techniques depends on the story. […] I chose my materials as spontaneously as my husband wrote his rhymes«, is how Muggenthaler described the work process in an interview with the Schleswig-Holsteinischen Media Publisher.
Her books have won several awards, including nominations for the German Prize for Youth Literature for »Der Schäfer Paul« (1997) and »Der schwarze und der weiße Bär« (2008). Eva Muggenthaler lives with her family in Schabstedt near Husum.