Jutta Bauer was born in 1955 in Volksdorf, near Hamburg. While waiting to be allocated a place for study at the Design College in Hamburg she worked as a nursing orderly, nanny, and nurse. She became a member of the Hamburg Illustrators’ group in 1980 and published her first illustrated books in 1981: these included illustrations for a school textbook. She has published many picture books and children’s books to date, as well as providing illustrations and cartoons for ma gazines and animated films. She has connections with the children’s book authors Kirsten Boie and Christine Nöstlinger though years of working together. She spends many weeks each year reading and running workshops all over the world. Jutta Bauer taught illustration at the Bauhaus University in Weimar during the academic year 2006/2007.
Through picture books such as »Die Königin der Farben« (1998, t: The Queen of Colours) and »Schreimutter« (2000, t: Screaming Mother) or »Opas Engel« (2001, t: Grandpa’s Angel), which have already achieved the status of classics, she has created children’s books which skilfully present the ambivalent childhood worlds of experience and feeling in picture, text and the interplay between them, and which still contain layered discussions according to the principle of reduction. Whether in the interplay of colours and emotions, as in »The Queen of Colours«, or the dramatic narrative of a penguin thrown off balance by his mother’s screams in »Screaming Mother«, Jutta Bauer’s picture books and children’s books present existential needs and fundamental experiences that transcend the age groups of a specific target audience. Renate Raecke summarised the qualities of the picture books in the specialist journal »JuLit«: »Maybe it is precisely that which defines Jutta Bauer’s strength: the exacting eye and drawn line, in combination with the ›apt‹ expression, which releases associations. Her words and pictures are just hints which the viewer reflects upon and, at best, enlarges. Intellect (precise analysis) and emotion combine in her work in a way unprecedented in German picture books.«
Jutta Bauer’s work in children’s literature has won her many prizes and nominations: the Troisdorfer Prize for Picture Books, which she has won several times, nominations for the German Prize for Young Fiction, which she has also won, nominations (2008 and 2010) for the world’s most generously-endowed children’s book award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Prize; and also a nomination (2010) for the Hans Christian Andersen Prize. Jutta Bauer lives and works in Hamburg.
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