Books by Wolfram Hänel

Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Though the text is a little wordy, the appealing illustrations, simple plot and warm, family-centered emotional tone make this a suitable though not essential choice for holiday story time. (Picture book. 3-5)"
A pair of mouse siblings, Pip and Squeak, work together to build a snowman in this sweet but slight holiday offering, first published in Switzerland. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 2001

Grandmother's enthusiasm is contagious in this story designed to inspire the early reader to enjoy the simple things in life. Tony hasn't seen his grandmother in four years. Grandmother, having grown tired of waiting for Tony's busy parents to bring him to her, has decided to take him away for a fun weekend. She zooms up in a snazzy convertible and whisks him away to taste all those things to which he is unaccustomed. They take their time on back roads, eat a leisurely picnic lunch, talk, stay in a quiet village for the night, star gaze, and build sandcastles at the beach. The point gets slightly diluted when grandmother and grandson get huffy at a restaurant where they receive inadequate service due to their clothing. Upon returning home from the whirlwind weekend, Tony's parents have somehow been mysteriously moved by Grandmother's ways and have taken time out to do a puzzle. If Hänel's (Little Elephant Runs Away, not reviewed, etc.) point is that it's good to be slightly eccentric and slowing down can lead to wisdom, we get it, but it all seems a little too much when, at tale's end, Grandma helps an old man cross a busy street. Not a bad effort for a brief adventure away from everyday life, and the essence is positive. Unzner's (The Clown Who Said, No, not reviewed, etc.) watercolors-over-ink sketches adorn every page and bring warmth and dimension to the story. (Fiction. 6-9)Read full book review >
ABBY by Wolfram Hänel
by Wolfram Hänel, illustrated by Alan Marks, translated by Rosemary Lanning
Released: Oct. 15, 1996

Abby ($13.95; PLB $13.88; Oct. 15, 1996; 1-55858-648-2; PLB 1-55858-649-0): Moira lives on an island off the coast of Ireland with her family and her dog, Abby. HÑnel (Mia the Beach Cat, 1994, etc.) spends about half the book setting up Moira's life on this rural, remote island of fishermen and farmers. The second half tells of Abby's near-fatal experience of and recovery from eating poisoned meat left out for a fox. This gentle, delicate story begins slowly and so generally that new readers will have no idea where it's going. The story of Abby's illness is told straightforwardly and without sentimentality or false suspense, a style that suits the island setting and its inhabitants. The watercolor-and-ink illustrations match the mood, introducing humor that's especially welcome during the sorrowful parts. (Fiction. 7-9) Read full book review >
MIA THE BEACH CAT by Wolfram Hänel
Released: Dec. 1, 1994

Maggie is spending her holiday with her parents and her stuffed tiger at the sea, but her parents' idea of a good time is relaxing for hours in the sun, and her tiger is not really made for water sports. Maggie is left to her own devices. For a while she occupies herself making sand castles and collecting shells, but she is lonely. Then one day Maggie finds Mia the cat, who becomes her summer playmate. Every morning, without fail, she is there on the beach when Maggie arrives. But one day Mia is nowhere to be found. Maggie frantically searches for her friend, and it occurs to her that Mia must be near the fishing boats. Sure enough Mia has stowed away on one of the boats and is now returning to the dock on its prow. Mia sees Maggie and excitedly jumps towards her. She lands in the water, but they fish her out. On Maggie's last day of vacation, she smuggles Mia into her parents' car. Maggie's mother asks innocently about the cat as Maggie and her father share a secret wink and Mia purrs her contentment. An appealing story for young animal lovers from HÑnel (Lila's Little Dinosaur, p. 1530). (Fiction. 7-9) Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 1994

The little dinosaur follows Lila home from the Museum of Natural History, where Lila had been explaining to her father all about the different dinosaurs. She tells him to wait for her in the museum, but the incorrigible creature sneaks out anyway. Lila rescues him from the street, brings him to her house, feeds him, and puts him to bed. In the morning, however, the dinosaur is gone, and Lila thinks she dreamt the whole thing. She sadly gets ready for school, only somewhat soothed when her parents offer to buy her a dog or a cat. Then her father drops her off at school, and as he pulls away in the car, who should she see in the back seat but her colorful friend? Who needs a pet dog, thinks Lila, when you have a pet dinosaur? This easy reader has all the qualities necessary for success: a clever little heroine, dinosaur lore, and an adorable rainbow-colored baby dinosaur that only children can see. And it doesn't lose anything in the translation. (Fiction. 7-9) Read full book review >