Last year, it was a wonderful event at Bremen Public Library. Due to the corona crisis, the event is cancelled this year and the award ceremony can only take place virtually. It is now the fifth time that the cooperation partners are honoring a children’s book that not only has great visual aesthetics and beautiful language but also has a motivating effect on the readers. 373 books were judged by the jury members, of which Elisabeth Hollerweger is one. The storybook Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have A Horse by Marcy Campbell (Text) and Corinna Luyken (illustration), which was published by the cbj publishing house in 2019, won over the experts. The book was translated into German by Uwe-Michael Gutzschhahn.
Zoe is so angry that she could explode because Adrian, who is always keeps to himself and likes to dream, keeps talking about his horse despite the fact that it is clear that he cannot have one. Zoe’s mother takes her on a walk and shows her Adrian`s world. And it is suddenly no longer so unlikely that he actually might have a horse…? According to the jury, the story demonstrates how important dreams are in life. Objectively seen, Adrian only has few nice things. Yet he is not down but rather uses his mind to create the most beautiful horse in the world in his small, run-down house. Talking about the horse fills him with joy.
“It is a magically created children’s book about empathy and the power of imagination,” says the didactics of literature scholar Elisabeth Hollerweger. In the end it was also Zoe’s mother than drew the attention of the jury. Calmly and without giving her child a reason, she provides Zoe with the opportunity to autonomously find out what is behind Adrian’s story – and she does all of this purely with her behavior. She takes her daughter seriously and speaks to her as an equal – one of the criteria that is considered when the winner is chosen.
The HUCKEPACK Storybook Prize
The prize, which is endowed with 1000 euros, is financed by the pedagogic publishing house das netz in Weimar. The name HUCKEPACK, which means “piggy back” in German, represents the Reading out Loud in Families project from the Phantastische Bibliothek library in Wetzlar. Volunteers metaphorically give children that mostly come from “non-bookish” families piggy backs with the help of the books – they give them support and a vision.
About the Bremen Institute of Storybook Research (BIBF)
The institute has a departmental library with many storybooks. What is offered within the Faculty of Pedagogy and Education Sciences is mainly targeted at students of the University Bremen. The aim of the institute’s work is to establish the storybook as a particularly valuable and yielding media form for linguistic-literary learning. The researchers from the institute have initiated various projects and research papers. Elisabeth Hollerweger has created special teaching materials on the prize-winning book. Said material can be used for homeschooling.
About the Bremen institute: https://www.bibf.uni-bremen.de/ (in German only)
Link to the storybook cinema form the cbj publishing house: https://watch.wave.video/dca9ba5efea0366f49b74d74
Dr. Elisabeth Hollerweger
Senior Lecturer of Literature Didactics
Director of the Bremen Institute of Storybook Research (BIBF)
Faculty of Pedagogy and Educational Science
University of Bremen
Phone: +49 (0)179 456 8620