19 December 2023

The answer may seem surprising – after all, the Herzog August Bibliothek (HAB) is a research institution rather than a public library. We don’t want to compete with somewhere that undoubtedly has far more exciting books for children than the HAB! But nonetheless we do have a few kids’ books here and there. Some of these have been part of our holdings for a long time, while others have only recently been purchased for a specific reason.

Johann Matthias Schröckh’s 1779 work Allgemeine Weltgeschichte für Kinder (General World History for Children) is only really of interest to researchers these days, as it is printed in Gothic (Fraktur) typeface. The images and rhymes in Paul Meyerheim’s ABC, dating from 1880, are also no longer appropriate for a modern reader. To take just one example, the young boy riding a rocking horse on the front cover has a gun in his hand!

So for today’s children we absolutely need more up-to-date books, which we occasionally purchase, on the basis of very narrow selection criteria. What these books have in common – apart from the fact that they can all be borrowed – is that they each have some sort of link, whether tenuous or more substantial, to the Herzog August Bibliothek, to Wolfenbüttel and the local region or to books and libraries in general.

Did you know, for example, that the little bear believes the little tiger came into the world in Wolfenbüttel? That’s really the case – and you can read about it in Janosch’s Großer kleiner Tiger-Atlas (Big Little Tiger Atlas). Of course, we also have Tobias Wagner’s comic Wolfenbüttel: Die Stadtgeschichte als Comic (Wolfenbüttel: The History of the City in the Form of a Comic), which was published to mark the town’s 900th anniversary.

A look at the open books "Pippilothek??? - Eine Bibliothek wirkt Wunder" and "Ein Passwort für die Pippilothek - Wenn die Bibliothek ins Netz geht". (© photo: private)

In Lorenz Pauli’s Pippilothek???: Eine Bibliothek wirkt Wunder (Pippilothek???: A Library Works Wonders) children as young as nursery age can find out from a mouse what happens on a visit to the library. And they can learn that libraries can also be visited online these days in the story Ein Passwort für die Pippilothek: Wenn die Bibliothek ins Netz geht (A Password for the Pippilothek: When a Library Goes Online).

Two recently acquired illustrated non-fiction books present the wide range of tasks undertaken by a library conservator. In Kunstfresser (Gluttons for Art), Christine Ziegler relates the adventure of museum moth Heribert and his niece Jolinde. Wie rettet man Kunst (How to Rescue Art) presents the work of a restoration workshop, with detailed descriptions by Fabienne Meyer and Sibylle Wulf and wonderful illustrations by Martina Leykam. Other books for children and teenagers in our holdings belong to the working library for the school students’ seminar and are used by groups on-site during one-day or longer seminars.

Just as with our collection of modern research literature, the children’s books described here can be ordered via the online catalogue and loaned out for 28 days by anybody with a HAB library card. The books are issued in the Zeughaus. A description of how to obtain a HAB library card can be found here: https://www.hab.de/en/using-the-library-in-person-and-inter-library-loans/

Do you know of a particularly lovely and up-to-date children’s book on Wolfenbüttel or books and libraries that we don’t yet have? Just drop us a line at ed.ba1708709628h@gnu1708709628brewr1708709628e1708709628. We look forward to hearing your suggestions!

Cover image: © Photo: private