If you are scared of reading to your children stories that seem to have a political connotation, I do not recommend Janosch. If you are afraid to talk about freedom, rebellion, I do not advise reading this author either. But if you are not afraid of the political word in art and if you are not afraid to give the words freedom and rebellion to the little ones, please do not stop reading Janosch without rest.
The most charming thing about Janosch's work is that it challenges power and questions social order as only other works such as The Little Prince or The Watermelon Seller. Power, often represented by kings, judges, policemen, is challenged by the weakest, as in his story "Yosa's Magic Violin", where its protagonist, a weak and humble boy who plays an enchanted melody with his violin, make the king as small as an ant.
But the graphic-poetic work of Janosch has nothing to do with the pamphlet or the doctrine. His stories are loaded with powerful libertarian and poetic messages and his work is often described as tender and raw. Perhaps because he has lived through the horrors of war, misery, Nazi repression and the lack of freedom, his work is loaded with an anti-authoritarian and anarchist component. His ironic and humorous work evokes, without a doubt, the gypsy, laconic and pastoral way of life, and his values of friendship tolerance.
Janosch: wealth is disgusting, a fly poop
When Janosch was 8 years old the dark cloak of fascism had begun to cover Europe. He was born in 1931 under the name Horst Eckert, in Hindenburg, what is now Zaborne, Poland. His mother was extremely religious and his father was an alcoholic worker, who left him in the care of his grandfather. At the age of thirteen, the boy Janosch had to be employed as a laborer in a smithy. It seemed that fate had not provided an easy life for him.
When you don't know the way you have to build an indicator
And he built it pointing west. After the war, he fled to Oldenburg and went to work in a textile factory. Then he would build another marker heading to Munich. But Janosch could not withstand anything that resembled power, not even the boot. He did not even resist the Art Academy, which considered the young Janosch lacking in talent. The abstract tendency, very common in the academy of that time, interested Janosch little. Later he would work as a freelance artist until in 1960 he published his first children's book thanks to his friend George Lenz. It was Lenz himself who persuaded Horst to adopt the name Janosch and with whom he would publish his first two books: Valek and Jarosch and Jhosa and the Bewitched Moon.
How beautiful is Panama!
But his true literary success would come in 1979 with his book How beautiful is Panama and from which the animated series "Janoschs Traumstunde" ("Janosch's Dream Hour") would be born, which in 1985 German public television would air with great success. and of which I leave the video.
Janosch has published more than 250 titles and his work has been translated into more than 20 languages. But Janosch doesn't just write children's books. He also writes and illustrates works for the greatest. He has published several adult novels and illustrated several works by famous writers such as Charles Bukowski. He currently lives in Tenerife, Canary Islands, next to his wife.