Rotraut Susanne Berner was born in Stutgart in 1948. She studied Graphic Design at University of Applied Sciences of Munich. After finishing his degree, he has been working in advertising and as a graphic designer and freelance illustrator since 1977.
She has illustrated numerous successful books. She is particularly interested in those picture books that tell stories without any words for children.
Bernec’s works have been broadly acclaimed and awarded, including four nominations to Hans Christian Andersend Award, three nominations to Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and a special award for her lifetime achievement (German Children and Adults’ Literature Award, 2006).
A love story which is full of grace and affection. Stuffed toys such as bunnies, puppies and kitties are usually broadly and warmly welcomed in picture books for children. But, what about a disgusting hyena?
Wolf Dietrich Schnurre writes a wonderful role for the hyena, showing us a being with odd stripes which lives in captivity at the zoo in dire need of affection. However, this monstrous –miserable, lonely, shy - being is enchanted.
Desperately, the hyena gets an invitation to have dinner from a pleasant guy who is wearing a strange cap. The hyena is so moved that tears fall on her cheeks when she discover the beautiful garden roses placed on the table by his well-meaning host. And… what will happen afterwards?
Schnabelsteher Award 2000 (Germany).
“This is an unusual book with an extraordinary beauty” (Peonza).
“This book is precious… an unusal but sweet love story” (Cuatrogatos, Children’s Literature Magazine).
“Selected by Germán Sánchez Ruipérez to c ontribute to the catalogue “Books with two looks”. Highlighted in SOL.
A little girl called Dodo asks for a birthday present: a fiz.
This book is a magic proposal to dream about a world full of adventure. It is even, in the words of a critic, “a philosophical treatise” about the beginning of life from a child’s point of view.
The pictures by Rotraut Susanne Berner provide this book with an extra touch of sweetness and plasticity.
“A magical picture book” (Antonio Ventura in Babar).
Jürg Schubiger and Rotraut Susanne Berner tell us about a place and a time where Death was completely unknown. People did not even know Death’s name.
“Death? You have never heard about that. There was no “last hour” in those days. There were the second, the third, the thousandth hour… there were always one more hour. Hours and hours… hours even there where the horizon drifts away. In those days, everything kept beautiful and intact. However, one day Death arrives as a stranger, passing through the village, or rather, He tripped himself while he is arriving at the village, since he is so clumsy… So clumsy that children laugh at him. So clumsy that, at night, while smoking laying on a bale of hay, He accidentally burn the house up. In the morning, Death, crying, blame himself in despair: What have I just done again?
The reticent text by Jürg Schubiger, so brilliant and touching, and clear, intelligent pictures by Rotraut Susanne Berne work together in this picture book to show us how Death not only feels suffering but also mercy and consolation.
"This new picture book by Jürg Schubiger and Rotraut Susanne Berner brings that bittersweet taste good books have: first, we feel that something really important has been told to us; on the other hand, we know that there are many other things in the book apart from those we noticed the first time we read it. Children who read this story (...) will know more about society and the world than many adults do" (Babar Magazine).
“It is a great achievement to tell us so easily something like this: what has an end is what gives life and takes life” (Tagesanzeiger).