kunstanstifter. verlag für illustration

The Publishing House and its history

Kunstanstifter Publishing House was founded in 2006 by Suse and Niklas Thierfelder in Mannheim. Together, we decided on a daring venture – publishing illustrated books apart from the mainstream, art that charts new frontiers, fresh and provoking, smart and masterly crafted. Our vision grew into an award-winning, independent publishing house.


Kunstanstifter titles are hybrids of literature and art, for children and grown-up readers alike, often beyond established categories. We publish collector-quality books with the highest artistic standards. While we privilege the art of illustration, we do not compromise literary quality. At their best, text and image enhance each other for an aesthetic unity.

Kunstanstifter’s list is characterized by a novel blend of young talents, innovative voices, classical and contemporary authors of diverse cultural backgrounds. We publish eight to ten titles per year, and choose from all genres including short stories, tales, cooking and travel books.

The illustrations and distinctive book features are an essential. We work with FSC-certified printers in the region and produce climate-neutrally using eco-friendly colors, paper, and processing.

In the last few years, numerous and prestigious awards have confirmed our strategy – the German Design Award, the Joseph-Binder-Award in Gold, the German-French Youth Literature Prize, The Beauty and the Book Award, a nomination for the Serafina – a young talent award, and last but not least, the award of the German Youth Literature Prize. Our regular presence at the largest bookfairs in Frankfurt and Leipzig demonstrates that quality + selection equals success.

Current awards

  • Serafina - Nachwuchspreis Illustration 2022 – Cynthia Häflinger: Strange Looks
  • White Ravens 2022 – Leonora Leitl: Kaiserschmarrn – Kaiserschmarrn - My amazing summer with a goat
  • Österreichischer Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis 2021 – Linda Wolfgruber: Die kleine Waldfibel
  • KIMI Kinderbuchsiegel 2020 – Till Penzek: Die Klimaschweine
  • White Ravens 2020 – Judith Auer: Ein Stück Käse

Preview Catalogues

Foreign Rights Highlights

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The Bonsai Whale

  • Anna Grabener
  • Illustrated by Anna Grabener
  • Autumn 2021, 44 pages, 30.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 7+
  • All rights available

One Saturday evening, the door of Henry’s bedroom opens, and his parents come in with some unexpected guests. “Surprise!” Henry’s mum calls out cheerfully. “Someone has come for a sleepover! This is Enzo.”
Every child has been in this situation before. Parents always tell them to play with strange kids, all because the parents know each other. You don’t have to become best friends, but you do have to find a way of getting on with the other kid for a while. At least Enzo is a good storyteller. Henry is enchanted as he listens to Enzo’s story of how he came to own a teeny-tiny bonsai sperm whale. He must have made it all up, right? Or not?

On the Island

  • Malin Widén
  • Illustrated by Malin Widén
  • Autumn 2021, 52 pages, 20 x 25 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 3+
  • All rights available

Granny lives on an island far out at sea. Gulls wheel in the sky, fish tumble in the water, and every day brings a new discovery. But where do the strange noises come from when it gets dark? Granny knows, and she takes us with her on a journey through the island night.
Malin Widén captures the mood of the Swedish islands where she has spent many summers with her delicate watercolours.

The Bear Does His Business

  • Linda Wolfsgruber
  • Illustrated by Linda Wolfsgruber
  • Autumn 2021, 32 pages, 22.6 x 32 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 4+
  • All rights available

In the middle of the forest was a small pond. Lots of animals came here because they enjoyed being by the water. One day, lots of houses sprang up around the pond. It was harder and harder to get to the waterside. Far and wide, no bushes or trees to rest under, and no juicy herbs to make the animals strong. ’We have to do something!’ they decided, and so they came up with a plan.”
An utopian tale by Linda Wolfsgruber.

The Whale in the Garden

  • Sabine Rufener
  • Illustrated by Sabine Rufener
  • Spring 2021, 36 pages, 22.5 x 29.5 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 6+
  • All rights available

The garden where this story is set is large and wild. It’s a very old garden. Huge trees and strange flowers grow here. There are tiny beetles and large spiders, wild cats and cheeky birds too. In the middle of the garden stands a small, old house, and in this house live Lille and her grandma. Then, one morning, Lille finds a giant whale lying there. On Lille’s bike, of all places! He’s in a bad mood too.
In Sabine Rufener’s debut children’s book, the girl and the whale gradually find out how to live together. Until the whale’s yearning for the sea gets greater while it gets ever smaller . . .


  • Lena Steffinger
  • Illustrated by Lena Steffinger
  • Spring 2022, 28 pages, 20.5 x 24.5 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 5+
  • All rights available

Late every summer, Dad starts to get really absentminded. He doesn’t sing as much as normal. He starts grumbling and arguing. The reason? Gran’s birthday is in September, and a son has to go and see his mother on her birthday. But Dad says, “Monsters don’t need visits.” His daughter, on the other hand, thinks it’s pretty exciting to have a monster for a gran and she does her best to persuade Dad to go. Does this gran have long claws? Can she spew flames? Does she serve hot chocolate with frog’s eyes floating in it?
After much hesitation and second thoughts, father and daughter knock on Gran’s door – and everything turns out very differently than expected.

Kaiserschmarrn – My Amazing Summer with a Goat

  • Leonora Leitl
  • Illustrated by Leonora Leitl
  • Spring 2022, 218 pages, 16 x 23 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 8+
  • All rights available

Arthur’s family moved to a house on the edge of the woods because it was nice and peaceful there. What Arthur never imagined was how soon this peace would be broken. All of a sudden, the goat belonging to his new friends starts to speak. Emperor Caesar Napoleon Alexander the Great, to give the animal its full title, has all kinds of lordly wishes that keep the three children on their toes.
But the chaos only really starts when the friends’ fathers start arguing over a bit of woodland. The two men couldn’t be less alike. Then again, maybe an imperial goat can help them put aside their differences?

Rolf the Book Hero

  • Heidi Viherjuuri
  • Illustrated by Luisa Jung
  • Spring 2021, 36 pages, 25 x 25 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 4+
  • All rights available

Rolf’s life as a sexton is quite monotonous. People used to come from far and wide to look around his church, but now he has no one but the church mice for company.

All of a sudden, however, the whole town is under water, and his church is needed as an emergency library. It’s Rolf’s long-awaited chance to show he can be a real hero! Unexpected help arrives in the form of Matilda, who wants to take shelter in the church too. If only she wasn’t scared of mice …

Luisa Jung’s debut picture book, based on a story by Heidi Viherjuuri, is about how we need friendship, solidarity, courage and determination to get through times of crisis together.

Paulette and Minosh

  • Kerstin Hau
  • Illustrated by Raffaela Schöbitz
  • Spring 2021, 32 pages, 24,8 x 26 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 5+
  • All rights available

The river carries a boat into the city. “Quick, quick! Hurry up!” people shout as they jostle in the streets. There’s great impatience and excitement on the boat too. Paulette is waiting for her Mimosa plant to flower and does everything she can to speed up the process. Meanwhile, her tomcat Minosh lies in wait outside a mousehole. He knows that everything takes its own sweet time.

When evening comes, Paulette is exhausted and falls into a deep sleep. She wakes the next morning to a huge surprise – and for a moment the clocks really do stand still.

A Long Way Home

  • Laura Bednarski
  • Illustrated by Laura Bednarski
  • Autumn 2020, 36 pages, 22 x 25 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 4+
  • All rights available

The tiger can hardly believe his eyes when he comes across a soft toy in the middle of the forest. He quickly realizes that little Arno is lost and decides to help him get home. They set off together on a perilous journey, at the end of which they have a big surprise in store.

Laura Bednarski uses glowing colours to tell this story without words about a tiger who finds the way home.

A Chunk of Cheese

  • Judith Auer
  • Illustrated by Judith Auer
  • Spring 2020, 32 pages, 20,7 x 25,7 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 4+
  • All rights available

On the lookout for a tasty breakfast, the raven comes across a chunk of cheese. It carries the cheese off happily to a tall tree where it intends to savour it in peace. Just then the fox appears. He has his own designs on the chunk of cheese.

Aesop wrote the original version of this beloved fable about the fox and the raven as a caution against false flattery for his audience in ancient Greece. In the centuries since, it has been retold and represented many times in art and literature.

Captain Ocean

  • Louise Heymans
  • Illustrated by Louise Heymans
  • Spring 2020, 48 pages, 22 x 27,8 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Ages 6+
  • Rights sold to Russia and Kazakhstan

Jonah has only just moved to a new town when he finds a tiny sailor in the cellar. The sailor introduces himself as Captain Ocean. He was swept overboard during a storm, and the tide washed him up on the cellar steps. Jonah quickly grows fond of the little sailor, and the two of them become best friends. But Captain Ocean’s longing to see the sea grows stronger with every passing day. He needs to find a new ship, which is easier said than done, but luckily Hanna and Leo live nearby.

Niemandsland - Memories of a Childhood in a Divided Land

  • Matthias Friedrich Muecke
  • September 2019, 208 pages, 16 x 23 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Website

Berlin during the Cold War. Matthias Friedrich Muecke casts a close look, from the perspective of those who were there then, at life as a teenager amidst the travails of everyday life in East Berlin in this captivating story. One of the protagonists is a bit cheeky and unflappable, while the other is sensitive and shy. They make an oath to remain inseparable friends forever and go through all sorts of things together, especially as reactions to the despotic, authoritarian system. Eventually, they become rebellious teenagers hankering for adventure. Their non–conformity eventually becomes dangerous and leads to a catastrophe.
Matthias Friedrich Muecke’s book contains fragments of memories from this period. They’re often bizarre, sometimes playful, and accompanied by melancholy black and white drawings which capture the atmosphere, in great detail, of a fairytale-like childhood during a bygone era.

The Little Forest Primer

  • Linda Wolfsgruber
  • Illustrated by Christiane Dunkel-Koberg
  • January 2020, 144 pages, 13,5 x 21 cm
  • Hardcover with embossing
  • Website

People are irresistibly drawn to forests, whether to study them, pick berries and fruit, play and climb trees or as a peaceful place for resting and finding inspiration. It is these many different aspects of woods and forests that Linda Wolfsgruber explores in her little forest primer.
She describes in vivid terms how woods change over the seasons and how much there is to see in a forest. She also offers some delicious recipes that can be made with forest fruits and plants, interspersed with poems by a range of writers that will make the reader dream and think.
The centrepiece of this forest primer is a collection of profiles of the most common European trees. Printed see-through sheets show the young leafless tree in winter as well as the grown tree in its summer foliage.
Linda Wolfsgruber’s atmospheric illustrations make this book a heartfelt ode to the forest and will spark a desire in readers young and old to rediscover the forest.

Suddenly Silence

  • Benjamin Courtault
  • Illustrated by Benjamin Courtault
  • March 2016, 32 pages, 18,3 x 30 cm
  • Hardcover, printed with five special colors
  • Website

Benjamin Courtault takes the reader on a bizarre road trip. An apparently small episode opens up new horizons and turns the protagonist’s unamusing and confined world upside down! As a matter of fact, rethinking creates new options resulting in a change of direction…
Courtault makes up a fascinating, colorful scenario – simply bewitching!

Yaotao`s Characters

  • Yi Meng Wu
  • Illustrated by Yi Meng Wu
  • August 2017, 104 pages, 20,5 x 28,5 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Website

Lyon in the southeast of France: In her grandparents’ attic, Lucie finds an old suitcase filled with mysterious Chinese letters. Does it belong to her great-grandfather Yaotao who emigrated in the thirties from China to France? All of a sudden the characters begin to dance and tell her Yaotao’s story.
Yaotao’s heritage is a atmospheric journey back in time, written for both young and old, and a story about the arrival in a new culture.

It doesn’t fit

  • Mieke Scheier
  • August 2018, 28 pages, 20,5 x 27,8 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Website

Hidden on each right-hand page of this search-and-find book is an object that does not fit: it begins with the first main category. When you have found the main category, the aim is to find an object that is different and does not fit in this category. On the next left-hand page the solution to the puzzle shows the object you are looking for in the wrong context. The next main category is connected to the object that didn’t fit from the previous page, and so on, so that you end up with a funny kind of chain.

Mieke Scheier cleverly disguises the oddballs – using pastel colour tones and scaled-down shapes – and draws both big and small perusers into her beautiful picture worlds.
While working on It doesn’t fit, she was inspired above all by various printing techniques such as silk-screen printing, lino printing and lithography. She experimented with lots of different textures, which she went on to integrate in her digital illustrations.

When You Shut Your Eyes

  • Amrei Fiedler
  • Autumn 2020, 32 pages, 23,5 x 24 cm
  • Hardback
  • Ages 3+
  • All rights available
  • Website

Can you imagine what your grandma sees when she’s walking around her garden? And what does the tomcat see as he lies in wait by the lake, or the gull when it flies over the city? If you shut your eyes, you can look at the world from all kinds of different points of view!
This colourful goodnight story by Amrei Fiedler inspires children to give free rein to their imaginations.

Konrad´s Shadow

  • Matze Döbele
  • Illustrated by Matze Döbele
  • September 2014, 36 pages, 30 x 21 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Website

It’s not easy to deal with one’s shadow …

Now, is it little Konrad who does all these naughty things, or is it in truth merely his shadow? Trying to get rid of this cheeky guy who does all Konrad is being accused of, but would never admit to, Konrad finds that his shadow takes immediate flight at the sight of flashlight. Well done, boy! But later on, Konrad comes to realize that his shadow can be quite helpful too, and that the two of them actually belong together.

A meaningful parable, true craftsmanship, and a fun story!

Polka For Igor

  • Iris Anemone Paul
  • Illustrated by Iris Anemone Paul
  • March 2018, 48 pages, 29 x 30 cm
  • Hardcover with protective sleeve, printed in four special colors
  • Website

Igor is a special dog. If you take the time to listen to old polka records with him you will be rewarded with stories from his past. For Igor was a hero in Poland at that time. Little Ola knows this. As soon as the needle begins scratching the record, Igor’s blood begins to surge through his veins. And then, sitting in a wingback chair, the two of them travel through a story of casseroles and sauerkraut, tightrope dancers as tender as turkey schnitzels, Russian recorder players, Bengal tigers and sheep smelling of cuckoo flowers – accompanied by the sound of an accordion and a crackling open fire.

Not Beyond the 7 Hills. Snow White’s Grandkids Have a Ball

  • Annette Feldmann
  • Illustrated by Mareike Engelke
  • February 2017, 36 pages, 30 x 22 cm
  • Hardcover with partial UV-coating
  • Website

Are you curious about a contemporary Snow White story, down-to-earth and wildly witty?
Allusions to the Grimm’s tale make for a completely new plot. Follow Mom and her seven kids’ holiday plans and find yourself in an almost fairytale-like ambience – although they’ll never reach their destination up in the snow-white mountains! But does it still matter if the big holiday plans won’t turn out? Seven lively kids, many imaginative details, wild lines, and a punchy discourse make for a great time altogether.

The Boy Who Liked to Pick His Nose

  • Marta Slawinska
  • March 2014, 32 pages, 23,8 x 27,6 cm
  • Hardcover
  • Website

Just relax, parents – here’s another humorous lesson to read! This is the story of little Christian who has the bad habit of picking his nose. Of course, his mother is not amused and she reproaches her son. But Christian knows how to defend himself – take it easy, Mom! For you see everyone picking their noses once in a while… Who says it’s only little boys..?


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kunstanstifter GmbH & Co. KG

Werderstr. 31
68165 Mannheim


Phone 0 621 – 71790-100


Contact Person

Suse Thierfelder
0621 71790-107

Niklas Thierfelder
0621 71790-101

Management Assistant / Rights & Licences
Anne Schlag
0621 71790-104

Lena Anlauf
0621 71790-103

China, Korea & Japan:
Media/Publishing Consultant
Lei Ren

Hedi Gnädiger

Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, GB, USA:
Eva Dietrich

Aleksandra Markiewicz

Kirchner Kommunikation
Katrin Ritte
Gneisenaustr. 85
10961 Berlin
Tel.: 030 84 71 18 14