Artist-writer Hans Wilhelm, a Weston resident, was born in Germany and moved to South Africa, Bali and London before settling in the United States where his idea of creating children's books crystallized. Though Wilhelm studied painting in his spare time, professionally he worked for a period of time as a corporate sales manager and also acted in a German theater group, piquantly called "Sauerkraut." Shortly before he was about to move on from his London homebase, however, one of those seemingly small events that become lifechangers, happened. He says, "I made a big colorful birthday card for a dear friend of mine. He was born in the Year of the Horse and I drew several very whimsical cartoons that made fun of the various characteristics of anybody born in the Year of the Horse. This birthday card was a terrific hit at his birthday party, and it lead to the idea of creating a whole book with cartoons of all the l2 signs of the Chinese Horoscope."And then, practically on his first foray into New York, Wilhelm was accepted by a publisher, Avon Books. Ultimately, in 1980, Pan Books brought out his Chinese horoscopes book and relationships with other publishers followed. During the intervening decades, Wilhelm has produced more than 200 books, including such well known ones as the Dinofours series and the books featuring the irrepresible little dog, Noodles.
Separately, he continues to work on his art which has been included in the permanent collections of Ohio's Mazza Museum of Art, Dodd Center at the University of Connecticut, Kerlan Collection at University of Minnesota, de Grummond Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi. Among the many projects WIlhelm conceived was a website offering free downloads of his out-of-print books. Developed with the University of Connecticut, the website, Children's Books Forever! offers the books in several languages. In its dedication, he expresses his gratitude to adults and children who love his books. "It is my personal Thank You to all the teachers, librarians, parents and children who have shared and enjoyed my books for so many years." To see more of Hans Wilhelm's art, his books or learn more about him, visit his website .
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.