Binette Schrorder, Kinderbuchautorin, lebt in Gräfelfing. Foto:Catherina Hess || Mindestpreis 25 Euro

She drew almost to the end because her head was full of pictures and stories. For small children and for the big ones that are still in every adult who is young at heart. This is how Binette Schroeder has become a world-renowned illustrator since more than half a century ago, while daydreaming, unhappily in love at the time and therefore thinking of consolation, she came up with the idea for the little doll Lupinchen.

Lupinchen also begins melancholically and ends comically, the sadness floats away and the cheerful joke survives, the artist, who was born in Hamburg in 1939, has always maintained that in all of her twenty books, which have been translated into as many languages.

On Tuesday afternoon she died in her home in Gräfelfing near Munich at the age of 82. This house with a large studio and a wonderful garden, which her husband Peter Nickl, the musical lawyer and literary co-author of several Schroeder volumes, developed into his own creation with inspiration from England to Japan, itself resembles a total work of art.

Binette Schroeder’s worlds of fairy-tale animals, plants and spooky creatures haunt the whole house on the tiles in the kitchen, bathroom, toilets or in the fabric patterns of the sofas fired according to her designs: lined with strange lamps that resemble glowing birds, crayons with blossoms shooting out of them , or a thousand testimonies of a lifelong collecting instinct, from sea shells to surreal objects.

Since 2005, visitors to the International Youth Library in Munich’s Blutenburg have been able to view a wonderfully designed Binette Schroeder cabinet, to which she has donated large parts of her worldwide collection of books and pictures by illustrators and colleagues, in addition to her own works. This extends to a large showcase whose wooden legs end in Schroedersche pumps.

During the war, the young Binette moved from Hamburg to relatives in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria with her mother, who later became a costume designer on a sad day in Steglitz, the first pictures for “Lupinchen” came to her mind.

A living doll that already contains some features of the naughty, cheeky, shaggy-haired later heroines of Schroeder, and whose companions include the seven-brain box man Klappaufundzu or an egg-headed Humpty Dumpty. This allusion to “Alice in Wonderland” points to role models, to which Schroeder also counts Max Ernst, Dalí or even Hieronymus Bosch with his mythical creatures.

In addition to her husband Peter Nickl, she occasionally worked with Michael Ende (“Die Schattennähmaschine”) or illustrated classics such as “Beauty and the Beast” or Munchausen’s adventures with virtuosity. In addition, the series of the little black dog Tuffa or the zebby fearing for his stripes, Zebby, have become world childhood bestsellers almost without words.

Artistically perhaps the most precious and unfathomable is “Crocodile Crocodile”: An animal travels from the Nile to the Seine and discovers that a Parisian crocodile shop is dealing in its own kind, which is followed by revenge in a way that is as fairytale as it is realistic. From the Egyptian desert to the French urban landscape, the gouaches to Peter Nickl’s subtle rhymes are delicate and at the same time suggestive, beguiling readers of all ages.

Last year she finally breathed color into the man in question with her story about “Frida Fröhlich und Herr Grau”. Binette Schroeder was an artist with a magical sense of humor and a generous hostess. Even before reunification, she had opened many doors through her friendships with Eastern European, Russian, and Ukrainian artists. For a cosmopolitan life.