Langreuter, Jutta 1944–
Langreuter, Jutta 1944–
Born August 2, 1944, in Copenhagen, Denmark; daughter of Rolf (a diplomat) and Lieselotte (a homemaker); married Friedrich Langreuter (an editor), May 11, 1981; children: Jonas, Jeremy. Education: University of Munich, graduated, 1968.
Home—Munich, Germany. Agent—Friedrich Langreuter, Bischof-Adalbertstrasse 14, 80809 Munich, Germany.
Author. Worked as a psychologist for the scientific institutions Max-Planck-Institut and Deutsches Jugend Institut; also works as a therapist for middle-aged women; owner of a children's bookshop in Munich, Germany.
Little Bear Brushes His Teeth, illustrated by Vera Sobat, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.
Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten, illustrated by Vera Sobat, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1997.
Little Bear and the Big Fight, illustrated by Vera Sobat, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.
Little Bear Is a Big Brother, illustrated by Vera Sobat, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1998.
Belly Buttons, illustrated by Andrea Hebrock, Barron's Educational (Hauppauge, NY), 1999.
Little Bear Won't Go to Bed, illustrated by Vera Sobat, Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2000.
Langreuter's other books, published in German, include five books about a bunny, Rötte-Häschen, two books about a dinosaur named Julie; and a book about a little wolf, titled Kleiner Wolf Momme.
Jutta Langreuter is the creator of the "Little Bear" series of children's books, which were written initially in German, then translated into English. She once explained that, as the daughter of a diplomat, she traveled a lot to other countries, and developed a strong feeling of being an inhabitant of the whole world. Explaining her decision to write for young readers, Langreuter once commented that her adult life has always been spent with children: "I worked in an institute doing research on children, I led youth-forums, I own a children's bookshop in Munich, and (the most important thing) I raised two children, Jonas and Jeremy! Now they are older, but I still have their behaviors, their sweet sentences, their views of life … carved in my heart. I remember a lot, and these amusing and lovable things I write in my books."
In the "Little Bear" series Langreuter created a character with whom toddlers can easily identify, according to critics. Each book in the series deals with a different trial or tribulation in the life of a young preschooler. The young bear behaves with the typical stubbornness, imagination, and logic that is peculiar to a human his age. The "typical toddler rites of passage" noted a reviewer for Publishers Weekly, are dealt with humor and affection. A reviewer for the Children's Book Review Service noted that while approaching predica- ments from the child's point of view, Langreuter's books "make you realize how difficult the maturing process can be."
The first book in the series, Little Bear Brushes His Teeth, deals with the universal problem of teaching a child the habit of brushing his teeth. When Mama Bear's best efforts and Papa Bear's strict commands fail, Mama comes up with an ingenious way of making her toddler understand the importance of brushing one's teeth: she uses Little Bear's fondness for "pretending" to enlist her son as a "soldier" in the "battle" against bacteria who are the "enemy." Hazel Rochman commented in Booklist: "Toddlers will enjoy all the messy and loving particulars of [the bears'] daily world."
The second book in the series, Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten, deals with the issue of separation anxiety faced by a small child going to school for the first time. The book opens with Mother Bear preparing Little Bear for school by recalling a previous preparatory visit to the school. The motif of remembering is reinforced throughout the book as the events unfold. In her review of the book for School Library Journal, Judith Constantinides noted that "The text is just right—succinct and with the oft-repeated phrase, ‘I remember’ to give it unity."
Little Bear and the Big Fight examines in detail the confused emotions of the preschooler when he has his first fight with his best friend in school. The account captures the preschooler's intense feelings and fears and how he learns to deal with them.Writing in Booklist, Rochman observed that children will particularly empathize with this story and "recognize how quickly friends can become enemies and how it hurts." School Library Journal contributor Christine A. Moesch suggested, however, that "More emphasis seems to be placed on how bad it feels to be angry at someone, rather than … that beating someone up isn't necessarily the first course of action." Little Bear Is a Big Brother explores Little Bear's changing emotions at the prospect of a new sibling—at first he is excited and then apprehensive when friends at school warn him of the impending problems the new baby will bring.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 1997, Hazel Rochman, reviews of Little Bear Brushes His Teeth and Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten, pp. 946-948; April, 1998, Hazel Rochman, reviews of Little Bear and the Big Fight and Little Bear Is a Big Brother, p. 1331.
Children's Book Review Service, June, 1997, Peggy Munte, reviews of Little Bear Brushes His Teeth and Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten, p. 122.
Kirkus Reviews, February 1, review of Little Bear Brushes His Teeth, p. 230.
Publishers Weekly, January 27, 1997, reviews of Little Bear Brushes His Teeth and Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten, p. 105.
School Library Journal, April, 1997, Judith Constantinides, review of Little Bear Goes to Kindergarten, p. 112; July, 1997, Jane Marino, review of Little Bear Brushes His Teeth, p. 70; August, 1998, Christine A. Moesch, review of Little Bear and the Big Fight, p. 142; April, 2001, Carolyn Jenks, review of Little Bear Won't Go to Bed, p. 115.