Bley, Anette 1967-

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Bley, Anette 1967-

Personal

Born 1967, in Tübingen, Germany. Education: Educated in United States and Germany; Akademie der Bildenden Künste (Munich, Germany), degree, 1996.

Addresses

Home—Munich, Germany.

Career

Author and illustrator of books for children, and sculptor. Teacher of art; freelance author and illustrator, beginning 1990.

Awards, Honors

Children's Book Sense Pick, 2007, for And What Comes after a Thousand?

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Den Papa hab'ich lieb, Ars Edition (Munich, Germany), 1997.

Sophia und die Gruselgeister, Ars Edition (Munich, Germany), 1998.

Und was kommt nach Tausend?, Ravensburger (Ravensburg, Germany), 2005, translation published as And What Comes after a Thousand?, Kane/Miller (La Jolla, CA), 2007.

Und Ich will Flieger sein!, Ravensburger (Ravensburg, Germany), 2006.

Ein Stern strahlt um die Welt. Kinder feiern Weihnachten hier bei uns und anderswo, Loewe (Bindlach, Germany), 2006.

ILLUSTRATOR

Nathan Zimelman, Melwins Stern. Eine wihnachtliche Geschichte, Ars Edition (Munich, Germany), 1994.

Frauke Nahrgang, Der Ferienfeind, Heinrich Ellermann (Hamburg, Germany), 1995.

Katrin Lauer, Das kummervolle Kuscheltier, Ars Edition (Munich, Germany), 1996.

Barbara Zoschke, Hell leuchtet uns ein Stern, Ars Edition (Munich, Germany), 1997.

Ulrike, Gerold and Wolfram Hänel, Jetzt will Ich aber schlafen: zwei Gutenachtgeschichten, Aare (Aarau, Germany), 1998.

Elisabeth Zöller, Und wenn ich zurückhaue?, Bertelsmann (Gütersloh, Germany), 1998.

Wilhelm Gruber, Wihnachtsegeschichte: Nicholas auf dem Glatteis, Aare by Sauerländer (Oberentfelden, Switzerland), 1999.

Gerda Wagener. Indianergeschichten, Edition Bücherbauer, 2002.

Jutta Langreuter, Da bist du ja, kleiner Ole!, Ars Edition (Munich, Germany), 2004.

Elisabeth Zöller, Jetzt bist du fällig! Geschichten gegen Gewalt, Loewe (Bindlach, Germany), 2005.

Pia Sandmann, Nicht mit mir!, Ravensburger (Ravensburg, Germany), 2005.

Judith Sixel, Bleib bei mir, klenier Engel, Herder, Freiburg (Freiburg, Germany), 2008.

Rudolf Herfurtner, adaptor, Romeo und Julia. Das Ballett nach Sergei Prokofjew, Betz (Vienna, Austria), 2008.

Also illustrator of advent calendars.

Sidelights

Artist and author Anette Bley has been praised for her watercolor-tinted drawings, which appear alongside her own stories as well as with those by many other picture-book authors in her native Germany. In addition to books, her artwork has decorated advent calendars, a popular tradition among young children celebrating the coming of Christmas. Bley studied drawing and painting, as well as graphic design, in both Germany and the United States, and trained closely with illustrator Robin Page until 1996. In addition her work in children's books, Bley is a sculptor and also teaches classes and workshops on creating picture-book art.

Bley's first published illustrations appeared in 1994, in Nathan Zimelman's Melwins Stern. Eine wihnachtliche Geschichte. Her first original story, Den Papa hab'ichlieb, was published three years later, and has been followed by several more self-illustrated books, among them Sophia und die Gruselgeister, Und Ich will Flieger sein!, and Und was kommt nach Tausend? A poignant intergenerational story, Und was kommt nach Tausend? has been translated into English as And What Comes after a Thousand?

In And What Comes after a Thousand? a young girl named Lisa is very close to Otto, an elderly man who lives on a nearby farm. While other grownups often have little time to devote to the girl, Otto dotes on Lisa, sharing stories and cookies, helping her count stars in the night sky. He also encourages her when she gets frustrated learning to aim her slingshot. Then the elderly man grows ill and ultimately dies, leaving the girl alone and angry. After the funeral, Lisa's feelings of loss make way for understanding as she learns that, despite death, her beloved Otto still lives in her heart. Praising Bley's "heartfelt pastel illustrations," a Kirkus Reviews writer deemed And What Comes after a Thousand? a "touching" picture book that "offers a comforting lesson in loss." In School Library Journal Maryann H. Owen praised Bley's images as "wonderfully varied," as did a Publishers Weekly critic. Citing the author/ illustrator's "velvety, emotionally acute pictures" for creating "a visual poetry," the critic predicted that young readers "will find much to savor in the book's radiant pictures and lyrical elusiveness."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, May 15, 2007, Hazel Rochman, review of And What Comes after a Thousand?, p. 49.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2007, review of And What Comes after a Thousand?, p. 120.

Publishers Weekly, February 12, 2007, review of And What Comes after a Thousand?, p. 85.

School Library Journal, March, 2007, Maryann H. Owen, review of And What Comes after a Thousand?, p. 151.

ONLINE

Goethe Institute Web site,http://www.goethe.de/ (March 21, 2008), "Anette Bley."

Kane Miller Web site,http://www.kanemiller.com/ (March 21, 2008), "Anette Bley."