Kurt Wiese

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Kurt Wiese (April 22, 1887 – May 27, 1974)[1] was a German-born book illustrator. Wiese wrote and illustrated 20 children's books and illustrated another 300 for other authors.


Wiese was born in Minden, Germany.[1] He aspired to be an artist but was discouraged by his community.[1]

World War One[edit]

Wiese lived and traveled in China for six years,[2] selling merchandise as a young man. At the outbreak of World War I, he was captured by the Japanese, and turned over to the British. He spent five years as a prisoner, most of them in Australia, where his fascination with the animal life inspired him to start sketching again.[3] After his release at the end of the war, Wiese returned to Germany but the economy was so bad that he moved to Brazil.[1]

United States[edit]

Wiese began his illustration career in Brazil, and in 1927 moved to the United States. His first critical success was with the illustrations for Felix Salten's Bambi in 1929.[1] In 1930 he married Gertrude Hansen, with whom he lived on a farm in Kingwood Township, New Jersey.[1]


  • Caldecott Honor Book Award in 1946 for You Can Write Chinese.
  • Caldecott Honor Book Award in 1948 for Fish in the Air.
  • Newbery Award winner Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze(illustrator).
  • Newbery Honor books Honk the Moose, Li Lun, Lad of Courage, and Daughter of the Mountains(illustrator)

Selected works[edit]

Freddy the Pig[edit]

Main article: Freddy the Pig

Freddy the Pig was featured in 26 books written by Walter R. Brooks, illustrated by Wiese, and published by Alfred A. Knopf from 1927 to 1958. The first two were titled To and Again and More To and Again – in reference to constituent journeys to and back again from Florida and the North Pole. They were followed by Freddy the Detective (1932), three more various titles, 19 novels with "Freddy" titles (1940–1958) and The Collected Poems of Freddy the Pig (1953). From some time all 25 novels have been issued with "Freddy" titles.

  • The Art of Freddy, Brooks, Wiese and Michael Cart (Overlook Press, 2002)


New York City publishers except as noted.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Birthday Bios: Kurt Wiese," Children's Literature Network.
  2. ^ "Kurt Wiese" (about the author), The Story About Ping (Viking edition, Penguin Putnam, 1933).
  3. ^ James A. Michener Art Museum: Bucks County Artists
  4. ^ Evidently Wiese created a second and third set of global Pictured Geography books with writers Bernadine Bailey and Lois Donaldson and also a set of U.S. state picture books with Bailey, Picture book of Alabama and so on "Search results for 'Pictured Geography Kurt Wiese' ". WorldCat. Retrieved 2015-01-28.

External links[edit]