During the Corona lockdown, it was a significant challenge for many educators to stay in touch with the individuals they were responsible for. To maintain the connection with 9-year-old Matilda, Carmen Schmidt developed short stories week by week, illustrated them meticulously, and sent them to the girl via a messenger service. Together, they experienced the adventures of the little bear on a journey to the North Pole, making new friends and finding mutual support within the community. The IJS e.V. has published the individual episodes in a limited special book edition. Each book is hand-numbered and signed by the author.
Die Reise des kleinen Bären by Carmen Schmidt
(The Journey of the Little Bear)
Draw what you see by Crystin Fawn
Imagination is the gift of seeing invisible things. What more does it take than a splash to create little beings? Funny parrots, blue poodles, and quirky elephants – everything can come to life in this book. With just a few strokes, wondrous figures, plants, animals, and objects can emerge, making our world a bit friendlier. A coloring book that invites you to dream on every page. The IJS e.V. has reissued Crystin Fawn’s collection of splashes in a limited special edition of 500 copies. The author has personally signed each book.
Children between the ages of six and twelve experience a lot during the Easter creative days, and even some adventures.
During the Easter creative days for children at Viertelhaus Cardijn, there was an exciting reading from “The Journey of the Little Bear” by Carmen Schmidt.
By Klaus Schlupp (www.grenzecho.net)
“The ice cream at Mrs. Lisa’s was very delicious and popular,” Doris Beckers reads. Henk van Dreumel from the “Individueller Jugendhilfe Service” (ILS e.V) in Düsseldorf holds up a beautifully designed poster. A little bear sits at a marble table with an ice cream sundae in front of him. The holiday children from Viertelhaus Cardijn sit in a semicircle in the park behind Villa Peters, between two wooden playhouses that announce a bakery and a store in Dutch.
Doris Beckers interacts skillfully with the children. She asks questions about the story or shows the children a Matryoshka, a Russian “nesting doll,” often erroneously called “Babushka.” Isabella (10) is more than surprised when she discovers the smallest Matryoshka hidden in her headband, a trick Henk van Dreumel secretly conjured there.
No one notices that Doris Beckers had to step in at the last moment because the author, Carmen Schmidt, was unwell. The connection with the demanding audience is perfect. The six to twelve-year-old children participating in the Easter creative days are captivated by the story of the little bear who travels by boat, airplane, or train to find the polar bear and experiences various adventures along the way. “I think it’s good that the bear goes on a journey,” comments Iduna (10).
Author Carmen Schmidt not only provided the story but also lovingly created scenes with stuffed animals and other props, which serve as a wonderful illustration and can be seen in large-format readings.
“We are a youth welfare organization, not a publishing house,” emphasizes Henk van Dreumel. As a result, the readings take place not at typical locations such as bookstores but at events like the Easter creative days at Viertelhaus Cardijn. Here, children who are more likely to play and craft than visit a bookstore participate. It’s a diverse group of girls and boys aged six to twelve, with many children from immigrant backgrounds. After the reading, they are all allowed to take home a signed copy of “The Journey of the Little Bear” by the author.
It’s now time for a break since listening for too long can be tiring. Play, frolic, and eating are on the agenda. Three staff members at the “Bakkerij” (Bakery) have set up and are serving delicious cocoa and vanilla milk, while ILS staff distribute waffles with and without chocolate.
Book Donation and Picnic Reading
wochenspiegel.de (April 12, 2023)
Eupen. – As part of the Easter Creative Days, there was ultimately a picnic reading at Villa Peters. Over 30 children in attendance were eagerly anticipating the children’s book author Carmen Schmidt. Unfortunately, the author had to cancel at the last minute due to illness. Quarterhouse Cardijn employee Doris Becker turned out to be an excellent stand-in, captivating the children with the gripping story of the adventures of the little bear. The bear embarks on a daring journey, meets the lion, enjoys waffles with the grandmother, and drinks milk with the yellow chick. In the end, he overcomes all obstacles. The children’s enthusiasm was great, especially because they were allowed to take home a book signed by the author after the reading. This was made possible through the cooperation between Viertelhaus Cardijn and the Düsseldorf youth welfare organization IJS e.V. “We are happy to support projects of this kind. The book ‘The Journey of the Little Bear’ is a limited edition and not available in stores. Together with the author and local partners, we are committed to ensuring that children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend a reading can participate in such an event. Cocoa and waffles are brought for the children to make it a beautiful afternoon for them,” said Rolf Levermann, Managing Director of IJS e.V. The non-profit organization is dedicated to developing and promoting individual offerings for children, adolescents, and young adults. In addition, educational professionals and initiatives are supported with practical concepts, short films, and publications. The afternoon was a successful experience for all involved. Little Vanessa summed it up: “That was delicious and cool!”