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  • About us

    When the Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag appeared on the publishing stage in 2014, it was the result of the union of two of the oldest and best known producers of children's books in Germany – Thienemann and Esslinger. The two companies, with their long tradition of publishing, have now decided to join hands with a joint management team in order to face together the challenges of the market and pool their resources of famous authors, illustrators and children's and young adult classics under one roof.

    The focus of the four sectors within the publishing programmes, ThienemannEsslinger, Planet! and Gabriel lies on books for children and teenagers and covers all ages between 0 and 18, from high-quality picture books to novels for young adults.

    The programme


    The programme includes ...


    • Classics such as The Robber Hotzenplotz and Krabat by Otfried Preußler, Jim Button, Momo and The Never-ending Story by Michael Ende and Urmel by Max Kruse
    • Modern heroes like Raven, the little Rascal by Nele Moost and Annet Rudolph, and Daniel Napp's adorably chaotic picture book hero Dr. Brumm
    • Books by exciting new story-tellers like Oliver Scherz and photo artist Jan von Holleben
    • Books for girls by bestselling authors like Bianka Minte-König, Hortense Ullrich, Nele Neuhaus and Gaby Hauptmann
    • Reprints of classical children's books such as Rabbit School and The Root Children.

    The history


    The Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag GmbH is a daughter company of Bonnier Media Deutschland and was established early in 2014 after a merger of the Thienemann Verlag GmbH in Stuttgart with the Esslinger F.J. Schreiber GmbH, hitherto in Esslingen.


    Both Thienemann and Esslinger can look back on a long history:


    The J.F. Schreiber Verlag was founded by its eponym in 1831 and before long the company's focus was on the publications of high educational value like sheets of pictures, nature books and artistically created picture books.


    June 1, 1849, saw the foundation by Karl Ludwig Thienemann of his own publishing house, which initially published books he himself had written and illustrated, several of them hand-coloured.


    Both publishers were, from an early date, keen to sell publication rights abroad and aimed at coproductions – hence the Thienemann publication in 1869 of the Picture-Book of Elementary Ideas not only in the original German but also in English, French, Dutch, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese.

    Our imprints

    The slogan Thienemann – We write stories! stands for the very much alive tradition of discovering new authors writing in German and illustrators, and giving them advice and support on the often long path to national and international success.


    Classics of children's and young-adult literature


    The publication in 1956 of The Little Water Sprite and, in 1960, of Jim Button and Lucas, the Engine Driver was the foundation for what Thienemann is today, namely the publishing house associated with the names of such important post-war authors writing in German as Michael Ende, Max Kruse, Otfried Preußler and Ursula Wölfel. Their books have been translated into more than 50 languages and have long since become classics of children's and young-adult literature in countries all over the world.



    What children and teenagers want to read


    Another tradition is the publication of books that are right on target when it comes to what young readers want and need.

    Thus, for ten years, Thienemann has been the home of Professor Bumble, the adorable picture book bear created by Daniel Napp; not to mention all the numerous affectionately written and designed picture books by such authors and illustrators as Carola Schreiber-Wicke and Carola Holland, Daniela Kulot and Andrea Glitz. Last but by no means least, Kerstin Schoene has conquered the hearts of readers with her So Many Friends.

    In the field of storybooks, children have been entertained for years by Max Kruse with his Urmel books, by Sebastian Lybeck and his tales about Latte Hedgehog and Joachim Friedrich with 4 ½ Friends. Oliver Scherz is just making a name for himself as an up-and-coming author with his surprising books to be read aloud and for children to read themselves.

    Young-adult novels range from exciting thrillers such as those written by Alice Gabathuler, novels in the tradition of fantasy like The Heart of the Star Messenger by Priska Lo Cascio to the historical novels by Inge Barth-Grözinger, whose tales go back into the last century.

    Esslinger can look back on a long history and is committed to high-quality picture books. The titles of the new publications no longer bear headings like Only for Good Children, as they used to do at the end of the 19th century – young readers nowadays much prefer to identify with cheeky protagonists like Raven, the little Rascal. Apart from board books, look-and-find books and pictures books, the Esslinger Verlag has published fairy tales, stories for reading aloud and classics of children's literature, which are often illustrated by outstanding artists.


    Esslinger is also famous for its reprints. The huge wealth of material collected by J.F. Schreiber and, since 1997, the newly acquired Alfred Hahn's Verlag, has made historical bestsellers such as Sibylle von Olfers' The Root Children, the three-dimensional popup books by Lothar Meggendorfer and The Rabbit School available again.

    Planet! is an imprint of the Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag GmbH which has for years and with huge enthusiasm been publishing books for girls and boys. What began with the extremely successful Cheeky Books – Cheeky Girls! series by bestselling authors like Bianka Minte-König and Hortense Ullrich (more than 10 million copies sold in the German-speaking countries) is now being continued with series such as The Magic GirlsThe Magic Garden and Elena – A Life for Horses.


    Planet! sees itself as a publisher for specific target groups and in its programme development is directly geared to the world girls and boys live in.

    It was a catholic convent that founded the Sankt Gabriel Verlag in Vienna in 1901. Over the years, the section devoted to literature for children and teenagers became a publishing house in its own right. This led to a change in the company profile, resulting in a wide-ranging and committed programme that has won many awards.


    Since 2000 the Gabriel Verlag has been part of the Thienemann-Esslinger Verlag GmbH. Well-known and new authors and illustrators have left their mark on the publishing programme.


    The books produced by the Gabriel Verlag, now with an ecumenical orientation, are aimed at making children and their parents more familiar with Christian traditions over the course of a year and throughout a lifetime. Other topics, such as dealing with emotions and anxieties and questions about the meaning of life or about God, are also firmly anchored in the publishing programme.


    Over and above this, Gabriel is about the values involved when people come together on a daily basis – about tolerance of cultures other than our own, for example. The books give readers the possibility to find out more about all sorts of different ideals and moral concepts and are a stimulation to think about their own religion and that of other people. That is what the slogan stands for: Gabriel – What really counts!



    The programme


    The focus of the publishing programme is on the Bible, prayers, festivals and customs, and ethics. Within this range, books are produced for all age brackets, from board books and picture books through children's books to books for young adults.


    Diversity is the guiding principle of the Gabriel Verlag behind its choice of topics and their realisation.



    Authors and illustrators


    Gabriel Verlag authors and illustrators include award-winning writers Christian Nürnberger, Alois Prinz and Oscar Brenifer, satirist Erwin Grosche, religion education teachers Rainer Oberthür and Martin Polster, psychologist Roland Kachler and children's and young-adult book authors Martina Baumbach, Beate Dölling, Donna Freitas, Bettina Obrecht, Stephan Sigg and Katrin Stehle, each one of them with a special competence and their own distinctive style.


    Apart from the outstanding photo artist Jan von Holleben, distinguished illustrators like Dagmar Geisler, Günther Jakobs, Rike Janßen, Verena Körting, Barbara Nascimbeni, Eva Schöffmann-Davidov, Renate Seelig and Catharina Westphal contribute to the books published by Gabriel Verlag.