Please note this was translated from the original German using google Translate and is by the Owner of the German Publishing house
Not an easy topic for a children’s book: dying and death. Not when we see life as an adventure that only makes sense to Humbert Bear deep down in the sea! Alexander Mackenzie realized a story full of images full of love and poetry about a journey of transition from one life to another.
The German translation will be published by Erzählverlag at the end of January 2021. There is actually no reason for the sleepy bear Humbert to dive into the water – “except for the reason to believe in the beauty of life that is more real than fear,” says Alexander Mackenzie. The Scottish painter and narrator gave the weary bear Humbert great confidence in his journey to the “fantastic island of surprises”: Humbert Bear trusts the sharks in the depths of the sea and their wild history of lengthy adventures. He trusts that they know the way to the island of fantastic surprises. And full of confidence he falls asleep on her back during the journey. In a world full of colors, they finally leave him behind. He asks: “But why am I here?” – “Humbert,” they say, “you are not like other bears. You are unique.
That means that only you can experience adventures that require courage from you. ”And his courage is rewarded. Humbert Bear recognizes the shore of the island and can already see the sails that are collecting him … Alexander Mackenzie painted and wrote an allegory about a little brightly colored bear who appears to spend most of its short life dozing, much like children with life-limiting diseases do. But his secret dream life is full of adventure and those who know him appreciate that his wonderful dream life makes him a very special company.
Some pictures from the book hang in the lounge of the world’s first children’s hospice, Helen House Hospice in Oxford. Humbert Bear’s travel pictures shine and invite the eyes to another world beyond the everyday suffering, to a place of constant amazement. The story leads the big and small readers to a place of understanding, trust and love for life. And Alexander Mackenzie leaves no doubt about the latter: Humbert has many more adventures waiting for him on the fantastic island of surprises!
“I knew from our first meeting that there was something very special in Humbert. The beauty of the illustrations is obviously obvious, but above all the story is meaningful for those children and families who are going through a very difficult path.” Kathy Patching, Helen House Hospice, Oxford In 2016,
Alexander Mackenzie ran a crowdfunding campaign to ensure that every children’s hospice facility in Great Britain could receive ten copies of the English edition. It was a successful campaign, but that didn’t stop there. In early 2018 he was invited to speak about the book at the annual conference of Tellers Without Borders in Sarajevo. That was the initial spark for translations into Spanish, Croatian and German.
The former journalist and trained healing educator from Hamburg, Micaela Sauber, finally translated the book into German. She has been working as a freelance storyteller and cultural manager for many years and is linked to Alexander Mackenzie in the international network Tellers Without Borders. The network serves to work for people in crisis areas and emergencies. After the English edition had been published, Alexander Mackenzie received many letters of thanks and appreciation.
He then initiated the website humbertbear.com, on which his readers can leave comments and describe their experiences with the book. Now, at the end of January 2021, our publishing house will publish the German edition, which is aimed at outpatient and inpatient facilities for incurably and life-shortening children and adolescents as well as their parents and siblings. “Alexander Mackenzie’s children’s book makes a difficult subject easy,” says publisher Peter Amsler, explaining the German edition. “Humbert Bear’s story brings children and adults together and, with its linguistic poetry and imaginative, colorful pictures, encourages speaking about something that is actually unspeakable. We are very pleased to be able to publish this important book for the German-speaking world and at the same time to be part of it worldwide campaign. “
Alexander Mackenzie Humbert Bear loves to sleep Translated from English by Micaela Sauber With illustrations by the author 24 pages, 27.9 x 21.6 cm, hardcover ISBN 978-3-947831-54-8 Article no. 79-3154 20.00 € (D) 20.70 € (A)