Gerda Muller and her Children's Books

Gerda Muller (photo by Vincent Tessier)

Gerda Muller was born in 1926 in Naarden, the Netherlands. She studied at the Fine Arts School of Amsterdam and École Estienne of Paris. Gerda has illustrated over 120 books for children, many of which have been translated worldwide. Her book A Year in our New Garden appeared on the USBBY Outstanding International Books list.

Gerda Muller biography Books by Gerda Muller Illustration from A Year Around the Great Oak by Gerda Muller

Gerda Muller (b. 1926): Biography


Gerda Muller's Early Life

Illustration from Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Gerda Muller

Gerda Muller was born on 21st February 1926 in Naarden, a town in the northern Netherlands. In the 1940s, Gerda studied at the School of Fine Arts in Amsterdam where she was advised against pursuing a career in children's illustration. Advertising would be more lucrative, she was told!

Determined to continue drawing for children, Gerda packed a suitcase and took her bike to Paris where she attended classes at L'école Estienne and worked with renowned French poster artist Paul Colin. But even there, the focus remained on using art for advertising and after a year, Gerda left Colin's studio.

Deciding to stay in Paris, in 1951 Gerda met Paul Faucher, the celebrated French children's writer and founder of renowned publisher Père Castor. Thus began her long career in children's publishing.

Gerda Muller and Children's Publishing

Illustration from A Year Around the Great Oak by Gerda Muller

The friendship between Gerda Muller and Paul Faucher was the start of a long professional collaboration. Père Castor published her first illustrated children's book, The Good Day, in 1951 and this was swiftly followed by Marlaguette (1952). During this time, she also illustrated Paul's own stories, including the French classics Three Little Pigs and The Good Friends.

As her reputation grew and French children came to love her charming drawings, Gerda quickly found herself in demand. Over the last fifty years, she has published more than 120 children's books. She has worked with some of the most famous publishers in France and Europe, including Éditions Le Centurion, Gautier-Languereau (now part of Hachette Livre), Flammarion, Ravensburger and of course, Floris Books.

Gerda Muller

More recently, Gerda has illustrated the popular French series Turlutins and continues to work with French publisher L'ecole des Loisirs on charming modern stories such as Ce pousse comment?, published in English by Floris Books as How Does My Garden Grow?

When I work alone in my studio, I feel the presence of a child who looks over my shoulder and often guides me. It is for this child that I work, not for parents or publishers.


Gerda Muller's Artistic Style

Gerda Muller works across a wide variety of mediums and uses diverse techniques when illustrating. For precise line work, she typically works with black and sepia pen, using watercolours to add colour and detail. Her picture book illustrations have also made use of coloured pencils, oils, lithography and more recently, pastels.

Gerda Muller is known for her love of nature and natural scenes. Her illustrations are vibrant, detailed, and reflect the changing seasons and landscapes.

Books by Gerda Muller

Below is a list of Gerda Muller's books in English, all of which are available from Floris Books.


The Wildwood Elves cover image

The Wildwood Elves

Story by Anne-Marie Chapouton

This classic story by popular French author Anne-Marie Chapouton is brought to life by Gerda Muller's vintage artwork. What will the Wildwood elves discover when they visit the seaside?



The Gerda Muller Seasons Gift Collection cover image

The Gerda Muller Seasons Gift Collection

A charming gift box collection of Gerda Muller's beloved 'seasons' board books book, includes mini editions of Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. These beautifully illustrated books, with no words, are full of seasonal details to spot.



Gerda Muller, Goldilocks and the Three Bears cover image

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A lively twist on the classic fairy tale, full of character and fun. Gerda Muller's timeless, distinctive illustrations offer wonderful detail for children to enjoy.



Gerda Muller, The Sorcerer's Apprentice cover image

The Sorcerer's Apprentice

A delicately illustrated, unique retelling of the story that inspired Disney's Fantasia. Can Oliver stop his enchanted brooms getting out of control?



Gerda Muller, Where Do They Go When it Rains? cover image

Where Do They Go When it Rains?

The twins are on a country walk when it starts to rain. They love splashing about, but where do all the animals go?



Gerda Muller, A Year Around the Great Oak cover image

A Year Around the Great Oak

A re-designed, expanded edition of a classic bestseller. Anna and Benjamin discover the plants and animals living around a 300-year-old tree through detailed, charming illustrations. A blend of fiction and fact to delight and inform.



Gerda Muller, How Does My Fruit Grow? cover image

How Does My Fruit Grow?

Sophie learnt about growing fruit when she visited her aunt and uncle in the countryside. When she moves to a new town she discovers more about the fruits that grow there and finds new friends.



Gerda Muller, A Year in Our New Garden cover image

A Year in Our New Garden

Anna and Benjamin, with a little help from their neighbour, spend a year learning about all the wonderful things you can do in a garden; planting, harvesting, enjoying picnics and spotting wildlife.



Gerda Muller, Town Musicians of Bremen cover image

The Town Musicians of Bremen

Four unlikely animal companions set off on an adventure to become musicians in the town of Bremen in this beautiful new edition of a classic Brothers Grimm tale.



Gerda Muller, How Does My Garden Grow? cover image

How Does My Garden Grow?

Sophie lives in the city, and her vegetables come from the supermarket. Then she goes to visit her grandparents in the countryside – and soon discovers how much there is to learn about how things grow!



Gerda Muller, Spring cover image

Spring

One of a series of four books without text, to lead young children through the seasons of the year. Full of fun, active illustrations, this chunky little board book shows the joys of playing with lambs, sowing seeds, painting Easter eggs and watching baby birds.



Gerda Muller, Summer cover image

Summer

One of a series of four books without text, to lead young children through the seasons of the year. Full of fun, active illustrations, this chunky little board book shows the joys of fishing for tadpoles, playing at the beach, eating ice-cream, and enjoying evening picnics.



Gerda Muller, Autumn cover image

Autumn

One of a series of four books without text, to lead young children through the seasons of the year. Full of fun, active illustrations, this chunky little board book shows the joys of playing in leaves, collecting conkers, flying kites and making jam.



Gerda Muller, Winter cover image

Winter

One of a series of four books without text, to lead young children through the seasons of the year. Full of fun, active illustrations, this chunky little board book shows the joys of shovelling snow, ice-skating, feeding the birds, and being cosy inside with the Christmas tree.




Like Gerda Muller? Sign up now to get the latest info on new picture books
from Floris, straight to your inbox


Choose your subject(s):

Discover more children's authors

We've got more children's authors and illustrators you'll love: visit our Elsa Beskow Author Page and Sibylle von Olfers Author Page for more wonderful picture books.

Illustration from A Year in Our New Garden