Otfried Preußler: A Literary Luminary for Children

Saurav Singh
3 Min Read
Otfried Preußler

Otfried Preußler (20 October 1923 – 18 February 2013) was a celebrated German author, best known for his enchanting children’s books that continue to captivate young readers worldwide.

Early Life

Otfried Preußler was born on October 20, 1923, in Reichenberg, Czechoslovakia (now Liberec, Czech Republic). He grew up in a culturally rich environment, influenced by the folklore and traditions of the region. His early life experiences sowed the seeds of storytelling, and he developed a deep appreciation for the magic of words.


Writing for Children

Preußler’s writing career took flight when he published his first children’s book, “The Little Witch” (Die kleine Hexe), in 1957. This tale of a young witch learning to be good became an instant classic and marked the beginning of a prolific career in children’s literature. His works, including “Krabat,” “The Robber Hotzenplotz,” and “The Satanic Mill,” enthralled young readers with their imaginative narratives, relatable characters, and whimsical adventures.

Award-Winning Author

Preußler’s contributions to children’s literature were recognized with numerous awards. He received the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the highest international recognition for an author of children’s books, in 1972. His books were translated into over 55 languages and have sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, making him a beloved figure in the literary world.


Legacy and Awards

Otfried Preußler’s legacy is one of sparking young imaginations and fostering a love for reading. His tales remain essential to the world of children’s literature and continue to delight readers. His influence is widespread, as his books inspire adaptations into theater, film, and television productions.

Notable Awards:

  • Hans Christian Andersen Award (1972): Otfried Preußler received this prestigious award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to children’s literature. It is considered the highest honor for children’s book authors.
  • “The Little Witch” (Die kleine Hexe)
  • “Krabat”
  • “The Robber Hotzenplotz”
  • “The Satanic Mill” (Das Satansmühlenbuch)


Otfried Preußler passed away on February 18, 2013, leaving behind a rich literary heritage that continues to enchant generations of children and adults alike.

Otfried Preußler’s storytelling magic lives on through his timeless tales, ensuring that the world of children’s literature remains illuminated by his imagination and talent.


On 20 October 2017, a Google Doodle was created to celebrate Otfried Preußler’s 94th Birthday.

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