AHOY PIRATES! SO GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE!
MEET THE CREW AND LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR MISSION AND VISION!
LET'S SHOW OUR CHILDREN A WORLD WHERE EVERYONE CAN DO EVERYTHING. REGARDLESS OF SKIN COLOR, REGARDLESS IF A GIRL OR A BOY.
GIRL POWER. DIVERSITY. ADVENTURE. FUN.
WE THINK, THE WORLD OF KID'S LITERATURE COULD DO WITH A FEW MORE
FEMALE ROLE MODELS
Courageous pirates instead of princesses waiting to be rescued. Girls exploring the world, being independent and free.
aha. ok. so we need more female role models.
We read some very interesting studies by media researchers and large newspapers about the distribution of the sexes in children’s books and films. (Maya Goetz, for example...). And that's where it all began.
Shockingly, they all say about the same thing: Male heroes are courageous and free, they command pirate ships, find treasures and discover the world. Female heroes are good, nice, caring, and well-groomed - and usually their adventures end at the fence around the pony corral. If they are lucky, that is. Some of them stay home and learn how to help in the house - or even worse: wait until being rescued by a prince. (Yeah! Finally!)
...we always found this quite disturbing.
For how are we supposed to achieve true equality if we continue to plant such stereotypes in our children's heads? Boys are like this - girls are like that?
we rather try to change things than complain about them...
AND SO... we invented ilvie little
A very special female heroine, who’s courageous, independent, and free. And so are her friends - girls and boys, citizens of the world with different ethnical backgrounds. We don't talk about skin colors in our books. It's Amelie, the brilliant navigator. And that's it.
Some of our little heroes have so called 'handicaps'. We don't talk about this either. In our books, they are just simply precious members of the society. Emmanuelle, the chief of our Dragon Boat Island is really powerful, she's one of our main figures in Book III. Emmanuelle is played by a fantastic girl called Maya. Maya was born with Down's syndrome.
The fact that our books are photo illustrated - the kids are real kids of course - makes it easier for our little readers to identify with their heroes. And it makes things possible that otherwise would maybe be a bit difficult: We can leave certain things without descriptions or comments.
SOUNDS ADVENTUROUS TO YOU? :) NO WORRIES! WE ARE NOT JUST PIRATES WITH A CAUSE - WE ARE ALSO TOUGH PROFESSIONALS:
Ilvie Little & Friends was founded in July 2020. First book was out just before Christmas - in the same year. We did not propose our stories to any other publisher. We did not want anything to be changed or adapted.
And so we took the harder road... :) ...we started from scratch, built up our networks, our professional book delivery chain, met some really great people - and got lots of help from girls and guys believing in our idea.
And there we are now - we've got some serious little fans waiting for the next book as soon as the new one is out. Kids sending us presents for the crew. We get comments like 'these are the best books in the whole wide world!' And some of the grown ups reading Ilvie's stories to their kids tell us, the books inspire them as well - to leave the comfort zone, try new things - and see, how the world outside the little box looks like! :)
SO - WHO IS ACTUALLY SAILING THE SHIP?
our captain and founder
This is Susanne, our captain - she writes and illustrates Ilvie Little’s adventures.
Susanne has been traveling most of her life. She spent several months in Ghana working on a school project; went to Australia to see the Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock and to learn about the telepathic abilities of the Aborigines; she sailed around the world as a ship’s photographer; dived deep into most of the world’s oceans; and explored parts of China on a side car motorbike.
After all that, she moved to Vienna and opened her own photo studio, photographed, and directed lots of international campaigns, specialized in underwater visuals (people, not fish:)), exhibited her photography and video installations in lots of different parts of the world, moved to Paris for a few years - moved back to Vienna for now (…just for now, she says).
...when she finds time, Susanne also (ghost-) writes kid's books for other publishers.
our licensing & press captain
International licensing and press? Finding cool partners around the globe? This is Polina.
Born in Mumbai, raised in Australia, Moscow and London, Polina studied journalism and worked in PR for a while. When she became Mom of two daughters, Polina realised, there was a decent lack of cool kid’s fashion in the city she lived (Moscow it was at that time). So she partnered up with a French kid’s fashion brand and opened something like 16 shops in the city.
After some years, Polina thought: Seen it, done it - there must be some new adventures waiting for me… Now based in Vienna, Polina is taking care of our international contacts & PR, checking out new wholesale and production partners, organising our fair shows and doing lots of other things that just have to be done.
our events & fairs captain
Visiting us at a fair or any other event? You'll find Tamara right there on our pirate ship!
…somehow we lost count on how many times Tamara has travelled around the globe. There must be only a few countries in the world Tamara hasn’t seen yet. Currently she lives in the hills around Bologna - but you have to be really lucky to meet her there.
Fluent in around 5-7 languages, Tamara works as a travel guide, specialised in sustainable tourism. Tamara is our captain when it comes to sailing our pirate ship Anastasia to international fairs. You meet her at our fair booths, big smile on her face - most of the time talking to several kids & grown ups at the same time, switching languages in a sentence.
our publishing business captain
This is Sonja, our producer and consultant for publishing business matters.
Sonja has been in the book business for decades, she's a skilled book dealer, has realised tons of books and has worked in really big publishing houses. Sonja definitely knows all the little obstacles and stumbling blocks in the industry (and, most important: she knows how to get around them).
Without her knowledge and power, Ilvie Little would still be a manuscript in a box.
OUR captain of ortography
...lovely, passionate, and with the eyes of an eagle: This is Pia, our editor.
Pia examines every word, every letter, every punctuation mark. A little change here, a little twist there. Night shifts and tight deadlines can't stop our power-Pia - her precision and her good mood are bulletproof!
Pia has been in the business for over two decades. After her studies in Vienna, Paris, and Montpellier, she's worked as an editor for big publishing companies in Hamburg and Vienna - specializing in children's books, of course. Pia now runs her own company based in Vienna, editing and translating books, magazines - and basically everything that she likes...
our book design captain
...always searching for new fonts, cool designs, and other nice stuff: This is Tine, our book design captain.
For more than 20 years, Tine has been designing books, magazines, and advertising campaigns for many publishing companies and clients. Born in the Black Forest, Tine studied communications design and later set out to Vienna. She became a partner in a known communications agency and helped make the agency really big. Until... one day, she thought: There must be something else to life. Tine quit, founded her own company and moved to Zurich.
Tine now works for international clients, travels a lot and does exactly what she loves most: She designs books.
our graphic artist captain
...regardless of how stressful things get and how many projects there are on her desk: This woman has never been seen without a big smile on her face. Meet Silvia, our graphic artist.
Books, book, books – first she was a bookseller, then she did book marketing for several large publishing companies, studied book design and founded her own company. Books are Silvia's passion. Sometimes, when the desk is not too full and she feels like a day off, Silvia can be seen on the peaks of the highest mountains. Phew!
Silvia has been in the book business for more than 20 years now.
our captain of translations
...an adventurer herself: no mountain too high, no valley too low... This is Linda, our translator.
Linda was born in Washington, spent some time living with the Seneca Indians in NY state, studied in Berkeley, California, wrote her Ph.D. dissertation about strong, independent women in early modern German literature. Phew!
Linda has been all over the US, Europe, and Central America, has translated many books about all kinds of topics - and she now teaches German to kids in the US so she can “share the love”, as she says. For us, it's very amazing to see how Linda took up Ilvie's story, absorbed it - and then re-told it in her own beautiful language.
Another fact that we love: Linda now lives in VIENNA! But, as she puts it: in the 'wrong' Vienna... it's actually Vienna, Virginia, USA. So both versions of the book were written in Vienna - just a few thousand kilometers apart - and with a big ocean in between :)
our fashion design captain
...the crazier the photo shoot gets, the bigger the smile on her face: This is Lia!
Lia is our stylist and she designs the beautiful Ilvie Little clothes. This woman just knows all the little tricks in the fashion business: Where to get the best organic cotton, whom to ask for that little extra glitter on the prints - and how to make our kids' clothing the most beautiful, sustainable and comfortable it can be.
She's been in the fashion business for years, studied at Institut Francais de la Mode, lives in Paris now (of course...) and works for one of the beautiful big fashion houses there.
our fashion production captain
...there’s no job too tricky, no material sourcing too hard. Making clothes including that extra portion of love and passion: This is Elena!
Elena is the boss of the Ilvie Little fashion production site. She and her wonderful troop are sewing your pullovers and clothes!
'My life is a journey!', Elena says. (One of the reasons why she fits so brilliantly into our team). After teaching economics at a high school for a while, Elena thought that there must be more than this - and found her passion and love in the fashion industry. She went back to school herself and learned everything about fashion production. In Casablanca, Morocco - where Elena and her family lived for some years.
Coming back to Romania, where she was born, Elena worked for a big French fashion brand - and when the brand closed down production in Romania, Elena knew: this is my moment! - and opened her own production site
...and who made theo?
…seriously - it was really hard for Michaela. We had to dry her tears. She did not want to let him go - but we just HAD to take him with us.
“It happens quite often that I fall in love with my characters…”, she says. “But with Theo, it was very special. I had the feeling that he’s, my friend!” Michaela adds, sniffling.
Michaela is a doll-maker. For many years, she has created all kinds of dolls and figures for theater, film, and TV. And the best thing is, that Michaela is also a puppeteer in the theater – so she knows exactly how to create a character. Now Michaela comes to visit regularly to see her friend Theo… - whom she misses a lot, as she tells us.
our check-it-all-and-straight-away captain
...no mission too difficult, no search too hard: This is Nastia, our fantastic intern. (Her full name is Anastasia, - just like the wonderful ship in 'Ilvie Little and the Fearless Sailors’).
We need a doll's bed and lots of flowers, a golden compass would be lovely - but please make sure it's one of those beautiful old ones - and could you get some sand as well, please? - Done! -
Color pirate skulls gold? Nastia is the one. Get some doll's house furniture, make a hammock for Leonie, spray-paint the Tarantula in black (without painting the whole studio black at the same time) - make the marshmallows in the barbecue pic look real - that's her.
Born in Moscow, Nastia currently is studying filmmaking in London. Luckily, she travels to Vienna regularly - since her family lives here - and since she takes her Ilvie Little missions very seriously.
...but in fact... we're all just sailors. the real captains are here:
the killer troop
This is the killer troop (and on the pic you see only a small part of it - there are many more!).
Our most important consultants and advisors. Curious and critical as can be, relentlessly sharing their thoughts and opinions… We grown ups think this twist in the story is cool? - Ask the killer troop. They will give their opinion straight away. Without any mercy. We love you, killer troop!