At the age of 86, children’s book author Paul Maar (“Das Sams”) now notices, even when writing, that he is no longer the youngest. “Thoughts come more slowly than before. Age is already noticeable and it’s not the case that old age is just a joy,” said Maar at the Leipzig Book Fair. Next year he wants to publish a picture book with his grandson Hannes based on the play “Grandpa Bear and the Menz”. The disease dementia is discussed there.

Maar is often asked when a new book about Sams will be published. “I get children’s letters almost every day asking, “When is a new Sams volume coming out?”,” said the author. However, he thought that a new volume “really doesn’t have to happen.” That’s why he thought about something else – and recently published the book “The Enchantress’s Daughter”.

Maar’s grandson Hannes painted the characters in his latest book. “I knew that Hannes was good at drawing. He sends me a new drawing via WhatsApp every other day,” said Maar. The two of them used to draw together. “I remember times when he was sitting on my lap – we were in front of a big sheet of paper.”

He likes to talk about contrasting characters, said Maar. And he has another rule: “It’s my principle that I’m always on the children’s side when I write. And sometimes the adults don’t fare well,” says the children’s book author. But that’s not so bad, in some cases it’s even logical. After all, adults also decided things that, from his point of view, were inexplicable.

Maar became known in the 1970s with his stories about Sams – a child-like creature with a proboscis nose, a face with blue dots, red bristly hair, frog feet and a bulging drum belly. Among other things, Maar was awarded the German Youth Literature Prize and the German Book Prize. So far there are eleven books in the Sams series. The most recent one was published in 2022.