UHH & UKE Launch “Kidditorial”

Narrated through illustrations by Axel Scheffler

The Kidditorial originated from our desire to reach out to children and parents during and after the pandemic, and communicate online content through Axel Scheffler’s all-too-human illustrations that reflect children’s formative experiences and memories about the crisis, offering them new information and hopefully some enjoyment as well.

– Ulf Schmidt & Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Hamburg 2022

What is a pandemic? What is a virus? Are there other viruses besides the Coronavirus? Why do we need to socially distance, wash our hands all the time, and wear masks in public? All of these questions have been – and unfortunately continue to be – highly relevant in the ongoing pandemic, not just for children but for the wider population. To engage with these issues from the perspective of children, Ulf Schmidt, Professor of Modern History at the University of Hamburg, in partnership with Blanche Schwappach-Pignataro, Professor and Dean of the University Medical Centre Hamburg, and Axel Scheffler, the internationally renowned illustrator known for his creator of ‘the Gruffalo’, have developed a new form of interactive digital online exhibition, the “Kidditorial“.

The Kidditorial provides children and parents with a way to participate in an exploration of “how corona came to visit”. Guided through illustrations by Axel Scheffler, the Kidditorial offers a narrative which engages not just with the coronavirus pandemic but with infections more generally. It also provides useful information – and an occasional game – in an accessible and hopefully enjoyable online format. The Coronavirus pandemic has deeply impacted all societies across the globe, and the creators hope that the Kidditorial will to some extent reflect children’s experiences and possibly enable them to look forward to a more optimistic future, realising the true meaning and value of “With one another, for one another, we protect each other!”

Axel Scheffler at the Medical Historical Museum, University Medical Centre Hamburg
Axel Scheffler at the Medical Historical Museum, University Medical Centre Hamburg