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Children’s book published about software, skateboards, and raspberry ice cream


Today, 29 November, O'Reilly Germany publishes the book "Ada & Zangemann - A fairy tale about software, skateboards and raspberry ice cream" written by FSFE President Matthias Kirschner and illustrated by Sandra Brandstätter, among other things, character designer for the series "Trudes Tier" from the show "Sendung mit der Maus".

The famous inventor Zangemann lives in a huge villa high above the city. Adults and children alike love his inventions and are desperate to have them. But then something happens: when Zangemann once again wants to take a close-up look at his inventions during a walk through the city and, with a loud thud, a child riding a skateboard hits him in the shin! Enraged, the inventor makes a momentous decision... The clever girl Ada sees through it all. Together with her friends, she forges a plan.

Different illustrations from the book
Illustration by Sandra Brandstätter, CC-BY-SA 3.0 DE

This illustrated children's book tells the story of the famous inventor Zangemann and the girl Ada, a curious tinkerer. Ada begins to experiment with hardware and software, and in the process realises how crucial it is for her and others to control technology.

A book for children from the age of 6 that arouses children's interest in tinkering and encourages shaping technology.

"Kirschner's book introduces readers young and old to the power and peril of software. It also highlights the accelerating effects of sharing software freely - creating conditions for direct and indirect collaboration which can be a metaphor for the conduct of science. Behind it all is a backdrop of ethics of knowledge sharing upon which the arc of human history rides."

Vint Cerf - Computer Scientist and one of the inventors of the internet (after reading the English translation).

"Even as a non-child, I was captivated by the story from the first page to the last. Kudos to the author for packaging difficult topics such as monopolies, lobbyism, digital divide, software freedom, digital autonomy, IoT, consumer control, e-waste and much more in a child-friendly form in an easily understandable and exciting storyline. And kudos to the publisher for having the guts to publish a book under CC-BY-SA."

Jörg Luther, chief editor of the German Linux-Magazin, LinuxUser, Raspberry Pi Geek

"After my son was read the book last night, he told me the whole story this morning... He wants to make something out of old pallets after school today. And then he wants to learn programming."

Ingo Wichmann, CEO Linuxhotel GmbH

The book "Ada & Zangemann - Ein Märchen über Software, Skateboards und Himbeereis" by Matthias Kirschner and Sandra Brandstätter, published by dpunkt.verlag GmbH under ISBN 978-3-96009-190-5, is licensed under "Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany (CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)".

Matthias Kirschner wrote the text on a voluntary basis for the FSFE. All author revenues go directly to the non-profit Free Software Foundation Europe. The FSFE paid the illustrator Sandra Brandstätter and the children's book editor Wiebke Helmchen for their work. Linuxhotel GmbH made the project possible by already agreeing at the beginning of the writing process to buy 1000 copies once the book was finished.

Currently, the FSFE is looking for a suitable publisher for an English translation. The FSFE would like to enable as many people as possible to read the book in their mother tongue and asks for donations for its work.

Further press material on "Ada & Zangemann" is available on the publisher's website.