Children’s books

Jean-Philippe Rieu in brief.

The Limburger of 19 June 2013.

Translation by Entia Shadwell.

Jean-Philippe Rieu (1956) is a classical composer, musician, conductor and author of children's books. He has released a number of albums over the past few years and wrote four children's books in the series "Marie". He has also published an autobiography "The discovery of freedom – Me-You-Us". In it he reminisces about childhood memories, the bond with his family, high school time and concerts with his father in Berlin and Leipzig. The adventures with brother André, with whom he previously went on holiday on their own, are discussed. For years, Jean-Philippe Rieu accompanied the famous leader of the Johann Strauss Orchestra all over the world. Because he was tired of boarding one private aero plane after another, Jean-Philippe Rieu eventually chose freedom and decided to quit working for his brother.  To quote him, he has found "his own Paradise on Earth". Rieu now has a country house in Le Soulelial in the Dordogne in France, where, for a few months a year, he can compose, write and mull about new ideas. Everyday life in the French countryside is a source of inspiration for Rieu.

Mooske stands for freedom

(Thanks to Entia for the translation)

The Limburger of the 19th of June 2013. By: Peter van de Berg

The children of Maastricht have a new friend. Mooske, the mascot of the educational institution MosaLira, experiences all kinds of adventures which she relates to children's writer Jean-Philippe Rieu. He has summarized her stories in The wonderful world of Mooske. Nine thousand primary school pupils from the city will receive the book free of charge on Friday June 21st 2013.

Mooske and Jean-Philippe Rieu are like two peas in a pod.  Wherever Mooske goes, Rieu is always in the vicinity. And Mooske likes talking to Rieu who documents all her remarkable experiences. The result is a children's book with eighteen stories, illustrated with drawings by the pupils themselves. A book by and for children of the Maastricht primary schools.

Mooske was born in the hearts of the children. She builds bridges and is always convinced of a good outcome. She is a positively creature. Mooske believes in a world full of peace, where everyone is equal and respect each other.

These are also the ideals of Jean-Philippe Rieu. The consummate romantic did not hesitate for a moment when asked to supervise the project of MosaLira. The institution is ten years old and the book forms part of its jubilee celebrations.

The adventures of Mooske came about during 45 workshops at elementary schools. Rieu is still full of praise for the group discussions with the students. "The meetings with the children have made a deep impression on me. They are so young but are already full of questions about life. We discovered together who Mooske is, by telling stories and making drawings”.

Jean-Philippe Rieu has long pondered the creation of The wonderful world of Mooske. "When I did not know what to do, I usually went walking on the Sint Pietersberg (Saint Peter's mountain). At Café De Sjans I heard the song "The Bridge" by Elton John. That song got me thinking. The bridge became a theme. Everyone has the choice in his life to cross the bridge and discover new paths. I let the pupils, children aged from 8 to 12 years, listen to the song. Then the stories virtually developed spontaneously. The group discussions in the schools were almost meditative in character. Very intense moments.

Some wrote their stories on paper. Others made a drawing. There were also children who did not dare, but eventually they did cross the bridge. I heard poignant and emotional stories. There were boys and girls who were crying. But even in those tragic stories, there was always room for laughter. The depth and beauty of these young people moved me. At the end of the conversation we put hands on the paper and then on our hearts. An indication that the stories will always remain with us ".

Jean-Philippe Rieu then started the project with 600 sheets of paper from the pupils and 400 pages of his own notes. At the beginning of this year the 18 stories had been completed and they were read to the students of the elementary schools. The youngest children then proceeded to do the drawings for the book. "The illustrations virtually developed of their own accord" says Rieu. “To me The wonderful world of Mooske is a reference book about life. The children find their inner beauty back in the stories of Mooske. Actually I keep a mirror to them. They have the freedom to make their own choices. And freedom is in everyone ".

Rieu also composed the special song, Lied van Mooske. The happy tune will be sung by the children attending Friday’s presentation of  the first copy of the book to the Minister of Education (Mieke Damsma), at the kiosk on the Vrijthof at 9.15 a.m. Meanwhile the VVV (tourist office) is also planning a trail which will include a number of well-known attractions in the Maastricht area featured in the book. The chairman of the Working Group MosaLira10, Jan Slangen, regards it as a task of education to prepare students to become exemplary citizens. "It's not just about teaching, but about establishing students’ position in society. The wonderful world of Mooske surely contributes to this goal. To me that is the power of the book. Children are innocent and not bad. They are positive in life. Then you still have the influence to make them more aware of things that are good and those that are not good. In any case, awareness of the ideas of Mooske should continue to exist after the publication of the book ".

Jean-Philippe Rieu agrees whole heartedly. Mooske already exists as a mascot. Rieu has ideas for keeping Mooske alive in various educational projects. "We'll still discuss that. And perhaps Mooske key chains and dolls will also make their appearance".

The wonderful world of Mooske will not only be distributed amongst the children of Maastricht, but will also be available in the BeNeLux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg) market. A portion of the proceeds will be given to the children’s cancer fund, KIKA.

Do you want to read more about Jean-Philippe's books, click HERE.

Mooske's wonderful world

Another new children's book by Jean-Philippe Rieu, André's youngest brother.

Click on the picture to read the entire article in the Limburger

of June 19th 2013.

Jean-Philippe's children's books

In the spring of 2014 Jean-Philippe Rieu will release a new children’s book with 12 original songs to listen to or sing along with Fairy Mary. Jean-Philippe Rieu is touring through the Netherlands and Belgium with his musical performance of Fairy Mary.

The books are for sale on www.clavisbooks.com. Two titles are released in American language, one title in Korean language, all other books in Dutch and Maastricht dialect.