Book background

The stories are about ...
two young groundhogs, named Hoobsy and Dubsy. Hoobsy is Dubsy‘s older brother and Dubsy is Hoobsy‘s younger brother. Hoobsy and Dubsy are never bored and have always fun because they explore new and brilliant ideas all the time. Whether they get dressed, play basketball, bake cookies, write a letter, ride the bicycle or do gardening, they always have brilliant ideas and a lot of fun in every day situations. The stories about Hoobsy and Dubsy are written for kids aged 3 – 7. The book contains six Hoobsy and Dubsy stories.

The idea behind the the book is ...
to stimulate young readers and listeners using their own creativity. The book is not meant just for reading, but also for being creative and thinking outside the box. If you read a story the first time, you and your kid are invited to explore how each story can end. You should make a reading pause on the third double page of each story (see the pause sign "Let's think about it ...") and explore with your kid how it could end. Each time you read the book again, you can explore how each story could end differently. The stories and the reading experience should inspire your kid to become confident using their own ideas and to think outside the box. The author invites all young readers to to share their versions in this blog (click here). We all love to read YOUR brilliant ideas.

Helmut wrote the stories ...
for his two sons when Helmut was heavily traveling on business trips in 2010 and not often at home. Helmut was thinking about new stories during the week, mostly in hotel bars, and shared them with his sons on the weekend. The sons rated the stories (thumbs up - thumbs down) and Helmut worked on improving the stories. The book became a shared creative experience and a “time savings account” for his sons.

About Helmut, the author
Helmut Degen was born in 1964 in Osnabrück, Lower Saxony, Germany. Osnabrück is famous for the location of the Peace of Westphalia which was a series of peace treaties signed in 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in Europe.

Helmut works a software engineering consultant, mostly in North America and occasionally in Europe. He earned a master’s degree in Informatics (minors: Economics and Philosophy) from the University of Karlsruhe and a PhD in Information Science from the Freie Universität Berlin, both in Germany. He lives with his family in New Jersey, USA.

Beside good ideas, Helmut loves excellent, vegetarian food, riding the bicycle, and having a good time with his family.

About Manuela, the illustrator
Manuela Soriani lives in the same small town in northern Italy where she was born in 1979, among the heat in summer and fog in winter, near the river Po.

Manuela studied to become an accountant, but Art invited her to be part of her life. So she answered the call, found a teacher (and later, friend), and became an artist.

After six years in comic books, Manuela began creating both traditional paper books and animated apps for electronic devices. She uses cutting edge technology to deliver the softest and most brilliant artworks she can, for projects all over the world. Manuela always tries to achieve the best balance between fantastic and realistic in every work, carefully researching how things work and adding details to make her illustrations full of life.

She loves cats (she has two), the colors pink and orange, cooking, salsa dancing, tabletop and roleplaying games, videogames, and all forms of art.

Beside Helmut and Manuela, many people supported the book. Here is the list of people and their contributions.

Inspiration: Groundhogs in our backyard
Layout: Anke Richter (
Members of the sounding board: Britta, Jakob, Julius, Maren, Linn, Remo, Ren-Yi
Helmut's picture is taken by Alex Ebert.

Special credits for the English version

Line editing: Ren-Yi Lo, Dennis de Rose @ Moneysaver editing (, Beatrice Hwong

Special credits for the German version

Line editing: Britta Emmrich, Dorothea F. Wohn (

Cordial Thanks go to all contributors and their families.

1 comment:


Hello Helmut. I`m waiting to edit your next book?