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Although born in Germany, Werner Zimmermann has lived in Canada since infancy. His schooling, which took place in southern Ontario, culminated with a stint at the University of Guelph in the 1970s, doing studio work and studying the history of art. Good fortune then took him to Povungnituk, in the Arctic, as a print advisor to Inuit artists. He credits his northern experiences as an important stage in his artistic development, for there he learned "to see with his senses and to feel with his eyes". Back in the south by the mid-eighties, good luck once again played a role in his career, when a publisher happened to see his cartoons and asked him to do a children's book. The result was the first Farmer Joe book, Farmer Joe's Hot Day (written by Nancy Wilcox Richards). Since then, he has illustrated and written several more books for young children, including Farmer Joe Goes to the City, Farmer Joe Baby-sits, and the Alphonse Knows series (four concept books about shapes, numbers, colours and the seasons). Werner Zimmermann's work has been shown in exhibitions in Canada and Germany and he has taught art to community college students.