Amos and the Moon and The Five Rollatinis are now available at Ammo Books.

Though out of print for many years, two of Jan's children’s book – Amos and the Moon and The Five Rollatinis – are back in print at Ammo Books.

Press Releases

Publisher to Reprint Portuguese Version of Children’s Book by German-American Artist Jan Balet

Joanjo_cover_web.jpg

August 25, 2017

Saratoga Springs, NY – Little did the family of German-American artist Jan Balet (1913-2009) expect that the website they created to highlight the artist and his work would prompt a message from a professor at the University of Lisbon. But that is exactly what occurred.

Several months ago, an art professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon happened upon the janbalet.com website and discovered reference to a favorite book from his childhood. He was immediately drawn to the idea that Balet’s tale of a young boy from a Portuguese fishing family would still be relevant to children in Portugal today.

After corresponding with upstate New York residents Peter and Marie Balet, the artist’s son and daughter-in-law, the professor asked permission to put the couple in contact with a publisher in Matosinhos, Portugal who specializes in children’s books. Several more contacts led to a contract with the publisher, Kalandraka Publishing House, to reprint João, a Portuguese Tale in Portuguese, one of the three languages in which the original 1965 book was printed. (It was also published in English and German and carried the title Joanjo, a variation of the Portuguese name.) 

This marks the third time in recent years that a children’s book by Jan Balet was selected for reprint. Balet was working in New York City as a graphic illustrator when he created his first book for children – Amos and the Moon – as a Christmas gift for his only son. Long out of print, the book returned during the 2015 holiday season through the efforts of Jan Balet’s family – working with U.S. publisher Ammo Books. Ammo is also responsible for the 2016 reissuance of The Five Rollatinis, the story of a young boy who seeks to find his place in his family’s circus act.

During the early years of his career, Jan Balet lived in the U.S., working as a graphic artist and art director for such magazines as Seventeen and Mademoiselle. Although he had become a U.S. citizen, he moved back to Germany in 1965 and focused his efforts on the fine arts, including painting, lithography, and etching. He is the author and illustrator of more than ten children’s books and created the illustrations for dozens of children’s books penned by other writers.

According to the artist’s son, Peter, one of his father’s unique gifts was his ability to translate life lessons into fun stories with characters and illustrations based on places the artist had visited or unusual places he had imagined. “This is especially true with his João story. He takes the dreams of a young boy to leave his family’s small fishing town for the big city and captures the extravagance of childhood imaginings to a very unusual end.”

Following Jan’s death in Switzerland in 2009, Peter Balet and his wife Marie established Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC. After much research regarding Jan Balet and his art, the company launched a website – janbalet.com - in November 2015 designed to introduce new audiences to the full breadth of the artist’s work. The Portuguese company has begun work on the project and the book is expected to be available this October for the 2017 holiday season.


Jan Balet Art Preservation to Debut Exhibition in Portland, OR

August 17, 2017

Jan Balet. Market Day in Normandy. Lithograph. 1978.

Jan Balet. Market Day in Normandy. Lithograph. 1978.

Saratoga Springs, NY – Lithographs and associated watercolor renderings by German-born artist Jan Balet (1913-2009) will be exhibited for the first time in the United States this fall. Curated by Dr. Sheldon Hurst, Portland-based art curator, the exhibition, titled What Was He Thinking? Jan Balet: Watercolors & Lithographs is set for display at ArtReach Gallery, First Congregational Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon from December 3, 2017 through January 14, 2018.

According to Peter Balet, Saratoga resident and the artist’s only son, the concept for the exhibition evolved from a contact he received shortly after Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC launched its website (janbalet.com) in 2016.

“On the site, we invite individuals owning any of Jan’s works to contact us,” said Balet. “We were hoping to learn more about purchased works of my father’s. A gentleman from California found the website and sent us an email, telling us of his rather large collection of Jan’s lithographs.”

The Balet family had worked for several years following the artist’s death to learn more about the full breadth of his works. They teamed with Hurst, former art history professor and director of the Visual Arts Gallery at SUNY Adirondack, to document many of their findings. Hurst, now living in Oregon, volunteered to travel to California to view the lithograph collection and immediately began working on the idea of using the collection as the basis for an exhibition.

“Having worked with the Balet family researching Jan’s art, I knew that the artist learned the process of lithography so that he could make his own prints,” said Hurst. “I also knew that his body of work included a large number of miniature watercolors that he developed as part of his inspirational process for new, larger works. Juxtaposing the lithos with the watercolors that served as a basis for the final prints seemed a perfect pairing for a unique exhibition.”

At the conclusion of the run in Oregon, the exhibition will travel to the Burke Gallery at the Plattsburgh State Art Museum, Plattsburgh, NY, where it will be on display from February 12 through March 16, 2018. In addition, the exhibition is scheduled to be shown at the SUNY Adirondack Visual Arts Gallery in Queensbury, NY from September 5 through November 8, 2018.

Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC was established by the artist’s son and his wife, Marie, to expand interest in and enjoyment of the full breadth of Jan Balet’s art. Jan is mainly known in the U.S. for his commercial art from the mid-twentieth century, when he illustrated for the likes of CBS Television and popular magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Saturday Evening Post. He later moved back to Europe, where he spent the rest of his life painting and producing prints of his works.

For more information concerning the exhibition, visit News & Views or contact info@janbalet.com.


"The Life and Art of Jan Balet" Presentation at Saratoga Springs Public Library

January 5, 2017

Saratoga Springs, NY – German-born artist Jan Balet (1913-2009) will be the topic of a talk by his son and daughter-in-law Peter and Marie Balet. The talk will take place at the Saratoga Springs Public Library, Saratoga Springs, NY on Thursday, January 26th at Noon.

The talk titled “The Life and Art of Jan Balet” will cover the fascinating story of Jan’s life, from his escape from Hitler’s army, through his days as a highly successful commercial artist, art director, and children’s book author and illustrator in New York City, to his later years as a fine artist residing in Europe. Balet created a name for himself in Europe during the middle and later years of his life with his paintings, lithographs, and etchings.

The main presenter, in addition to being the wife of the artist’s only son, is also co-creator of Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC, the company established by the couple to expand interest in and enjoyment of the full breadth of Jan Balet’s art. Jan is mainly known in the U.S. for his commercial art from the mid-twentieth century, when he illustrated for the likes of CBS Television and popular magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Saturday Evening Post.

The Balets have been working on documenting the artist’s works since his death in 2009 and recently authorized the reprint of two of the artist’s children’s books – Amos and The Moon and The Five Rollatinis, which will be available at the talk.


21th Annual Glens Falls Chronicle Book Fair

November 4, 2016

Jan Balet books, Amos and the Moon and The Five Rollatinis, will be on display (for sale) at the Chronicle Book Fair this Sunday, November 6, 11 am to 3 pm at the Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls.

Admission to the public is free.


German-American artist Jan Balet subject of August 30th talk sponsored by SVAN

 August 5, 2016

Northville, NY – German-born artist Jan Balet (1913-2009) will be the topic of a talk by his son and daughter-in-law Peter and Marie Balet. The talk is sponsored by the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network and will take place at the Northville, NY Public Library on Tuesday, August 30th at 6:30 pm.

The talk titled “The Life and Art of Jan Balet” will cover the fascinating story of Jan’s life, from his escape from Hitler’s army, through his days as a highly successful commercial artist, art director, and children’s book author and illustrator in New York City, to his later years as a fine artist residing in Europe.  Balet created a name for himself in Europe during the middle and later years of his life with his paintings, lithographs, and etchings.

The main presenter, in addition to being the wife of the artist’s only son, is also co-creator of Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC, the company established by the couple to expand interest in and enjoyment of the full breadth of Jan Balet’s art. Jan is mainly known in the U.S. for his commercial art from the mid-twentieth century, when he illustrated for the likes of CBS Television and popular magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Saturday Evening Post.

The Balets have been working on documenting the artist’s works since his death in 2009 and recently authorized the reprint of two of the artist’s children’s books – “Amos and The Moon” and “The Five Rollatinis”, which will be available at the talk.

To learn more about the artist, visit janbalet.com.

More information is available on other SVAN-sponsored events through their website at www.svanarts.org and on facebook at the SVANARTS page. More information is available concerning events at the Northville Public Library through their website at


Second children's book by German-American artist Jan Balet back in print

July 5, 2016

Saratoga Springs, NY – For the second time in less than a year, a U.S. publisher has selected for reprint a children’s book by German-born American artist Jan Balet. The newest revival of the artist/author’s book – The Five Rollatinis – tells the tale of the youngest of a family of circus performers who is trying to find a place for himself, not only in the family act, but in his world. Wrapped within this charming story is a lesson in counting for young readers.

Balet was working in New York City as a graphic illustrator when he created his first book for children – Amos and the Moon – as a Christmas gift for his only son. Long out of print, the book returned during the 2015 holiday season through the efforts of Jan Balet’s family – working with Ammo Books. The publisher is also responsible for the recent reissuance of The Five Rollatinis.

During the early years of his career, Jan Balet lived in the U.S., working as a graphic artist and later as art director for such magazines as Seventeen and Mademoiselle.  Although he had become a U.S. citizen, he moved back to Germany in 1965 and focused his efforts on the fine arts, including painting, lithography and etching. He is the author and illustrator of eight children’s books and created the illustrations of dozens of children’s books penned by other writers.

According to the artist’s son, Peter, one of his father’s unique gifts was his ability to translate life lessons into fun stories with characters and illustrations based on places the artist had visited or unusual places he had imagined.

“My father’s talent stemmed from a very active imagination, a love of travel, a fondness for times gone by, and draftsmanship that was meticulous,” says his son. “He was able to meld all of those things into some of the most charming children’s books of his time.”

Following Jan’s death in Switzerland in 2009, Peter Balet and his wife Marie established Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC after much research regarding Jan Balet and his art. The company launched a website – janbalet.com - in November 2015 designed to introduce new audiences to the full breadth of the artist’s work.

The Five Rollatinis and Amos and the Moon can be purchased for $17.95 each via Ammo Books.com.


Favorite children’s book by German-American artist Jan Balet reissued for holiday gift-giving

December 4, 2015

Saratoga Springs, NY – In 1948, a German-born artist working in New York City as a graphic illustrator created a very special book as a Christmas present for his only son. Once published, Amos and the Moon captured the imaginations of children all over the world. Long out of print, the book returns this year as the family of the artist, Jan Balet – working with Ammo Books - is reissuing this charming tale of a young boy trying to capture the moon.

When the book was originally published, Jan Balet was living in the U.S. and was in the early years of his career. He devoted his mid- and later years to the fine arts, including painting, lithography and etching. He is the author and illustrator of eight children’s books and created the illustrations of dozens of children’s books penned by other authors.

According to the artist’s son, Peter, for whom Amos and the Moon was written, his father had a special skill when it came to imagining drawings that would engage young minds and make adults smile, as well.

“My father was both clever and artistically talented,” says his son. “He combined all he had learned through his love of books, travel, and interactions with other artists to create the children’s books that are such an important part of his legacy.”

Following Jan’s death in Switzerland in 2009, Peter Balet and his wife Marie established Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC after much research regarding Jan Balet and his art. The company launched a website in November 2015 designed to introduce new audiences to the full breadth of the artist’s work.

Amos and the Moon can be purchased for $17.95 via Ammo Books.


German-American artist’s family launches website to expand U.S. audience

November 2, 2015

Saratoga Springs, NY – The only son of German-born artist Jan Balet shares a wish with his wife. That wish is that American audiences will come to know and appreciate his father’s expansive body of work and not simply the commercial illustrations that made him successful in the U.S.

Although fans of mid-twentieth century commercial art in the U.S. will recognize the Balet name, many only know him for his early work as an illustrator for the likes of CBS Television and popular magazines such as Vogue, Seventeen, Mademoiselle, and Saturday Evening Post

According to the artist’s son, Peter, however, the award-winning commercial illustrations his father produced while the naturalized U.S. citizen worked in New York City from 1940 to 1964 give but a single dimension to this artist’s skill.

In addition to his illustrations, Jan Balet created a name for himself in Europe during the middle and later years of his life with his paintings, lithographs, etchings, watercolors, and even children’s books.

“He was a man of extreme talent,” says his son. “He loved to read, to travel, and to immerse himself in different cultures and all of these experiences he used as inspiration for his works.”

Following Jan’s death in Switzerland in 2009, Peter Balet and his wife Marie determined to provide the means for artists and those interested in art to have access to a greater look at the expanse of Jan’s work.  The couple spent years researching Jan’s life and art, even travelling from the U.S. throughout Europe to visit places Jan had called home and learn more about the man and his art.

“The idea came to us to establish Jan Balet Art Preservation LLC to ensure that my father’s legacy was solidified. We wanted to introduce new audiences, especially those in the U.S., to more than just the commercial illustrations that earned him acclaim in this country,” says Marie. “It is our hope, with the launch of this new website, that art lovers will enjoy all the wit and wonder, as well as the serious and subtle sides of Jan, for years to come.”

The website launched today and includes a blog that will highlight little-known aspects of Jan’s life and provide an avenue for interpretation of his works.