Appel prepared the surface of Questioning Children by nailing discarded pieces of wood to an old window shutter. The vibrant colours and roughly-painted figures recall the spontaneity of children’s art. CoBrA
artists believed that such unconventional sources could re-invigorate post-war culture. In the same year Appel also used the title Questioning Children for a controversial mural at the Town Hall in Amsterdam, which was condemned as incomprehensible, and covered over with wallpaper. There is a note of tragedy in these works as the Dutch title also means 'begging children' and evokes scenes of poverty that Appel had witnessed in post-war Germany.