Author

Ted van Lieshout

Ted van Lieshout (b. 1955) is a poet, writer and artist for children and adults. He studied at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and worked as a designer before moving on to writing and illustrating children’s books. Van Lieshout is always looking for new styles and techniques in both words and pictures. His stories for children, collected in De allerliefste jongen van de hele wereld (The Dearest Boy in all the World, 1988) and Ik ben een held (I Am a Hero, 1991) are characterised by a melancholy humour. Mijn botjes zijn bekleed met deftig vel (My Bones Are Clothed with Classy Skin, Silver Slate Pencil 1987) and Multiple Noise (1992), his collections of poetry for children, are dominated by the search for security and identity.

Van Lieshout has won many prizes, including the Gouden Griffel for his poetry collection Begin een torentje van niks. In 1998, his book Stilleven was published, his first title in which he laid out his vision of artworks and styles, and which may be read as a forerunner of the Paper Museums. His oeuvre includes the YA novel Gebr. (Bros.), which has been translated into a number of languages, as well as Boer Boris (Farmer Boris), his popular series for younger readers.

In 2009, Van Lieshout received the prestigious Theo Thijssen Prize for his oeuvre.

Child To Let

Child To Let

(Van Goor, 1989, 110 pages)

Kind te huur (‘Child To Let’) demonstrates Ted van Lieshout’s original perspective. Pipet is a post-modern, no-nonsense girl who wants to get rich. She gets annoyed by her parents’ half-baked ideas about conquering the world with a three stringed violin or fortune-telling. Pipet prefers a businesslike approach. She sends her parents off on a world tour, puts on a two-piece woman’s suit and rents herself out to parents who don’t have any children.

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I Am A Hero

I Am A Hero

(Van Goor, 1990, 56 pages)

In the three stories of Ik ben een held the son is always smarter than his father. He takes on the monster Boneyboo, Bareghost and a fish that turns out to be a shark, each of them symbolizing various kinds of fear; fear of bones, of ghosts and of fish that might turn into monsters.

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Majlent

Majlent

(Van Goor, 1991, 78 pages)

In Majlent a number of problems which young people often suffer from are brought together. Joeri (‘Yuri’) is a boy who feels that he should have been a girl, because becoming a mother seems ideal to him. That’s why he chooses another name, Majlent.

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Bros.

Bros.

(Van Goor, 1996, 188 pages)

Bros. was once frequently seen at the end of names of companies headed by brothers. Van Lieshout uses the abbreviation to indicate a breach in the relationship between two brothers and the premature end of a young life.

Luuk is sixteen when he takes over his dead brother’s diary. He doesn’t feel easy about violating Marius’s privacy but it is the only way he can save the diary from the bonfire his mother is about to start of his brother’s stuff.

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The Paper Museum 3

The Paper Museum 3

The Angel with Two Noses

(Leopold, 2007, 142 pages)

Children and art – if they don’t make a connection, then it’s certainly not the fault of Ted van Lieshout. Writer, poet and illustrator wrapped into one, he has also become known in recent years as an art ambassador for children. In Papieren Museum 3 – De engel met twee neuzen, which he designed himself, he assumes the role of Director of the Paper Museum. The covers of the book are the walls of Van Lieshout’s museum, the pages are the galleries, where you can wander to your heart’s content, and get lost amongst the works of art that he has brought together with so much care.

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A Horse in Three Parts

A Horse in Three Parts

(Leopold, 2011, 87 pages)

You can often see at a glance what a piece of writing is, says Ted van Lieshout in Driedelig paard, whether it’s a letter that you’re reading, or a poem or a shopping list. However, the texts in this book lack the telltale signs: they all look like rectangular blocks.

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Farmer Boris

Farmer Boris

(Gottmer, 2013, 32 pages)

In their Farmer Boris picture books, Philip Hopman’s masterful illustrations perfectly underline the humour of Ted van Lieshout’s rhyming stories.

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Under My Mattress the Pea

Under My Mattress the Pea

(Leopold, 2017, 96 pages)

In thirty-five free-verse poems and fifteen portraits of clay dolls, all-round artist Ted van Lieshout explores, in his original and distinctive way, the inner workings of a girl who is teetering precariously on the line between childhood and adulthood. Her voice is distinctive, her tone is direct, and her emotions are familiar yet ambiguous.

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They Run Off With Your Nose

They Run Off With Your Nose

(Leopold, 2018, 88 pages)

The letters have been side-lined. The poet has written only one poem: an allegory, about a snowman who is robbed of his nose by an attractive rabbit. And then: nothing. ‘We’re all ready for a new poetry collection. Come on, poet!’ But he has a broken heart, and so the unemployed letters decide to do it themselves.

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What is Art?

What is Art?

(Leopold, 2020, 144 pages)

It takes some courage to make a book with the title What Is Art? Isn’t art too wide-ranging for a simple definition? And yet the multi-talented Ted van Lieshout has taken on this challenge – and with great success. In a playful and imaginative way, he unravels the mystery of art in this visually stunning book. Or is it a conceptual work of art?

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Translations

Website

http://www.tedvanlieshout.com