Author

Annie M.G. Schmidt

Annie M.G. Schmidt (1911-1995) has often been hailed as the ‘true queen’ of the Netherlands. Her books are still being reprinted and reprinted and a number have already been successfully filmed. Schmidt, born in 1911 in Kapelle (Zuid Beveland) as a vicar’s daughter, debuted in 1950. Before the war she was a librarian and, afterwards, was made head of documentation for the Dutch national newspaper, Het Parool, where her talents as a text writer were discovered. Schmidt enjoyed an immensely successful career. In 1965 she was awarded the first Dutch State Prize for Children’s and Youth Literature. Many more awards followed. In 1988, she received the international Hans Christian Andersen Prize. Schmidt died on 21 May 1995.

Minoes

Minoes

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1970, 150 pages)

Minoes is a glorious, original and funny story. The theme, the openness of the main characters and the choice of words – all of these elements are equally unexpected. As in her other books, Annie Schmidt allows the weak to triumph against authority. In this story, the tetchy, grubby stray cat gets all of the attention and protection and the most powerful man in town gets it in the neck. Minoes is also the book that Annie Schmidt loved best and the one for which she won a Silver Slate Pencil in 1971. It has been translated into many languages and was successfully filmed in 2001.

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Puck and his Breakdown Lorry

Puck and his Breakdown Lorry

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1971, 167 pages)

There is probably one only children’s book in the world where a cockroach is cherished as a pet and that is Pluk van de Petteflet. Shy little Zaza, content with a piece of apple peel now and again, can be seen as a symbol for the contrariness in all Schmidt’s works. Everything has to be just that little bit different, freer, with more room to manoeuvre. In anything but dignified language, Schmidt creates a world in which children and animals – and the odd nice adult – struggle against hypocrisy and bourgeois respectability. Not too wild, not aggressive, but in a friendly, funny way. ‘Nice and naughty’, as she once called it herself in a poem.

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Translations

Website

http://www.annie-mg.com/