Author

Jan Paul Schutten

Jan Paul Schutten (b. 1970), who has written over 35 books, is the Dutch king of non-fiction for young readers. He won a Vlag en Wimpel award for his debut Ruik eens wat ik zeg (Just Smell What I’m Saying, 2003). In 2008, he won the Gouden Griffel, the award for the best Dutch children’s book of the year, for Kinderen van Amsterdam (Children of Amsterdam).

Just Smell What I’m Saying

Just Smell What I’m Saying

De taal van planten en dieren

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2003, 121 pages)

Can we talk to the animals? Do you understand what your pet is telling you, or what birdsong means? Animals and even plants have a great deal to say. How does maize send out SOS messages? If a monkey learns sign language, what does he talk about? Why do some frogs mime? Why does your cat nuzzle you? Is it true that barking dogs don’t bite? Are baby birds given singing lessons? Why do midges dance?

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Is That All?

Is That All?

(Gottmer, 2012, 32 pages)

Everything was better in the old days? No, absolutely not. Everything was so much worse back then! ‘We were so poor that we had to drink our tea out of a rolled-up newspaper!’ The famous Monty Python sketch ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ was what inspired Jan Paul Schutten to create the picture book Is That All? Together with illustrator Kees de Boer, he has elevated bragging to an art form.

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The Girl in the Golden Dress

The Girl in the Golden Dress

(Rubinstein, 2012, 28 pages)

Rembrandt’s The Night Watch is the number one attraction at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. But, when you take a good look at this painting, what do you actually see? Hidden among all the fine gentlemen, there is a girl. The story that Schutten tells about her takes young readers on an appealing journey to the world of Rembrandt and his best-known work.

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The Mystery of Life

The Mystery of Life

and stinky Socks

(Gottmer, 2013, 160 pages)

Jan Paul Schutten’s energetic account of the amazing story of evolution and the ­origins of life, with his precise yet light-hearted tone, is truly unique and a most admirable achievement. Het raadsel van alles wat leeft (The Mystery of Life) is the ultimate non-fiction book for children: inspirational and a model of how a subtle balance between facts, images and imagi­nation can make the invisible visible.

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