Author

Jan Paul Schutten

Jan Paul Schutten (b. 1970) is one of the Netherlands’ most celebrated writers of non-fiction for children. His work, in which the emphasis is on history, nature and science, has twice been awarded the Gouden Griffel for the best children’s book of the year. His book about evolution, Het raadsel van alles wat leeft (published in English as The Mystery of Life) has been an international success. From 2015 to 2017, Schutten was the Dutch Children’s Book Ambassador, during which time he focused on the importance of non-fiction in promoting reading and literacy.

Just Smell What I’m Saying

Just Smell What I’m Saying

De taal van planten en dieren

(Querido Kind, 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?

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
The Mystery of Nothing and Infinite Snot

The Mystery of Nothing and Infinite Snot

(Gottmer, 2018, 160 pages)

From the Big Bang to Einstein’s theory of relativity, and from supernovas to reverse gravity: in this book, non-fiction writer Jan Paul Schutten and illustrator Floor Rieder manage to present the most complex of subjects in an accessible and appealing way, one step at a time and with a great sense of humour.

Read more
A Forest of Wonders

A Forest of Wonders

(Lannoo, 2020, 76 pages)

Bright yellow letters glow out from a dark wood that is captured in a deep midnight blue. The mysterious cover of A Forest of Wonders beautifully matches the contents of this non-fiction book, which can be seen as a declaration of love to nature, and is supported by Medy Oberendorff’s hyper-realistic illustrations.

Read more

Translations