The Golden Slate Pencil (Gouden Griffel) has been awarded to Bette Westera at the opening ceremony of the Dutch Children’s Book Week. It is the first time since 20 years that this prestigious prize for children’s literature goes to a poetry book. For Dead Simple (Doodgewoon, Gottmer Publishers), written by Westera and illustrated by Sylvia Weve, it is is the third award this year. It also received the Woutertje Pieterse Prize 2015, and a ‘Zilveren Griffel’ and ‘Vlag & Wimpel’.
“With Dead Simple Bette Westera has written a beautiful, unprecedented and rich lyrical work on death. Sadness, wonder, rebellion, resignation and anger have all been put into words”, according to the jury, “yet Westera’s extraordinary sense of humor enables the reader to breathe between the lines and emotions”.
Bette Westera receives the Gouden Griffel. Standing next to her illustrator Sylvia Weve and astronaut André Kuipers. Foto: © Chris van Houts