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Grants (2)

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Illustrated Children's Books

In the case of high quality illustrated children’s books, foreign publishers can apply for financial assistance to cover a proportion of the production costs. The amount granted is based on the direct production costs. The maximum sum that may be awarded is € 2,800. If the translator has been…

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Translation grants

A foreign publisher can apply for financial support for the publication in translation of a Dutch work of fiction, non-fiction or poetry, a graphic novel or children’s book. Translation grants may also be made available to literary magazines and for exclusively digital publications. This kind of…

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Programma's (4)

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Visitors' Programme

The Foundation for Dutch Literature annually invites a number of ‘guest editors’ to come to Amsterdam, in order to meet with publishers, authors and translators, and to get acquainted with Dutch literary life in general. Over the last few years some fifty foreign editors and publishers have…

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Translations Database

Our translations database provides information on more than 21,000 translated Dutch works, including both subsidized and non-subsidized literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children’s and YA). The database offers access to the large collection of foreign translations which form the core of…

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Finding, selecting and supporting translators from Dutch

The Dutch Foundation for Literature extends subsidies to foreign publishers for translations of Dutch literature (fiction, non-fiction, poetry and children’s books), provided the translator is on the Foundation’s List of Approved Translators.

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Residency for Writers in Amsterdam

Since 2006, the Dutch Foundation for Literature has welcomed foreign authors to the Spui in Amsterdam as writers in residence. Dozens of writers from all over the world have been inspired at and by this fascinating spot at the heart of the city. It is where John Green wrote his famous YA novel The

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News (118)

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Children's book donation to Paris

As part of a special cultural cooperation between Amsterdam and Paris, the Dutch Foundation for Literature makes a donation of children's and youth literature books to the Médiathèque Françoise Sagan in Paris. Thanks to fifteen publishers, a gift of no fewer than 92 books has been compiled, of…

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Fellowship children's and youth literature

Ten English language publishers of children's and youth literature from five different countries (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand & Canada) will visit Amsterdam, upon invitation by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. From 21 to 23 January they will be introduced to the Dutch field of children's…

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Dutch Children's books in Japan

What can you learn about the Netherlands through Dutch children's books? Etsuko Nozaka, translator Dutch-Japanese, sees the Netherlands as a country with a great emphasis on freedom and individual rights. What kind of children’s books does that yield? In this blog, originally published by Ehon…

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Chinese children's book prize for <em>The Mystery of Life</em>

Once a year, during a large-scale literary festival in Shenzhen, China, the ten best children's books of the year are chosen. Last Saturday it was announced that The Mystery of Life. How Nothing Became Everything (Shanghai 99) by Jan Paul Schutten and Floor Rieder is one of the lucky winners of the…

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A Picture Book Life

From 21-23 January the Dutch Foundation for Literature hosted a group of publishers and editors of children's literature from five different Anglophone countries to come and meet their Dutch colleagues and familiarise themselves with Dutch children's literature. Anna McFarlane (Allen & Unwin…

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Wilma Geldof and Verena Kiefer win Gustav Heinemann Friedenspreis

On Friday 19 November 2021, the German Gustav Heinemann Friedenspreis 2021 was awarded to writer Wilma Geldof and translator Verena Kiefer for the youth novel Reden ist Verrat, published by Gerstenberg Verlag (original title Het meisje met de vlechtjes, published by Luitingh-Sijthoff in 2018). In…

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Golden Slate Pencil goes to Bette Westera

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)…

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Dumon Tak wins Theo Thijssen Prize

The prestigious, triennial Theo Thijssen Prize for children's and youth literature goes to Bibi Dumon Tak, the board of the P.C. Hooft Prize for Literature announced. She is the first author of literary non-fiction to be awarded this prize. She regularly received scholarships from the Dutch…

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German Prize for 'Gips'

Dutch children's author Anna Woltz and translator Andrea Kluitmann have been awarded the Katholischen Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis for Gips oder Wie ich an einem einzigen Tag die Welt reparierte (Plaster Cast or How I Fixed the World Within A Day). The prize of 5,000 euro goes to both author and…

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Never Grow up!

In 2019 and 2020, the Never Grow Up! programme presented Dutch film, literature, (music) theatre and dance for young audiences throughout the US. Remarkable work from the Netherlands wowed and delighted both children and their families, and presenters and agencies at renowned events and venues…

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Events (89)

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Publishers Tour: Children's literature

On Thursday, the 10th of June, more than twenty German publishers will pay an online visit to the Netherlands and Belgium, to get to know Dutch-language authors and children's literature that has not yet been published in German. The tours are organized by the Dutch Foundation for Literature and…

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Dutch Foundation for Literature at the Bologna Children's Book Fair

From March 21 to 24, the Fiera del Libro per Ragazzi in Bologna, Italy, will take place again after two years. Agnes Vogt and Camilla Pargentino will attend this children's book fair on behalf of the Dutch Foundation for Literature, and will bring Dutch children's and youth literature to the…

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Shanghai International Children's Book Fair

The Dutch Foundation for Literature (Agnes Vogt) will attend the Shanghai International Children's Book Fair (CCBF), the only book fair in the Asia-pacific region dedicated to children’s book publishing only.

During the Book Fair works of Dutch illustrator Fiep Westendorp will be exhibited.…

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Fellowship children's and youth literature

Ten English language publishers of children's and youth literature from five different countries (US, UK, Australia, New Zealand & Canada) will visit Amsterdam, upon invitation by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. From 21 to 23 January they will be introduced to the Dutch field of children's…

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Evelien van Dort in Bonaire

Children's book writer Evelien van Dort will make a promotional trip to Bonaire from 2 to 12 November. During the Children's Book Week of the Caribbean Islands she will visit several schools, hold lectures for parents and teachers on the importance of reading, give a workshop to promote reading…

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Tosca Menten to Shanghai

To promote the Chinese translation of her Dummie de Mummie (Dummy the Mummy)-series children's book author Tosca Menten will visit the International Children's Book Fair in Shanghai from November 14 until November 26. The book series will be publsihed by Shanghai Gaotan Culture.

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Beijing International Book Fair

At the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) the Dutch Foundation for Literature will be represented by non-fiction specialist Mireille Berman and managing director Tiziano Perez. They will talk to thirty Chinese publishers. For this occasion the Chinese brochure New Titles from the Netherlands

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Bologna Children's Book Fair

The 53rd ‘Fiera del libro per ragazzi’ will be held from Monday 4 to Thursday 7 April 2016 in Bologna, Italy. The Dutch Foundation for Literature will present the brochure Children’s Books from Holland.

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Bologna Children’s Book Fair

From 1 to 4 April, the Italian city of Bologna is the center of children's and youth literature, during the 56th edition of the 'Fiera del libro per ragazzi', one of the largest and most prominent children's book fairs in the world. The Dutch Foundation for Literature will be present with a stand…

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Marit Törnqvist in Iceland

From October 11 to October 20, children's book author and illustrator Marit Törnqvist will visit Iceland to promote her latest book, Het gelukkige eiland ('The Happy Island', Querido, 2017) and meet her readers. At the international children's and youth literature festival Mýrin in Reykjavik…

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Publications (26)

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2012)

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2011)

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Dutch Classics

Dutch Classics is a large overview of modern classics in four genres: fiction, non-fiction, children’s books and poetry. The different sections of the brochure can be downloaded as a whole (see below) or separately:

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Kuijer & Co

Kuijer & Co is a publication of the Dutch Foundation for Literature in honour of Guus Kuijer, the winner of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2012, and new generations of children’s book authors that are indebted to his work. The titles listed in this brochure are a selection of the…

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2013)

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2009)

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2008)

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2005)

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10 Children’s Classics from Holland

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2006)

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12 Children’s Classics from Holland

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2007)

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2014)

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The Little Pharmacy of Children's Books

The little pharmacy of children’s books presents high quality children’s books in which themes as abuse, bullying, death and divorce play a role. The books have all been highly acclaimed for the beautiful, implicit way they touch on these difficult issues.

Text: Mirjam Noorduijn
Editors: Dick…

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Reading for empathy

29 children’s books to build understanding

‘Every person is a story that is nothing like the story of anyone else. By reading, you get to find out what other people think and feel.’ Sjoerd Kuyper wrote these words in his latest novel for young people, Bizar (2019). And he is absolutely right.…

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Children’s Books from Holland (Spring 2019)

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Children's Books from Holland (Spring 2020)

As you know, all the book fairs of spring 2020 have sadly had to be cancelled, which means we aren’t able to present our selection of the best Dutch children’s books from 2019 in person. So we’ve thought of another way to tell you about these wonderful titles. Continue...

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New Titles from The Netherlands

荷兰⽂文学新作 ⼩小说、⾮非⼩小说和少年年⼉儿童⽂文学

2018 年年

Fiction, Non-Fiction, and Children’s Books

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Writers (124)

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Stefan Buijsman

Stefan Buijsman (b. 1995) graduated with a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Leiden at 18 years of age, after which he left for Sweden to pursue a Ph.D. He completed the four-year doctorate program within a year and a half, making him one of the youngest Ph.D.s ever. At…

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Peter de Zwaan

Peter de Zwaan (b. 1944) started out as a journalist and a children’s author, writing the Bob Evers series. In 1992, he produced his first thriller. In his recent novel, De voeder (The Fodder, 2006), his new - but equally spineless–hero Meeks lives and works in America. In 2000, Peter de Zwaan…

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Pieter Toussaint

Pieter Toussaint (b. 1965) debuted in 2005 with De brief (The Letter), a highly promising novel in which a Dutch couple go on a caravan vacation in Poland, in the company of their two children and a slightly loony uncle. The account is both humorous and penetrating. Toussaint deals with solidarity…

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Kees Beekmans

Kees Beekmans teaches Dutch at a black school in Amsterdam for children with special educational needs. He studied Dutch language and literature at the University of Amsterdam and worked as a journalist before taking up a career in teaching. One Hand Can't Claps is his first book. Beekmans' stories…

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Jan Cleijne

Jan Cleijne began his career in 2001 by illustrating children’s books and designing scenarios for Donald Duck magazine. He has since worked for a wide range of publish­ers, theatrical productions, media and museums. He is currently dividing his time between a cartoon-strip book about a man…

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Milja Praagman

Milja Praagman (b. 1971) grew up in an old house on a dyke, where she enjoyed the panoramic view and the animals all around her. She studied graphic design at the Akademie voor Beeldende Kunsten Sint Joost in Breda. She then started creating illustrations for newspapers and magazines for adults and…

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Felix Thijssen

Felix Thijssen (b. 1933) studied journalism in France and worked as a journalist in The Netherlands for fifteen years. In 1970 he moved to the country and decided to spend all his time writing. He has written children’s books, science fiction, and scenarios for movies and television series. In…

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Eveline Crone

Eveline Crone is professor of developmental and educational psychology at Leiden University’s Institute of Psychology. In 2005 she set up the Brain and Development Laboratory, which has a strong focus on the fundamental changes in brain function that underlie our ability to anticipate, produce…

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Henna Goudzand Nahar

Henna Goudzand Nahar (b. 1953) was born in Suriname and settled in the Netherlands in the late 1980s. She worked as a Dutch teacher and wrote on a freelance basis for various magazines. In the 1990s, she began writing children’s books, such as De Bonistraat. Her picture book De stem van Bever

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Jan Terlouw

Jan Terlouw (b. 1931) made his debut as an author of children’s books in 1970. He was for many years the leader of D66, the left-wing liberal party. His social conscience can be seen in his books, in which he often considers current issues in his exciting, vivid writing style. Terlouw’s work…

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Aletta Jacobs

Aletta Jacobs (1854–1929) was born in Sappemeer in Groningen in 1854, the eighth of eleven children. Her mother was a housewife and her father a doctor. In 1878 she graduated as a medical doctor from the University of Amsterdam, after which she set up her own GP practice. She married Carel Victor…

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Janneke Schotveld

Janneke Schotveld (1974) started her career as a teacher, including for remedial classes, and became hugely popular with her Superjuffie (Super Miss) series. In interviews, she occasionally mentioned that she’d really like to write something different after all those stories about the…

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Ineke Holtwijk

Based in Rio de Janeiro, Ineke Holtwijk was Latin America correspondent for over fifteen years for, among others, de Volkskrant and national television news. In 1995 she published Cannibals in Rio about life in Brazil, which won her the Golden Dog-Ear (a prize for the best-selling literary debut of…

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Lydia Rood

Lydia Rood (b. 1957) studied journalism and Spanish and began her career as a journalist and editor at de Volkskrant. She wrote her first children’s book while she was studying, but did not devote herself entirely to writing until 1991. She is best known as an author for young adults, but she…

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Tanneke Wigersma

Tanneke Wigersma is a newcomer to Dutch children’s literature. She received rave reviews for her picture book debut Een konijnendenkplek. Wigersma was born in 1972 and went to art academy in Kampen, where she learned to illustrate – and how! The illustrations from Een konijnendenkplek were…

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Menno Lievers

Menno Lievers (1959) is a doctor and philosopher. He gained a PhD at Oxford for his thesis, Knowledge of Meaning. In 2003, Lievers published a philosophy book for children. He currently teaches philosophy at the University of Utrecht. In addition, Lievers is the editor of De Revisor literary…

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Henry Lloyd

Flin, or the Lost Love of a Unicorn is the most intriguing book of 2019, not only because of the content, but because of its creators, Henry Lloyd and Laurens Rawie. Fans of children’s books soon began to speculate that one well-known Dutch writer/illustrator was behind both pseudonyms. The…

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Bart Moeyaert

Bart Moeyaert (b. 1964) enjoys great renown as an author of children’s novels and as a poet. In 2006 and 2007 he was the city poet of Antwerp, where he currently lives. All his novels, Duet met valse noten (Duet with False Notes), 1983, Kus me (Kiss Me), 1991, Blote handen (Bare Hands), 1995…

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Jeroen Thijssen

Jeroen Thijssen (b. 1959) is the author of A Trip Around Gaul (2010) and the short-story collections The Marshall and Other Stories (1998) and The Children of the Triple A (2009). After Brother (2007), Solitude (2014) is his second novel. Taste, a book about food and flavour, will be published in…

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Josse de Haan

Until Kikkerjaren, Josse de Haan (b. 1941) was virtually unknown in the Netherlands. For years, however, he had been devoting himself to Frisian literature. He has written novels, stories, poetry, plays, and children’s books. He has also been an editor for several Frisian literary magazines.…

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Bas van Lier

Bas van Lier (b. 1961) is a freelance journalist and writer of informative children’s books on a variety of themes. His titles include books on films, money and royal weddings. Two of his best books are Van schrijver tot boekenkast and Het zeeboek, which won a Zilveren Griffel in 2004.…

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Romana Vrede

Romana Vrede (Paramaribo, 1972) is an actor with Het Nationale Theater. She received the Theo d’Or – the most important Dutch theater prize – for her role in RACE. In 2019, she made Dit is de leven, a much-acclaimed documentary about autistic children.

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Dieter Schubert

Ingrid Schubert and Dieter Schubert are married and work together. In 1977 they attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where the well-known Dutch illustrator Piet Klaasse inspired them to start illustrating children’s books. Their first title, There’s a Crocodile Under My Bed!, was…

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Ingrid Schubert

Ingrid Schubert and Dieter Schubert are married and work together. In 1977 they attended the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, where the well-known Dutch illustrator Piet Klaasse inspired them to start illustrating children’s books. Their first title, There’s a Crocodile Under My Bed!, was…

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Nicolaas Matsier

Nicolaas Matsier studied classical languages and philosophy and is the author of children’s books, story collections, essays, and the novels Closed House (1994; translated into French and German) and The Forty-Eighth Hour (2005). He has also translated work by authors including Lewis Carroll…

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Books (301)

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Occupied Territories

As a writer, Grunberg set himself the task of filling up the gaps in human memory with fiction. That’s how he gave meaning to life and enabled his readers to live vicariously through his work. Twenty years after his debut, Grunberg set out to write a major novel about his mother Hannelore, who…

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100% Chemistry

Despite the astonishing success of the novel The Second Man, Doeschka Meijsing has resisted the temptation to repeat herself. This time she has written a small-scale chronicle of four generations of women in her family: 100% Chemistry, following the trail back from herself to her mother Ilna…

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My Father

Toon Tellegen’s animal stories were originally published under Querido’s children’s book fund, but have now been compiled for an adult audience. An unusual, but quite understandable development. Tellegen is a self-willed writer who is difficult to place into any of the accepted literary…

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Moshe and Reizele

Mosje en Reizele is made up of three parts. The first section is contemporary and is set in Tel Aviv in 1995. Moshe Schuster, the retired main character, has been asked to speak on the radio about the experiences he had fifty-five years earlier in the Warsaw orphanage run by the famous physician…

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The Towers of February

In 2004, Tonke Dragt won an award for the best children’s book of the previous five decades: De brief voor de koning (The Letter for the King, 1962). However, she received most fan mail for De torens van februari (The Towers of February, 1973), the incomparable sciencefiction story that according…

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The Voice

As with Durlacher’s previous novels, The Voice is about violence encroaching upon ordinary lives and the question of how to be a good and just person. Psychoanalyst Zelda looks back on her past, when she made a home with her husband Bor Wagschal and their patchwork family of three children. As…

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That Day in August

With a great eye for detail, children’s author Rindert Kromhout and illustrator Annemarie van Haeringen use words and pictures to tell a small but multi-faceted story about a devastating event in an Italian village. However, Die dag in augustus (That Day in August) is not just about how painfully…

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Paravion

Hafid Bouazza’s Paravion is like an Arab fairy tale in its composition, poetic and exotic, but its theme is rooted in the current social reality of the emigrant. ‘Baba Balook and his wife had kept his upcoming journey secret from everyone, lest backbiting and catastrophe – the evil eye –…

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And His Name Is

Marjolijn van Heemstra has a conversation with her partner about what to name their child. She’s pregnant and, as the chapter title explains, still has 27 weeks to go. Her partner tells her that a name always fits in the end, like a leather shoe that takes on the shape of the foot. Marjolijn…

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No Ordinary Necklace

Janna’s mother is in hospital. Daddy goes to visit her twice daily but Janna isn’t allowed to go with him. Mummy looks very sick and sometimes she can’t stop crying and she doesn’t want to confront her little girl with these things. Janna feels shut out and decides to change the situation…

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Odysseus, Teller of Tales

Odysseus and his adventures have been a source of inspiration for Dros many times. They feature in her children’s novel De reizen van de slimme man in which a twelve-year-old boy is investigating the mystery behind the old stories which he was once told; in the much-praised metric translation of…

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The Last Freedom

Arion’s 1973 first novel, Dubbelspel (Double Play), was a great success in the Netherlands and is still seen as a significant contribution to Dutch-language literature. Now, after sixteen years of literary silence, Arion has finally published a new novel. ‘I’m not interested in just writing a…

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Letters to Anyone and Everyone

Tellegen’s bizarre, moving and unfailingly poetic mental constructions generated a body of enthusiastic readers of all ages and won all major prizes for children’s literature. According to the index in Toon Tellegen’s collected animal stories Misschien wisten zij alles (Perhaps They Knew…

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Laura H.

In the summer of 2016, near to IS’s self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq, a young Dutch woman was found running through the desert, two small children in her arms. Her name was Laura, she was twenty years old and had escaped after a year’s captivity. She was crying. She wanted to go home.

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The Gas and Electricity Man

Nicolette Smabers once said in an interview, that ‘story telling is an act of love’. This statement characterizes the way she writes. Withholding important information from children, thus denying them the right to the truth, and resulting in a lopsided view of reality, plays a role in all of…

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Departure Time

A girl is stumbling across a vast expanse of sand in the pouring rain. She does not know who she is, what her name is or where she is going. Then she arrives at a hotel, run by a grey fox and a white rat, who are the same size as her. She decides to stay there and to find out who she is. But all…

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Black Snow

The mid-nineteenth century was peak time for the coal mines of Limburg in the southern Netherlands. Child labour was normal, compulsory education non-existent and the population was under the thumb of the Roman Catholic church, the large landowners, and industrial bosses. Against this bleak…

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Marijn and the Smugglers

This historical youth novel is out on its own where its approach to Dutch colonial history is concerned. The central theme is slave trading in the Caribbean. The three children of a Dutch dignitary lose both their parents in a hurricane in Curaçao, in 1681. Sixteen-year-old Marijn goes to work as…

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Miss Unicorn

They have previously worked together on a series of comic-book poems, a picture book about dinosaurs and the accessible ‘Sofie’ series. Now Edward van de Vendel and Floor de Goede have added to that list a book in the ‘Tijgerlezen’ series for beginning readers: Miss Unicorn.…

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Bigger than the Sky, Worse than the Sun

In this story, told through the voice of twelve-year-old Elmer Noorland, Daan Remmerts de Vries presents an incredibly strong psychological portrait of a troubled young man. Rarely has such a realistic, intriguing and unforgettable character as this Elmer appeared in a children’s book. Remmerts…

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Paradise Lost

In an interview last year Nelleke Noordervliet said that she had always felt an outsider since childhood. It is no accident that the tension between withdrawal and commitment has been a major constant in the work of this prominent Dutch novelist. In Uit het paradijs too the narrator struggles with…

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The Boy Who Found Happiness

De gelukvinder is a spectacular book for adolescent readers, in which Edward van de Vendel relates the eventful life of Afghan refugee Hamayun, a seventeen-year-old whose character is based on that of co-author Anoush Elman. Together with his family, Anoush fled from the Taliban, ending up in the…

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Cheese

Ida de Ridder published her memoirs of her father Alfons de Ridder, the man who gained fame as a writer under the pseudonym Willem Elsschot (1882-1960). Oddly enough, it wasn’t until Ida went to secondary school that she found out that her father and the extraordinary Flemish writer were one and…

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Terra Ultima

Animal species are dying out at a rapid pace, but Terra Ultima is actually adding new ones – like the canary bee, the flamingo deer, the turtle jellyfish, and the golden-edged frog beetle. Two familiar species have been combined to make a new one, which this book presents in fantastically…

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We Are Our Brains

For many years the prevailing belief in the developed world has been that upbringing determines what a child will become. Everything that can go wrong in later life is therefore the fault of the parents and, more broadly, society. The same train of thought suggests that many illnesses can be blamed…

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Jim

Judith Eiselin, along with authors like Astrid Lindgren and Guus Kuijer, is one of that rare group of children’s writers who are capable of fully immersing themselves in the heads of their young characters. In Jim, a dynamic holiday adventure with an ingenious plot and a dash of mystery, that…

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Heir and Successor

‘I was born in Posen on 13 April 1944,’ writes Dutch journalist Alexander Münninghoff in Heir and Successor, his family’s story. This fact conceals a horrifying reality.

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My Very Own Slave

In the days of slavery it could happen: you’re the daughter of a plantation owner and when you’re twelve you get your own slave. Slaaf Kindje Slaaf by Dolf Verroen begins with Maria’s birthday party. Little Koko is brought in on a silver plate and Maria’s aunt gives her a whip to go with…

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Dead Simple

Unique, unorthodox and unflinching: this describes children’s writer Bette Westera and illustrator Sylvia Weve’s approach to death in all its aspects. These poems, rhymes and songs range from poignant to light-hearted in tone and invite the reader to recite them out loud. Weve’s outstanding…

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The Atlas of Everywhere

The author Deniz Kuypers lives in San Francisco, but grew up in the Netherlands in a family with a Dutch mother and an often-absent Turkish father. In his much-acclaimed and largely autobiographical third novel, he recounts his quest to find out where he is from and why it is so difficult for him…

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When Faas Didn’t Come Home

Eleven-year-old Faas, a rich imagination, is a typical Martha Heesen figure. Exactly what goes on inside his head is unclear; the reader observes him through the eyes of his older brother Peet, who finds him a mystery too. This makes Faas all the more intriguing, and Heesen’s low-key narrative…

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Maria’s Men

The protagonist of this novel, Maria van Aelst, really existed. We don’t know much about her, other than that she was married to Antonio van Diemen, Governor-General of the former Dutch East Indies between 1637 and 1645, that their marriage remained childless and that she died an extremely rich…

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Time On Our Side

The clock was originally meant to help us organize work, transport and trade. ‘By far the most artificial of all our inventions,’ W.G. Sebald called it. Nowadays it rules our entire lives and this book is a fervent plea to free ourselves from the dictatorship of the clock and find a new…

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Patatje oorlog

The title of this book needs a little explanation. ‘Patatje oorlog’ is a typical Dutch dish, literally translated as ‘chip war’: chips with two or three sauces and chopped onions. Sounds innocent enough, but the two fourteen-year-old protagonists of this book actually tend to visit the…

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The Mystery of Life

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:…

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Winter Animals

Very few writers can do what Bibi Dumon Tak does: write outstanding literary non-fiction for children. Anyone who is at all sceptical should read Winterdieren, a book that will whisk you away to the most remote areas of our world: the North and South Poles, ‘the mother and father of the earth’.…

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The Happy Class

‘Don’t let anyone tell you being a schoolmaster isn’t an adventurous job…’ The speaker is Staal, a teacher at an Amsterdam school for poor children in the early twentieth century. There is little prestige attached to the post and his wife thinks he should look for a better job, but Staal…

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Three Sisters in London

During World War I, Eric de Kuyper’s grandfather’s position with the railways took him and his family to London. The De Kuypers spent the war years in the magnificent Cannon Street Hotel, a palace which, with its imperturbable rhythm and impeccable order, seemed immune to the inferno raging in…

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The Homecoming

With The Homecoming, a historical novel, Anna Enquist has changed course. Elizabeth Batts, the main character, is married to James Cook, the eighteenth-century explorer who during his voyages charted large parts of the world. During his third venture to Hawaii, he was murdered by the local populace…

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Longing

Longing, Alfred van Cleef’s first novel, tells the story of investigative journalist Albert Ossedrijver and his exciting search into the past of his family, who were killed in World War II. His quest leads him to another family, his girlfriend Esther’s family, members of whom had been in the…

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How I Accidentally Wrote a Book

When 13-year-old Katinka tells people that her mum’s been dead for ten years, they get tears in their eyes, or put their arms around her. “What I don’t get is that other people don’t get that I’m completely used to it,” she says. But is that really true?

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You Can See the Whole World from Here

Enne Koens’s new book reads like a detective novel, with the author deftly casting out the lines of her story. Once again, she has written a sensitive children’s novel full of colourful figures.

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The Little House by the River

Yussuf’s family live next door to one another in a number of houses by the river. His tough grandma is the centre of the family, along with her brother, who is mainly interested in his pigeons, and her son and daughter, each with a partner and child. They all get along well, and life is calm and…

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The Connecting Thread

Artist Guida Joseph has created an unusual documentary memoir on both her family’s origins and current experience by adopting a two-pronged approach via each of her parents. In the first part of the book, she relays her Jewish father’s roots and war trauma, incorporating sections of his own…

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Leave a Message in the Sand

In the year when Bibi Dumon Tak’s non-fiction oeuvre won the Netherlands’ top prize for children’s literature, she also made her debut as a poet. That step is not as big as it might seem. The portraits of unusual animals in her non-fiction were practically poetry already, as a result of her…

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Sheep and Goat

No one led more a boring life than Sheep and Goat. Imagine: just the two of them in a field where nothing happens, the high point of their day being a bunch of hay or a dandelion. Who’d write a book about that? Marleen Westera, the most welcome Dutch newcomer of 2004! In her debut Schaap en Geit

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The Girls

Annet Schaap selected seven fairy tales as the basis for this dazzling collection of stories, The Girls. Two Perraults, five Brothers Grimm. But these are certainly not faithful adaptations. Schaap takes what she can use from the old stories and then follows her own path.

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Deesje

In Deesje by Joke van Leeuwen you roll along with the main character from one adventure into the next. And not only as far as the story is concerned; reading the words and looking at the pictures is one big surprise. In the work of the doubly talented Van Leeuwen, text and illustrations complement…

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Fatal Flaws

The belligerent motto of this novel is taken from Virginia Woolf: ‘This is an insignificant book, because it’s about the feelings of women in the living room.’ Agnes Stam is the protagonist of this enjoyable book, which begins with a suggestive chapter on the experiences and thoughts of a…

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Deep in the Forest of Nergena

It really doesn’t get much more cold-hearted than this: one Sunday evening in September, Uncle Pep comes to town on his motorbike to borrow one of his nieces. And who better than Frieda the pest? She has to go with him to the family’s remote house to entertain her lonely and maladjusted cousin…

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Translations (4)

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Children on the Oregon trail

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Children on the Oregon trail

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Saving the children

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Star children

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Staff (1)

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Essays (9)

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There Is No Such Thing as Dutch Literature

When it comes to thematic art exhibitions, consistency of content is more important than the quality of the pictures and objects displayed. The same applies to a national literature when it is taken as the theme of a festival, a series of readings, or the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Why should I be…

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Crime literature in the Low Countries - This is what we fear

Over the past two decades, crime literature in the Low Countries has come of age. Established crime authors are attracting a large readership with their often down-to-earth, realistic crime stories. Renowned literary authors are no longer averse to suspense and are delivering exciting novels that…

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God's Fingerprint

'If you're lucky, you sometimes come across an intellectual who knows where The Netherlands are when you're abroad,' wrote Gerrit Komrij in the late eighties of the previous century. 'Roughly, at least. Somewhere near Denmark. It's incredibly difficult to explain to such a person that The…

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International Booker Prize 2020

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison is the winner of the International Booker Prize 2020.

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A Quilt of Many Colours

The children's book landscape of the Low Countries is particularly rich in variety. It resembles a patchwork quilt of tiny meadows and broad pastures, of busy sprawling cities and peaceful sleepy villages, of hilly regions and vast plains, of weed-covered ditches and turbulent streams. Upon closer…

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Colours! Light! Energy!

Don’t we need them more than ever this spring of 2022, after two years of struggling with viruses? We have all had to reinvent our ways of working and communicating. And, thankfully, books have continued to serve as a solid foundation both for our pleasure and for our working lives.

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Soapbox

Hardly anyone could have failed to notice this book in recent months. An anthology in Arabic for child refugees. A lot of people smile when they see the book. Because it opens the other way around. And I think letters are funny too when you can’t read them. Jip and Janneke and Frog in Arabic…

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Modern Classics

Modern classics are a curious phenomenon. They bring together two seemingly contradictory things: urgency and timelessness. What modern classics lose in urgency with time – as they are overtaken by other works of literature that capture the zeitgeist of their moment – they make up for in…

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New beginnings

Mark Janssen, the illustrator we asked to create the cover image for this newly designed version of our children’s books brochure, puts it so well: Wake up! Spring is here. Look forward to new beginnings.

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Etsuko Nozaka

As a Dutch-Japanese translator, Etsuko Nozaka has translated more than 100 children's books since her first translation of Lena lena (Harriet van Reek, 1986). Among others, she translated works by Els Pelgrom, Paul Biegel, Guus Kuijer, Dick Bruna, Max Velthuijs, Rindert Kromhout, Joke van Leeuwen…

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