Essay

Agnes Vogt

New beginnings

7 april 2021

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.

So much has changed for all of us over the course of the past year. Old structures are changing, we’re discovering new ways of communication and – often with no choice because of strict lockdowns – rediscovering our close environments and coming to appreciate elements of our lives that we sometimes took for granted. Now that a year without book fairs has passed and vaccines have given us some hope of travelling again in the near future, this feels like the right moment for a new beginning. So we’re reaching out to you in this new brochure with a selection of the best children’s books from the Netherlands published in 2020. For now, by post and online, but hopefully soon we can discuss them in person.

The selection was made by a team of children’s book critics from national newspapers. It includes Mark Janssen’s haunting black and white illustrations, the captivating concertina book Animals on the Move, the hilarious picture book But First I Caught a Monster, as well as highly acclaimed non-fiction about art and nature, middle-grade fiction full of the sensitivity, lightness and humour that is characteristic of Dutch children’s books, and three 10+ fiction titles ranging from raw and historical to exceptionally literary. Finally, in line with the international interest in classics, we present two remarkable retellings of familiar stories, The Jungle Book and Nils Holgersson’s travels.

Please enjoy browsing through these titles and do contact us for more information on these, or any other, Dutch children’s books. And don’t forget that we’re always happy to provide financial support for high-quality translations.

Agnes Vogt

This feels like the right moment for a new beginning