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Bibi Dumon Tak

Bibi Dumon Tak (b. 1964) studied Dutch Literature. In 2001, she made her debut as a non-fiction author for children with Het koeienboek (The Cow Book, 2001). Although Dumon Tak’s oeuvre consists for the main part of factual titles, the line between fiction and non-fiction appears to blur in her work; she uses literary techniques to describe reality. Her first novel based on a true story was Soldaat Wojtek (Private Voytek). This style is now attracting a certain amount of cautious imitation, but it was immediately acknowledged by the critics: Het koeienboek was awarded the Silver Slate Pencil, as was the later Camera loopt… actie!.

Het koeienboek

Het koeienboek

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2001, 87 pagina's)

Anyone who starts off her book with a chapter about headstrong cows who make a run for it in order to escape from the slaughterhouse, must really love her subject. Thanks to this genuine love, The Cow Book is much more than just an informative book on the national symbol of the Netherlands.

Dumon Tak not only tells us how cows are put together, how they make milk, how calves are conceived and born and how they meet their end. We also hear how an inspector judges cows and learn what makes a fine-looking dairy cow, in the opinion of the farmer. Inspectors talk about udders as if they were expensive handbags. But first and foremost Dumon Tak solemnly crowns the cow the queen of the countryside.…

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Wat een circus!

Wat een circus!

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2002, 124 pagina's)

The best chapter in Wat een circus! is the one about the naughty elephants, Caudy, Patra and Boni. Recently, Boni has been hoovering the knees of the audience with her trunk during performances, and this time she almost stole a camera. Now, the new elephant trainer gives them a strict talking-to. Their shame pervades the whole stall. Bibi Dumon Tak once more proves that no one can write about animals with such an overwhelming tenderness as she. After ten pages, the elephants, or sea lions, or liberty horses are just like people. And that is the art.

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Laika tussen de sterren

Laika tussen de sterren

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2006, 92 pagina's)

Rescue horses, wartime carrier pigeons, police dogs – in Laika tussen de sterren Bibi Dumon Tak places the focus on the animal as a rescuer of humans. For this collection of factual animal stories, the author spoke to pigeon fanciers and dog trainers, and visited an animal experimentation lab, because no book about animals whose lives are dedicated to helping people could be without a chapter about laboratory animals. But she doesn’t pass judgment. It’s up to the young reader to decide whether to buy Mum make-up that’s not been tested on animals for her birthday from now on.

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Bibi’s bijzondere beestenboek

Bibi’s bijzondere beestenboek

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2006, 89 pagina's)

Bibi Dumon Tak is mad about animals. Whether it’s animals with two, four or a thousand legs, Bibi wants to know all about them. This love for animals formed the starting point for her steadily growing oeuvre, which consists mainly of non-fiction titles. In Bibi’s bijzondere beestenboek, the author has turned her knowledge into forty appealing portraits of animals.

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Latino King

Latino King

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2010, 144 pagina's)

In her book Rotjongens (Bad Boys, 2007), Bibi Dumon Tak presented portraits of boys in young offenders’ institutions. This is how she came to know Castel, a Dutch boy who, when he was eighteen, was caught at the airport in the Dominican Republic with one and a half kilos of cocaine in his trousers. He was given a sentence of eight years and locked up in one of the world’s most notorious prisons, but was able to make a spectacular escape. Dumon Tak wrote a story based on Castel’s experiences, as her contribution to Querido’s successful ‘Slash’ series, in which well-known children’s writers present young people’s true life stories in the form of novels.

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Winterdieren

Winterdieren

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2011, 135 pagina's)

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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Siens hemel

Siens hemel

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2016, 32 pagina's)

On the day Sien leaves, the sky is pitch black. The cloud from which this wonderfully beautiful picture book develops is also pitch black.

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