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Daan Remmerts de Vries

Daan Remmerts de Vries (b. 1962) actually wanted to become a musician. He wrote and played his own music and tried to make a go of it. When this didn’t work, he decided to start writing. In his books, he humorously holds up a mirror to parents and educators, but also to the children themselves. He won a Gouden Griffel for best Dutch children’s book of the year for Godje (Little God, 2002). De Noordenwindheks (The North Wind Witch, 2004) won a Zilveren Griffel. Tiger Island is the closest he has come to autobiography so far: Remmerts de Vries himself once travelled to India with his divorced mother.

Willis - het doet er niet toe hoe

Willis - het doet er niet toe hoe

(Leopold, 1999, 104 pagina's)

Willis has an active brain and a fertile imagination. He’s the kind of kid who is so ordinary on the outside that other people have no idea how exceptional he is on the inside. Especially his parents. At the moment they are not taking much notice of Willis, because they are grieving over the loss of a premature baby. Willis is jealous of that ‘failed baby brother’ who, ‘by not being there, manages to be the centre of attention’.

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Godje

Godje

(Leopold, 2002, 87 pagina's)

Godje features a fascinating main character with a complex personality: the highly imaginative tearaway, Robbie Nathan, who likes to boss people around. He tells the reader all about what happens one summer when he doesn’t go away on holiday.

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De Noordenwindheks

De Noordenwindheks

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2004, 108 pagina's)

Something very striking about Daan Remmerts de Vries’ De Noordenwindheks (‘The Witch of the North Wind’) is that if you turn it over you will see that it has two front covers. This is one book containing two interlinked novellas: one about eleven year-old Mori Brunèl and the other about Rifka Verdigaal who is the same age. It is up to the reader to decide which story to begin with.

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De diepte van een Zweeds meer

De diepte van een Zweeds meer

(Lemniscaat, 2006, 93 pagina's)

De diepte van een Zweeds meer (Deep as a Swedish Lake) is one of those strange stories that you slip into as a reader, as though you were playing a part in it. On the very first page, Hesther, the main character, asks what you’re expecting from the story and involves you in her thoughts. She tells you all about the summer holiday she spent in Sweden with her friend Mo and Mo’s parents.

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Droomkonijn

Droomkonijn

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2008, 26 pagina's)

Multi-talented, award-winning author and illustrator Daan Remmerts de Vries delighted his readers last year with this picture book about love and about dreams that come true. Owl falls asleep and has a dream about a white rabbit. The reader wonders whether Owl fancies leg of rabbit for his dinner, but this suspicion turns out to be wrong – Owl is, in fact, a very noble creature.

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Tijger Eiland

Tijger Eiland

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2013, 204 pagina's)

We have arrived at a point where divorce is no longer a taboo in Dutch children’s literature. Usually such books are about the child, who is angry at first, but who gradually becomes used to the situation. The guilty parents do their best and everything works out okay. But what happens when that’s not the case? What about if your dad gets a new girlfriend really quickly, and your mum starts acting more and more strangely, and no one seems to be worried about you?

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Groter dan de lucht, erger dan de zon

Groter dan de lucht, erger dan de zon

(Querido, 2015, 183 pagina's)

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 de Vries shows a deft touch, maintaining a light tone in his diary story, with its awkward, boyish style, while making a sincere, heartrending plea for individuality and freedom.

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