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Edward van de Vendel

Edward van de Vendel (b. 1964) has rapidly developed into an all-round writer for children and teenagers. He once set up his own primary school, but opted in the end for writing, which was better suited to his idealism and talent. After two collections of children’s poetry, he broke through in 1999 with the poetic adaptation of Gijsbrecht, based on the seventeenth-century Dutch classic, for which he was awarded the prestigious Gouden Zoen. He received this award again a year later for his totally different, pioneering adolescent novel De dagen van de Bluegrassliefde (The Days of Blue Grass Love). He also won a Silver Slate award for the picture book Dom konijn (Silly Rabbit). An all-rounder with almost twenty books to his name, both prose and poetry for children and young people of varying ages. The social awareness that he shows in De gelukvinder (The Boy Who Found Happiness, 2008) is a new development and one that is to be welcomed.

Gijsbrecht

Gijsbrecht

Naar Vondels Gysbrecht van Aemstel

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1998, 121 pagina's)

‘Gijsbrecht is a hero.’ That is the first line of Gijsbrecht. Heroes fight, as we all know. Heroes enter bravely into the fray, heroes give their lives for their cities, heroes don’t run away. But that’s not always pleasant for a hero’s wife. Gijsbrecht’s wife, Badeloch, would rather have Gijsbrecht home more often, rather than off performing heroic deeds. She finds it hard to be a hero’s wife: ‘I saw it coming – at our wedding the storm swelled and has never died down again.’ A beautiful sentence, notes a character who hears her lament. And he’s right – Edward van de Vendel does put beautiful sentences in his characters’ mouths.

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Jaap deelt klappen uit

Jaap deelt klappen uit

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1999, 40 pagina's)

The barrage of aggressive exclamations this picture book opens with – ‘Biff!’, ‘Bam!’, ‘Wham!’, ‘Thwack!’, ‘Smack!’ – appears to be appealing to toddlers’ liking for noise and violence. The aggressiveness, however, ebbs away entirely in the following passage: ‘The blows rain thick and fast. The walls hit back – but only gently’.

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De dagen van bluegrassliefde

De dagen van bluegrassliefde

(Querido Kinderboeken, 1999, 148 pagina's)

The book is situated successively in a provincial town in the Netherlands, a summer camp in Knoxville, USA, and a town in Norway, is about the budding identities of two boys. In order to discover who he is and what he is capable of, after his final exams, Tycho who had an extremely sheltered upbringing, leaves for a year at an American summer camp.

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Superguppie

Superguppie

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2003, 64 pagina's)

Super Guppy is a collection of fifty-one wonderful, multifaceted poems for children of six years and up. Van de Vendel stays close to home: splashing through puddles and getting your socks wet, being tucked in at night by Mum, and having a plaster on your knee – ow! – taken off. To these familiar things, he adds dimension, an unusual way of seeing things, to make the young reader work a little. The storm lashes at the windows, but it breathes too, just like the child, for instance. Or a dead blackbird lies ‘folded flat / in the station on the ground’ and no one notices, not even Mummy.

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De gelukvinder

De gelukvinder

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2008, 332 pagina's)

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 Netherlands more or less by chance, after an incredible journey.

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Toen kwam Sam

Toen kwam Sam

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2011, 120 pagina's)

‘Seeing him was always a surprise, because he was so beautiful and white, and a little bit mysterious.’ Nine-year-old Kix and his younger sister Emilia fall in love with a big Pyrenean mountain dog the instant he walks into their lives. The dog is nervous and thin, with sad eyes and tangles in his ‘warm snowy fur’. Slowly the children gain his trust. But where did he come from?

This heart-warming story is one of Edward van de Vendel’s best books so far, mainly because of its tone. Based on a true story, it flows as if telling itself. Kix’s voice and experiences strike the reader as utterly authentic.

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Dertien rennende hertjes

Dertien rennende hertjes

(De Eenhoorn, 2012, 156 pagina's)

There are plenty of children’s books about imaginary friends, but this poetic tale is just a little bit different. The fantasy creatures that appear to Moonie and her brother Raf are like totem animals, symbolizing their characters. They help Moonie to become more self-confident and Raf to control his anger.

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Doei!

Doei!

(Querido Kinderboeken, 2014, 40 pagina's)

See Ya! is a gentle story about a little girl called Marie, who playfully helps to chase away her big brother Ben’s nightmares.

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Stem op de okapi

Stem op de okapi

(Querido, 2015, 160 pagina's)

Driven by their relentless curiosity and unbridled fantasy, Edward van de Vendel and Martijn van der Linden present the okapi as a “splendid and silent mystery animal”. Remarkable facts about one of the last large mammals to be discovered alternate with small okapi stories and cheerful little okapi poems. Van de Vendel’s words are interspersed with Van der Linden’s striking and original illustrations, which show a remarkable range of styles composition and atmosphere.

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Het kankerkampioenschap voor junioren

Het kankerkampioenschap voor junioren

(Querido, 2015, 215 pagina's)

So it can be done: writing an original and moving YA novel about young people with cancer after John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Edward van de Vendel and Roy Looman have done so, in a way that feels completely authentic and personal. They have chronicled Roy’s story in The Junior Cancer Championship – a rather provocative title that shows exactly what it’s all about.

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Website

http://www.edwardvandevendel.…