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Sjoerd Kuyper

Sjoerd Kuyper (b. 1952) made his writing debut in 1974 with a collection of poems for adults. He wrote various stories for television, among them Majesteit, Uw ontbijt (‘Your Breakfast, Sire’) and Het zakmes (‘The Pocket Knife’) which was also filmed and received fourteen awards, among them an Emmy. In 1994 he won a Silver Slate Pencil for Robin en Suze (‘Robin And Suze’), in 1995 he won another for Het eiland Klaasje (‘The Isle of Klaasje’). In 2012 he was awarded the Theo Thijssen Prize for his oeuvre. He is, he thinks, a writer who writes mostly about what he thinks, fears, feels, more than about what he himself has experienced. Kuyper writes in a style that is poetic, clear and vivid and enters with ease into the emotional world of young children.

Majesteit, uw ontbijt

Majesteit, uw ontbijt

(Leopold, 1988, 87 pagina's)

King Donald’s love for Queen Rosemonde is deathless - even though everyone says that Queen Rosemonde is dead. The king is sure that she isn’t. She has only disappeared thanks to some evil spell. He just goes on waiting for her, even though his knights and councillors keep urging him into a second marriage. ‘I shall not remarry, Rosemonde before I have got you back. And then… I’ll marry you again.’ That the king can still talk to Rosemonde is due to the fact that he has found a replacement for her: her pillow, on which he has placed a crown. The king shows the power that imagination can engender.

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Het zakmes

Het zakmes

(Leopold, 1991, 97 pagina's)

Het zakmes shows how deep children’s friendships can be. Mees and his friend Tim, both six years old, are in grade three. The day before Tim moves to Almere he shows Mees his new beautiful red pocket-knife in the schoolyard. Mees is even allowed to hold it for a moment. When the teacher, one of the strict old-fashioned kind who don’t like pocket-knives, comes close by, Mees quickly puts the knife in his pocket. Immediately the bell rings and the boys run inside. The lesson starts and they forget the pocket-knife. The next day Mees wants to give the knife back but Tim has just gone with the removals van and has not left his new address behind.

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Josje’s droom

Josje’s droom

(Leopold, 1992, 60 pagina's)

Josje (Josie) lives in a port town together with a number of friendly animals of whom Cousin Donkey is her favourite. Her marriage with the soldier she has fallen in love with turns into a big party. But on the wedding night she has a nightmare: her soldier is picked up by ‘the Tar Men’ to go to war. He doesn’t return. Josie’s sorrow is great: ‘every word hurts’. She stuffs her sorrow into a big wardrobe, and that of the animals too: ‘Ironed flat, the little sorrow fitted onto the shelves in neat piles’ and the big sorrow hung ‘like heavy winter overcoats on the wardrobe’s hangers.’ At first it’s fine, that the sorrow is packed away, but afterwards they realize that…

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Sjaantje doet alsof

Sjaantje doet alsof

(Nieuw Amsterdam, 2007, 28 pagina's)

Sjaantje doet alsof by Sjoerd Kuyper and the multi-talented Daan Remmerts de Vries is a very colourful picture book, both literally and figuratively, and it may be classified within the genre of the ‘consolation fantasy’: in order to make life bearable, a young child unconsciously imagines a life peopled with characters who don’t exist or with loved ones who are no longer there.

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De grote Robin

De grote Robin

(Lemniscaat, 2012, 192 pagina's)

Last year, Sjoerd Kuyper won the Theo Thijssen Prize for his body of work as a children’s author. His stories combine readability with literary skill and depth.

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Hotel de grote L

Hotel de grote L

(Lemniscaat, 2014, 228 pagina's)

It’s the kind of day “for writing your name across the moon with a spray can”. Kos scores an impossible goal in front of a talent scout for the Ajax football team – and in front of Isabel, the most beauti­ful girl in the world. His dad is so over­joyed that he has a heart attack. From that point on, Kos seems to be the only one using his common sense – or at least trying to…

Things haven’t been going well at the hotel since Kos’s mum died, but without his dad there, it becomes impossible. How can you run a hotel and still keep on going to school? How can you paIt’s the kind of day “for writing your name across the moon with a spray can”. Kos scores an impossible…

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