Peter van Gestel
Peter van Gestel (1937-2019) made a name for himself in the Netherlands as a scriptwriter for radio and television. In the late 1970s, he started writing for children of about eleven and up in a weekly magazine and later on a newspaper. His main characters are lively young oddballs who have not yet made the choice between conforming and remaining somewhat of an outsider. They observe others often in taciturn astonishment. Van Gestel is strong on dialogue, his use of language is highly individual, while at the same time coming over as real vernacular. He has a great sense of humour and a finely honed insight into the psychology of his characters. His books have won many awards. The diaries of Ko Kruier, earned Van Gestel both a Silver Pencil award and the Nienke van Hichtum Prize. For Winterijs (Winter Ice, 2001), he received three Dutch awards: the Gouden Griffel, the Woutertje Pieterse Prize and the Nienke van Hichtum Prize. In 2006 Van Gestel received the Theo Thijssen Prize for his oeuvre.