Benny Lindelauf

Benny Lindelauf (b. 1964) writes theatre texts and children’s books that stand out for their narrative power and stylistic mastery.

Children's books
Photo: Koos Breukel

His family epic about the Boon sisters (Het tegendeel van zorgen) and his two magical-realistic tales about six brothers who are sent to war (Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor and Hele verhalen voor een halve soldaat) belong to the canon of Dutch youth literature.

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Benny Lindelauf

Whole Stories for a Half Soldier

Six brothers are called up to go to war. They pass a border guard who demands a donation for the peace effort from each of the brothers. The brothers own nothing, but they do have stories to tell. This is a constant in Lindelauf’s work: in his award-winning masterpiece 'De hemel van Heivisj' (published in English as Fing’s War), it’s also stories that save the characters when nothing else remains.

Benny Lindelauf

Fing's war

Just outside a village in Limburg stands a house with the name of Nine Open Arms, so called because if its nine residents open their arms wide, they can hug all the way around it. Fing lives there in the late 1930s with her four brothers, two sisters, their dad and Grandma Mei. It’s an almost fairytale place that is brimming with stories. And often it’s not entirely clear whether these stories come from the imagination of Grandma Mei and the children or whether they really happened.

Benny Lindelauf

Nine Open Arms

It is the end of August 1937, nine people – father, grandmother, four sons and three daughters – leave for what seems to be the end of the world: Sjlammbams Sahara, a place outside the safe walls of the city. Father is a man who does all kinds of odd jobs and none of them well but he is hopeful and full of love. Grandmother courageously carries her bag made from crocodile leather full of pictures and stories.

Benny Lindelauf

They Had Counted Their Sheep

Some years ago, a sentence from a Christmas song inspired Benny Lindelauf to create a musical performance for children. Last year, the book of the same name was published. 'They Had Counted Their Sheep' is a warm Christmas tale for children of around seven and up.

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