Guus Kuijer

Guus Kuijer (b. 1942) is one of the Netherlands’ most popular writers for both children and adults. Countless children have grown up with his 'Madelief' and 'Polleke' series.

FictionChildren's books
Photo: Stefan Tell

He has won numerous major awards and his work has been widely translated, with several of his books being adapted for the stage. The Melbourne Theatre Company’s production of The Book of Every­thing has enjoyed enormous success in Australia and around the world. His work for adults includes Hoe een klein rotgodje God vermoordde (How A Small Little God Murdered God, 2006) and Hoe word ik gelukkig? (How To Be Happy, 2009). In 2012 Kuijer won the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award for his children’s writing and in 2014 he was shortlisted for the AKO Literature Prize for The Bible for Unbelievers.

More Guus Kuijer

Guus Kuijer

The Madelief book

In one of the first stories in the first Madelief book, 'Met de poppen gooien' (Throwing Dolls), Madelief and Roos talk about the toilet. The rather prim Roos is embarrassed by the subject, whilst tomboy Madelief tries to kid her that she and her mother don’t even have a toilet. But then they ring Madelief’s doorbell and hear her mother call out ‘wait a moment!’, followed by the roar of a flushing loo. End of story.

Guus Kuijer


In all his books, Guus Kuijer shows complete solidarity with children’s hearts and souls. He understands better than anyone else that children just want to be happy. But in a world of conflicts both large and small, that’s not always easy, as Polleke, one of the best-known characters in Dutch children’s literature, knows only too well.

Guus Kuijer

The Bible for Unbelievers

Any attempt to bring the Bible to a fresh set of readers is a bold undertaking. Guus Kuijer, one of Holland’s best-loved authors for children and adults, steps effortlessly into the light with his own extraordinary retelling, written for a modern-day readership of unbelievers. Three volumes have been published to date, with part four following in autumn 2015.

Guus Kuijer

Scratches on the Tabletop

When Daisy’s Grandma dies, the girl realises to her surprise that she barely knew her and that her mother does not seem particularly upset. Daisy goes to stay with her kind, sensible Grandad, to cheer him up a bit in his loneliness. There begins the search for the woman who was her grandmother. Like a cunning, dogged detective, bit by bit she pieces together what has never been talked about in the family and why.

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