Jan Paul Schutten

Jan Paul Schutten (b. 1970) is one of the Netherlands’ most celebrated writers of non-fiction for children. His work, in which the emphasis is on history, nature and science, has twice been awarded the Gouden Griffel for the best children’s book of the year.

Children's books
Photo: Toon Vieijra

His book about evolution, Het raadsel van alles wat leeft (published in English as The Mystery of Life) has been an international success. From 2015 to 2017, Schutten was the Dutch Children’s Book Ambassador, during which time he focused on the importance of non-fiction in promoting reading and literacy.

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Jan Paul Schutten

The Mystery of Nothing and Infinite Snot

From the Big Bang to Einstein’s theory of relativity, and from supernovas to reverse gravity: in this book, non-fiction writer Jan Paul Schutten and illustrator Floor Rieder manage to present the most complex of subjects in an accessible and appealing way, one step at a time and with a great sense of humour.

Jan Paul Schutten

A Forest of Wonders

Bright yellow letters glow out from a dark wood that is captured in a deep midnight blue. The mysterious cover of A Forest of Wonders beautifully matches the contents of this non-fiction book, which can be seen as a declaration of love to nature, and is supported by Medy Oberendorff’s hyper-realistic illustrations.

Jan Paul Schutten

The Girl in the Golden Dress

Rembrandt’s 'The Night Watch' is the number one attraction at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. But, when you take a good look at this painting, what do you actually see? Hidden among all the fine gentlemen, there is a girl. The story that Schutten tells about her takes young readers on an appealing journey to the world of Rembrandt and his best-known work.

Jan Paul Schutten

Just Smell What I’m Saying

Can we talk to the animals? Do you understand what your pet is telling you, or what birdsong means? Animals and even plants have a great deal to say. How does maize send out SOS messages? If a monkey learns sign language, what does he talk about? Why do some frogs mime? Why does your cat nuzzle you? Is it true that barking dogs don’t bite? Are baby birds given singing lessons? Why do midges dance?

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