Dutch children’s books ‘à l’honneur’ for a month in France

Ton monde, plein de merveilles

15 November 2021

From mid-November to mid-December, under the heading Ton monde, plein de merveilles, a presentation of Dutch culture for children and young people will take place in Montreuil, a suburb of Paris where France’s most important children’s book fair is held every year. Ton monde, plein de merveilles is a multidisciplinary collaboration between Dutch cultural foundations and other institutions that support the sector, along with French partners and the Dutch embassy in Paris.

zes covers

This autumn the Dutch Foundation for Literature is taking the opportunity to pay particular attention to the French market. Today, Monday 15 November, Margot Dijkgraaf will give a presentation during a webinar by Livres Hebdo, France’s magazine for publishing professionals, about four recently published translations. Previous webinars by Margot Dijkgraaf for Livres Hebdo, about Dutch fiction for instance, drew an audience of more than 500 professionals, including many booksellers and librarians as well as publishers, editors and journalists.

On Monday 22 November, an online Publishers’ Tour for French children’s book publishers and editors will take place, during which Mirjam Noorduijn will provide an introduction to a number of important classics, Mireille Cohendy will present work by Benny Lindelauf, and Myriam Bouzid will look at work by Gideon Samson, Sjoerd Kuyper and Edward van de Vendel. The Dutch Foundation for Literature, in the person of Agnes Vogt, will present several recently published picture books along with those titles from its 2021 Children’s Books brochure for which translation rights are still available. During Salon du Livres et Presse de la Jeunesse, the Foundation will hold individual meetings with publishers and draw their attention to yet more books for children and young adults.

Public programme

During Salon du Livre et Presse de la Jeunesse in Montreuil (1 to 6 December), Anna Woltz, Fleur van der Weel, Marit Törnqvist and Noëlle Smit will present their work both at the fair and online. All four have recently seen their books translated into French. Part of the programme at the fair will be available on La Télé du Salon, which is broadcast both online and on French television. Every day, short videos will be shown about the authors and illustrators present at the fair and about recent translations. Through all these channels and at the stand of the French publishing house Format, attention will be paid to Jip en Janneke (in English known as either Bob and Jilly or Mick and Mandy), a Dutch classic that appeared in French for the first time this year under the title Jeannot & Jeannette, in a translation by Emmanuèle Sandron.

Illustrators Noëlle Smit and Fleur van der Weel will give live workshops in Montreuil libraries during the fair, and Smit will paint the shop window of bookshop Folies d’Encre. Anna Woltz will be interviewed about the translation of her young adult novel Alaska (Bayard, translation by Emmanuèle Sandron; English title: Talking to Alaska). Illustrations by Marit Törnqvist from the French translation of Het gelukkige eiland (La Joie de Lire, translation by Maurice Lomré) have been selected for the fair’s annual exhibition, which features work by four French and four international illustrators. Later on, the exhibition will travel to 300 libraries all over France.

Dutch children’s films will be shown in Cinéma Le Méliès in Montreuil, with a programme of short films with workshops for the very youngest and a showing of the full-length films Wij by René Eller (based on a novel by Elvis Peeters) and Mijn bijzonder rare week met Tess (My Particularly Peculiar Week with Tess) by Steven Wouterlood, based on the book of that name by Anna Woltz. René Eller and Sonny van Utteren (who plays the central role in Mijn bijzonder rare week met Tess) will be at the screening for a Q&A session. The French edition of the novel, called Ma folle semaine avec Tess and again translated by Emmanuèle Sandron, has been published by Bayard Jeunesse.

For the full programme of Ton monde, plein de merveilles, which includes dance and theatre as well as literature and film, see


Salon du Livre et Presse de la Jeunesse

Salon du Livre et Presse de la Jeunesse is being organized in Montreuil this year for the 37th time. The Netherlands was Guest of Honour at the fair in 2018. It is by far the most important French children’s book fair, and it has done a great deal to promote reading in the Paris region and in France as a whole. It has also been successful in creating lasting links with both libraries and schools. The fair inspired the Dutch embassy in Paris and Friso Wijnen, the embassy’s cultural attaché, to collaborate with the Performing Arts Fund NL, SEE NL and the Dutch Foundation for Literature in organizing a new major presentation of Dutch children’s culture in Montreuil, under the heading ‘Ton monde, plein de merveilles’. The programme features an image by cartoonist Aimée de Jongh, who is currently enjoying great success in France. Earlier this month literary agent Elaine Michon (half-French, half-Dutch) gave a talk to librarians in Montreuil about Dutch children’s literature.

  • YOUR WORLD, FULL OF WONDERS is an initiative of the Dutch Embassy in Paris, the Performing Arts Fund NL, the Dutch Foundation for Literature and SEE NL.

More information on the authors and illustrators mentioned in this press release:

or contact our children’s book specialist, Agnes Vogt.

Lucette Châtelain


Lucette Châtelain

Team coordinator & Grants specialist

[email protected]