Three Dutch Books

IBBY Honour List

5 September 2013

IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People, has selected Ellen van Velzen’s debut novel Jonge vlieger (Young Kite Flyer), Fjouwer dappere mûskes (Four Brave Mice) by Frisian author Eppie Dam and Nul is een raar getal (Zero is a Peculiar Number) by illustrator Henriette Boerendans for the Honour List 2014. The Honour List offers a selection of quality children’s literature from more than seventy affiliated countries and will be presented at conferences and book fairs around the world.

Every two years National IBBY-Sections select the best recently published books made by writers, illustrators and translators. In the first category two titles, a Dutch and a Frisian book, were selected, since Frisian is the second official language in the Netherlands.

Jonge vlieger (Young Kite Flyer) written in Dutch by Ellen van Velzen and published by Lemniscaat (220 p; 11+), tells the magical story of a medieval-like village protected from evil forces by 496 kite flyers. “A book that begs to be turned into a movie”, according to reviewer Bas Maliepaard. Van Velzen (1983) is currently working on a second youth novel, with support from a grant from the Dutch Foundation for Literature.

Ellen van Velzen. Copyright foto: Linette Raven

Fjouwer dappere mûskes, written in Frisian by Eppie Dam (1953), with paintings by Gerrit Terpstra and published by Afûk, is the tale of a journey undertaken by four incredibly brave mice. A book for children of 4-8 years old.

Nul is een raar getal (Zero is a Peculiar Number) by Henriette Boerendans was nominated for its beautiful illustrations. This book, published by Gottmer, teaches small children a little about the animal kingdom while learning how to count.

cover Nul is een raar getal

In addition Esther Ottens was nominated for her excellent translation from English into Dutch of Wonder by R.J. Rapacio.