Els Pelgrom

Els Pelgrom (1934) debuted in 1977 with De kinderen van het achtste woud (The Winter When Time Was Frozen), in which she writes about her memories of the war. It was one of the first children’s books about war without clichéd heroes or villains and it immediately won her the Dutch Gouden Griffel children’s literature prize. An impressive string of works followed, for which she received the Theo Thijssen Prize, the Dutch triennial State Award for youth literature, in 1994. Her work is amongst the finest youth literature of the nineteen eighties and includes Kleine Sofie en Lange Wapper (Little Sophie and Lanky Flop) (1984), Het onbegonnen feest (Impossible Party)(1987) and De eikelvreters (The Acorn Eaters) (1989). Her writing is characterised by the blend of reality and fantasy into a credible whole, by a penchant for folk culture and by the focus on the underdog, the misplaced, the ‘unfortunate’ child, who is, however, never pitiful.

Kleine Sofie en Lange Wapper

Kleine Sofie en Lange Wapper

(Querido Kind, 1984, 125 pagina's)

Kleine Sofie en Lange Wapper is about a little girl who is terminally ill. Sophie experiences a thrilling adventure in her feverish dreams when her dolls and stuffed toys come to life at night. The tomcat, Terror, has written a play in the style of the Commedia dell’Arte about What Life Has to Offer. Teddy, Sophie and her cuddly friend, Lanky Flop, take part in the play in Sophie’s cardboard toy theatre. Terror also takes a role and directs the play. Sophie travels from her room into another world, a harsh world, in which, in the space of one night, she becomes acquainted with life, complete with poverty and wealth, injustice, lies and hypocrisy.

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