OLIVER

OLIVER (OLIVER)
year:
2015
genre:
young adult novel, 220 p.
publisher:
age:
15+
awards:
Gouden Lijst 2016 (Golden Frame, Best book for younth)

OLIVER is a novel about the sixteen-year old Norwegian boy Oliver Kjelsberg, two years before he will meet the Dutch Tycho Zeling - so, two years before the events descibed in my novel THE DAYS OF BLUEGRASSLOVE. 
OLIVER has great parents, it's summer holiday, he is progressing in his biggest hobby: playing football (he's a goalkeeper), and he has a best friend, Bendik, who is also his nephew. Oliver is not a talker, but does he need to be? 
Well, in this book, all of a sudden his parent's marriage collapses, and within a day some more things happen that make the world seem a whole lot different than Oliver and Bendik always had believed. How do these two boys cope with the scope of events that they are forced to face?

- This book is meant to be read separately. But it could also be seen as a prequel to THE DAYS OF BLUEGRASSLOVE and, in a way, as a sequel to OUR THIRD BODY.
THE DAYS OF BLUEGRASSLOVE slightly deals with 'love',  OUR THIRD BODY with 'friendships' and OLIVER with 'family'. But that's just an indication.

- Together with this book an updated version of the 15-year old THE DAYS OF BLUEGRASSLOVE was released.


SEEYA!

DOEI! (SEE YA!)

year:
2014
genre:
picture book, 40 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Marije Tolman
awards:
Leespluim June 2015 (picture book of the month) 
age:
4+
rights sold:
German (Fischer Sauerländer)
Spanish (Colombia) (Editorial Monigote)
Macedonian (Ars Lamina)


This picture book is my first collaboration with the fantastic Marije Tolman, who made the well-known THE TREEHOUSE with her father Ronald Tolman, a book she received the Bologna Ragazzi Award for. The story is about flying dreams. A girl has these happy dreams night after night, but her brother envies her. How can she get him to fly for himself?

- A full English translation by Laura Watkinson is available, as well as a pdf.
- Also a full Brazilian Portuguese translation is available, send me a mail
- This book is promoted by the Dutch Literary Fund, so foreign publishers could apply for translation and production grants here.

A PARTY FOR THE MACHINES

FEEST VOOR DE MACHINES (A PARTY FOR THE MACHINES)

year:
2014
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Liesbeth De Stercke
age:
4+
rights sold:
Danish (Turbine Forlag)
Korean (KIZM Education Group)

It's Liesbeth De Sterke's first picture book, and thus my first cooperation with her - and a very happy one. A PARTY FOR THE MACHINES is a cheerful book, about (agricultural) machines and animals, and will hopefully also appeal to boys (and girls of course!)
All the animals in this book have worked hard: Elephant has delivered concrete, Giraffe has planted potatoes, Peacock has a full trailer … So now everyone is on their way to a big party. The animals feast until they fall asleep. The machines stay behind. Suddenly the headlights switch on. The party for the machines can now begin!



- Prooftranslation in English is available

AJAX YEARBOOK FOR CHILDREN 2014/2015

AJAX KINDERJAARBOEK 2014/2015 (AJAX YEARBOOK FOR CHILDREN 2014/2015)
year:
2014
genre:
non-fiction, 80 p.
Publisher:
illustrator:
Louis van de Vuurst (photographs)
age:
10+


SUPERGUPPY IS EVERYTHING

SUPERGUPPIE IS ALLES (SUPERGUPPY IS EVERYTHING)
year:
2014
genre:
poetry, 240 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Fleur van der Weel
age:
6+


SOFIE AND THE DOLPHINS

SOFIE EN DE DOLFIJNEN (SOFIE AND THE DOLPHINS)
year:
2014
genre:
childrens book, with comic- and non-fiction-elements, 144 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Floor de Goede (illustrations and comics)
Ype+Willem (photo-comics)
age:
8+
rights sold:
Estonian (Päike ja Pilv)


CHRISTMAS WITH BABY

KERST MET KINDJE (CHRISTMAS WITH BABY)
year:
2013
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Merel Eyckerman
age:
6+
rights sold:
Danish (Turbine)


AJAX YEARBOOK FOR CHILDREN 2013/2014

AJAX KINDERJAARBOEK 2013/2014 (AJAX YEARBOOK FOR CHILDREN 2013/2014)
year:
2013
genre:
non-fiction, 80 p.
Publisher:
illustrator:
Louis van de Vuurst (photographs)
age:
10+

From this season on I write the official Ajax Yearbook for Children. I look back to the season that was and look forward to the season that is coming. For this edition player Daley Blind wrote the preface. I interviewed many others, like for instance Siem de Jong, Viktor Fischer, Lucas Andersen, Nicolai Boilesen, Mickey van der Hart, Daphne Koster and Danny Hoesen.
There are portraits of all the other players, there are lists and reviews, there is information about the trainers et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The numerous fullcolour pictures are by Ajax photographer Louis van de Vuurst.

SOFIE AND THE LITTLE POLAR BEAR

SOFIE EN HET IJSBEERTJE (SOFIE AND THE LITTLE POLAR BEAR)

year:
2013
genre:
childrens book, with comic- and non-fiction-elements, 144 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Floor de Goede (illustrations and comics)
Ype+Willem (photo-comics)
age:
8+
rights sold:
Estonian (Päike ja Pilv)

In this third book where we combined several elements (text, illustrations on every page, comics, photo-comics, short non-fiction pieces and extra's at the end of the book), it's not just about penguins, like the first book, but also about polar bears. Sofie, this cheerful, sweet girl, visits the zoo with her two funny friends Billie and Timmie. When they are looking at Vicks, the young polar bear at the zoo accidentely breaking his wondow (an event that really happened at the Rotterdam Zoo!), they get entangled with Vicks's whereabouts...

- The other volumes are called:
SOFIE EN DE PINGUÏNS (2010)
SOFIE EN HET VLIEGENDE JONGETJE (2012)
SOFIE EN DE DOLFIJNEN (2014)
SOFIE EN HET GEHEIME PAARD (2015) -
to be continued...

I'M CHEERING FOR YOU

IK JUICH VOOR JOU (I'M CHEERING FOR YOU)
year:
2013
genre:
poetry,  48 p.
Publisher:
illustrator:
Wolf Erlbruch
age:
10+
awards:
Golden Poetry Medal 2014 (best book of children's poetry over the last two years)
Vlag en Wimpel 2014 (Honorary mention Best books for children)
rights sold:
English (USA) (Eerdmans)

The grandmaster of German illustration, Wolf Erlbruch, made many fantastic images about animals doing sports. My Publisher asked me to write new poems to these illustration. This was a big honour for me. The poems are about losing, winning, about secrets of athletes, and there is a speech in denglish (dutch/english).

- This title was chosen as one of the ten poetry volumes to be promoted in the Dutch Poetry Week 2014 (the other 9 volumes were all for adults)
- German and English translation of the poems available

VASCO THE LITTLE SOCCER-PIG

VASCO HET VOETBALVARKENTJE (VASCO THE LITTLE SOCCER-PIG)

year:
2013
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Alain Verster
age:
6+
awards:
Nominated for the Boekenpauw 2014 (Best illustrations, Belgium, for the illustrator)
rights sold:
Chinese (mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)
Portuguese (Brazil) (Pulo do Gato)

Braziliaanse cover
My second picture book with Alain Verster, and the first of a happy, warm series about Vasco (the pig) and Matteo (the boy). Matteo gets two wonderful presents for his birthday: a soccer ball and a little pig. That pig is Vasco. Matteo and Vasco do everything together: eat, snore, watch television,… Matteo’s favorite game is soccer. Vasco doesn’t know much about soccer. But that’s not so bad: Matteo simply goes looking for real soccer-opponents. And Vasco goes along. Because that’s what you do when you’re someone’s soccer-pig.


- Prooftranslation in English is available

       

THE DOG THAT NINO DIDN'T HAVE

HET HONDJE DAT NINO NIET HAD (THE DOG NINO DIDN'T HAVE)
year:
2013
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Anton Van Hertbruggen
age:
6+
awards:
Prix Sorcières 2015 (France)
Boekenpauw 2014 (Best illustrations, Belgium, for the illustrator)
Gulden Palet 2014 (Best illustrations, Netherlands, for the illustrator)
Besten 7 August 2015 (Germany)
Silver Medal (Best books of the year, by Society of Illustrators, USA, for the illustrations)
Deutsche Jugendliteratur Preis 2016 (Germany)
rights sold:
Franse uitgave
Chinese (mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)
Danish (Turbine)
French (Didier Jeunesse)
English (USA) (Eerdmans)
German (Coppenrath Verlag - Bohem Press)
Portuguese (Brazil) (Pulo do Gato)
Korean (Jiyangsa)
Russian (Samokat)
Ukrainian (Bobrovnikova L.A.)
Turkish (Final Kültür Sanat Yayınları)
Macedonian (Ars Lamina)

Nino is the proud owner of an imaginary little dog. When he goes to the forest, the little dog he doesn’t have mimics a squirrel. When he goes to the lake, the little dog jumps fearlessly into the deep. But sometimes the little dog acts so silly, that it stands out. One day Nino doesn’t have the little dog anymore. Instead he has gotten a real little dog. This little dog doesn’t dare to climb trees. But that’s not so bad, because Nino has many imaginary animals... This is the first book of young illustrator Anton Van Hertbruggen, and immediately he won the biggest prize there is to be won in Flanders...

- Proof translation in English is available

MY HAPPY BOOK OF SOUNDS

MIJN FIJNE GELUIDENBOEKJE (MY HAPPY BOOK OF SOUNDS)
year:
2013
genre:
picture book, poetry, 64 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Mattias De Leeuw
age:
4+
awards:
Nominated for the Golden Poetry Medal 2014

This little booklet contains fifty short and playful poems lovely sounds from everyday-life. Opening a bag of crisps, daddy’s car that’s driving up the driveway, talking under water, the wind that’s blowing in the trees,... All these sounds are part of a warm home. Mattias invented a warm, funny family of bears that accompany all the poems in just as lively, full-colour pictures.

- Proof translation in English is available.

HELLO

HALLO (HELLO)
year:
2012
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Fleur van der Weel
age:
4+
awards:
White Raven 2013

The children's book week in Holland is a big celebration of children's literature (October). The organizing foundation (CPNB) every year asks a writer to write the gift book (I got to do this in 2005), and an illustrator to make the special books-week-picture book. In 2012 Fleur van der Weel was asked. She asked me to write a text. This became HELLO: the story of a small girl looking out over her backyard, in the night, because she can't sleep. She is excited because tomorrow she will visit the zoo. In the meantime, in the zoo, the animals have all kinds of reasons to be awake too. We follow both Joni, the girl, and the animals. At the end there is a fantastic fold-out-illustration.

- A proof translation in English is available.

SOFIE AND THE FLYING BOY

SOFIE EN HET VLIEGENDE JONGETJE (SOFIE AND THE FLYING BOY)
year:
2012
genre:
childrens book, with comic- and non-fiction-elements, 144 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Floor de Goede (illustrations and comics)
Ype+Willem (photo-comics)
age:
8+
rights sold:
Estonian (Päike ja Pilv)

In this second book where we combined several elements (text, illustrations on every page, comics, photo-comics, short non-fiction pieces and extra's at the end of the book), it's not just about penguins, like the first book, but also about all kinds of flying animals. And the story is again about Sofie, this cheerful, sweet girl with her two funny friends Billie and Timmie, and the rest of her family. This time they will spend a holiday with Sofies grandparents. But when they arrive, there is Ulrik: a peculiar, nerdy little boy that seems to dislike penguins...

- The other volumes are called:
SOFIE EN DE PINGUÏNS (2010)
SOFIE EN HET IJSBEERTJE (2013)
SOFIE EN DE DOLFIJNEN (2014)
SOFIE EN HET GEHEIME PAARD (2015) -
to be continued...

THIRTEEN RUNNING DEER

DERTIEN RENNENDE HERTJES (THIRTEEN RUNNING DEER)

year:
2012
genre:
children's book, 160 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Mattias De Leeuw
age:
8+
awards:
Nominated for the German Literature Award 2015 (Deutsche Jugendliteraturpreis)
rights sold:
Chinese (mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)
German (Gerstenberg)
Chinese (Taiwan) (Taiwan Interminds Publishing Inc.)
Korean (Lime co.)
Italian (Sinnos)

This richely illustrated book (in full colour) was my first cooperation with the young and highly talented illustrator Mattias De Leeuw. It's a magical, thrilling story, about a girl that has an enchanting encounter: one day Luna sees thirteen little running deer. They jump out of a blue vase in front of her on the table. It's the most beautiful thing she has ever seen. The little deer call her 'Duchess'. Suddenly the deer disappear again in a blue poster of the ocean. Luna wants to tell everything to mum. But her brother Ralf stops her. Ralf also saw an animal once, he tells. But when Ralf told dad, he never saw his animal again...The story culminates in a thrilling showdown between Raf ’s animal, a roaring lion, and Luna’s deer. And it turns out that Raf is also looking for confirmation that he matters and that he’s important too. 
This book came as a storm: I wrote it (in short sentences) as if I was chasing the story. Great experience!         

- The Dutch Translation Fund made a special on this book - here.
- A proof-translation in English is available.
- Also available in German audiobook-version.




SAM IN WINTER

DE RAADSELS VAN SAM (SAM IN WINTER)

year:
2012
genre:
children's book, 144 p.
Publisher:
illustrator:
Philip Hopman
age:
8+
awards:
Honor Book  Paterson Prize for Young People (USA)
rights sold:
German (Carlsen)
Estonian (Päike ja Pilv)
English (USA) (Eerdmans)
French (L'école des loisirs)

This second story about the beautiful dog Sam is, just as SAM SHOWED UP, based on a real dog, a real story, and real dog-owners: my brother's family in Canada. In this book the dog disappears and 9-year old Kix sets off in search of him. The book is just as dear to me as the first one. The beautiful black and white illustrations were once again made by Philip Hopman, whose pencil masters all animals and all children.

- The Dutch Translation Fund made a special on both the books about Sam - here.
- This book can be read separately, or as the follow-up book of SAM SHOWED UP.

A DOG LIKE SAM

TOEN KWAM SAM (A DOG LIKE SAM)

year:
2011
genre:
children's book, 128 p.
Publisher:
illustrator:
Philip Hopman
age:
US cover
8+
awards:
Zilveren Griffel 2012 (Silver Slate Award, best books for children)
List of best books, chosen by Estonian child care (Estonia)
rights sold:
German (Carlsen)
French (L'école des loisirs)
Estonian (Päike ja Pilv)
English (USA) (Eerdmans)
Afrikaans (Protea Boekhuis), and the other ten languages of South-Africa: Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu and African English (South African Department of Arts and Culture).

Estonian cover
This story is based on the real events that occurred when I was visiting my brother's family in Canada. This beautiful dog appeared - and it decided to stay. But it had a heartwrenching history, that urged my nephew Kix (the young main character in the book) to act, because no-one else but him could save Sam... The book is very dear to me. It got great response, together with the second volume (SAMS MYSTERIES), which belongs to this first book as a twin story. The beautiful black and white illustrations were made by Philip Hopman, whose pencil masters all animals and all children.


German cover
- The Dutch Translation Fund made a special on this book - here.
- A full professional translation in English by David Colmer is available.
- In 2012 the folllow-up to this book came out: SAMS MYSTERIES.
- The South-African Department of Arts and Culture chose this book to be translated in all eleven official languages of South-Africa and spread amongst school children in the entire country.

THE DOVE THAT COULDN'T DIVE

DE DUIF DIE NIET KON DUIKEN (THE DOVE THAT COULDN'T DIVE)
year:
2011
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Alain Verster
age:
6+
awards:
Die besten 7 Februar 2012 (Germany)
Kinder- und Jugenbuchliste SR Sommer 2012 (Germany)
LesePeter August 2012 (Germany)
Prijs Best Vormgegeven Boeken (Kind) 2012 (for the bookdesign)
rights sold:
German (Gerstenberg)
Norwegian (Cappelen Damm)
Chinese (Taiwan) (Reader Publishing)
Chinese (mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)
Danish (Turbine)
Italian (Comma 22)


Danish cover
This is the first picture book young illustrator Alain Verster and me made together. He also graduated from art school with this project. I wrote the tekst for him after having seen a big illustration with pigeons. This is the story: it's graduation day for the young doves. They have to show that they can dive down to the ground and pick up some crumbs. The father and mother pigeons are watching. Telemark is waiting for his turn in fright. He has never made a successful dive and he is sure he will fail the test... Or maybe not?

- Proof translations in English, French, Maltese, Finnish, Slovene and Estonian available.         

THE DOCTOR AND DAVY'S ARMY

DE DOKTER EN HET LEGER VAN DAVY (THE DOCTOR AND DAVY'S ARMY)
year:
2011
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Pieter Van Eenoge
age:
6+
awards:
Boekenpluim 2012, for the illustrations.
rights sold:
Korean (DDStone Publishing)

Davy doesn't feel well. He hears rumbling in his belly. The doctor says that he hears an army inside Davy. It's Davy's army that is fighting against the enemy. Davy has to rest so that the army can fight back. The army wears blue uniforms, because that's Davy's favorite colour. And there are elephants... The story is one big metaphore: the fight in Davy's stomach and the army that the doctor makes up. Illustrator Pieter Van Eenoge painted beautiful elaborate spreads.

THE SWEETNESS OF BULLYING

HET LEKKERE VAN PESTEN (THE SWEETNESS OF BULLYING)
year:
2011
genre:
non-fiction, 144 p.
publisher:
age:
(young) adults

I started writing this non-fiction book about bullying as a book for young adults, but gradually it became a book for adults, and so publishing house Athenaeum was so kind to issue it. For the book I met male model Julian van Dalen. He has a huge career in international fashion-modelling, but was bullied in school for as long as he can remember. The first part of the book is a collection of his memories. In the second part he was so generous to let me speak to all of those who had something to do with these episodes: his brother, his teachers, his friends and... the bullies themselves. Their interviews give a deeper insight on how these problems could come about and how they were dealt with. The book closes with an essay that Julian and I wrote together.

SOFIE AND THE PENGUINS

SOFIE EN DE PINGUÏNS (SOFIE AND THE PENGUINS)
year:
2010
genre:
childrens book, with comic- and non-fiction-elements, 160 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Floor de Goede (illustrations and comics)
Ype+Willem (photo-comics)
age:
7+
awards:
Nominated for the Prize of the Dutch Children's Jury 2011
Feather of the Senate of the Dutch Children's Jury 2011
Winner of the Flemish Children's and Youth Jury 2012
rights sold:
Italian (Il Castoro), Estonian (Päike ja Pilv), Israel (Rimonim Publishing)

Cover paperback version (2014)
I really like penguins. I really wanted to make a book with several elements (text, illustrations on every page, comics, photo-comics, short non-fiction pieces and extra's at the end of the book). And I really wanted to work with Floor de Goede again (after the comic-poem-books we made) and with Ype Driessen and Willem Stam, who make wonderful and funny photo-comcs. All the wishes combined gave me SOFIE AND THE PENGUINS, the story about a sweet girl with her two funny friends Billie and Timmie, and the rest of her family. Sofie adores penguins. She thinks she might even be in love with them. And so her story became the basis for a whole, still ongoing series. Winning two children's jury awards (for the first time in my career) absolutely helped us wanting to make more and more volumes, every episodes combining an upbeat story with information about penguins ánd some other animal (polar bears, Dolphins etc.) - and a small lesson to be learned about family, friendship or love, as well.

- The other volumes are called:
SOFIE EN HET VLIEGENDE JONGETJE (2012)
SOFIE EN HET IJSBEERTJE (2013)
SOFIE EN DE DOLFIJNEN (2014)
SOFIE EN HET GEHEIME PAARD (2015) -
to be continued...

HOORAY FOR SUPERGUPPY!

HOERA VOOR SUPERGUPPIE! (HOORAY FOR SUPERGUPPY!)
year:
2010
genre:
poetry, 64 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Fleur van der Weel
age:
6+
awards:
Zilveren Griffel 2011 (best books for children)

For this fourth volume of Superguppy-children's poetry I again made 50 short poems, always with a quite practical, normal-day title and subject, then trying to give it a poetical or funny swing. The fantastic playful illustrations by Fleur van der Weel make all the poems coherent. 

- Earlier volumes were
SUPERGUPPIE (2003),
SUPERGUPPIE KRIJGT KLEINTJES (2005),
and DE GROETJES VAN SUPERGUPPIE (2008)
and the big collection of all the volumes (& new poems as well) SUPERGUPPIE IS ALLES (2014).
- In 2005 I made a cd with composer and producer Edwin Schimscheimer. The poems were turned into lyrics and Edwin made songs out of it, which were sung by a terrific bunch of famous Dutch artists (under the title SUPERGUPPIE ZINGT, Superguppy sings).

DRAGONS WITH PLUGS

DRAKEN MET STEKKERS (DRAGONS WITH PLUGS)
year:
2010
genre:
poetry, 48 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Floor de Goede
age:
8+
awards:
Vlag en Wimpel 2011 (Honorary mention Best books for children)
Stripschap-penning voor Album van het Jaar, categorie jeugd 2010 (Comic-award, best album of the year for youth).

As in the first book illustrator Floor de Goede and I did, I wrote 22 poems and Floor made two-page-comics out of them: comic-poems.

- This book was preceded by a first volume of comic-poems: GRANDPA SHOWS HIS TOES (2008) and in 2017 there was a third volume: A TRAIN FULL OF ZOMBIES.

AJAX ALWAYS WINS

AJAX WINT ALTIJD (AJAX ALWAYS WINS)
year:
2009
genre:
non-fiction, 160 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Louis van de Vuurst (photographs)
age:
10+
awards:
Vlag en Wimpel 2010 (Honorary mention Best books for children)

In this non-fictionbook about the most wellknown footballclub of Holland, Ajax, I tried to answer all the question an Ajax-fan could have about the club. I got access to the players and staff for almost two years, interviewed many of them, wrote about the history of the club and about day-to-day behind-the-screen routines. Because of the success of the book we published an update in 2011, and then again, from 2013 on I started making Ajax Yearbooks (one every year, Official Ajax Product). See AJAX KINDERJAARBOEK 2013/2014 and AJAX KINDERJAARBOEK 2014/2015.

- Special 'ambassadors' to this book were Ajax-players Siem de Jong and Gregory van der Wiel. I got to interview them several times, and they took part in the official presentation of the book.
- For the book 11 young Ajax-fans were recruited that helped me come up with the questions for the players.

GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY

WELTERUSTEN IEDEREEN (GOODNIGHT EVERYBODY)
year:
2009
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Sebastiaan Van Doninck
age:
4+
rights sold:
Chinese (Taiwan) (Reader Publishing), Chinese (mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)

It is nightfall, everyone goes to bed. Both humans and animals lose themselves in their dreams... Inaiat dreams about the country where he came from, the mailman dreams about receiving a letter himself, the teenage twins dream about the girl next door,... On the final page, it is morning and the reader discovers which dreams have come true... The dreams are written in short rhyming verses, Always only two lines long.      

AT GUNPOINT

ONDER SCHOT (AT GUNPOINT)
year:
2009
genre:
children's book, 120 p.
publisher:
Leopold, Amsterdam (rights are with the author)
age:
10+

I was invited to write a book in this Leopold-series called: jeugdthriller.nl (youth thriller). I wrote a book about the twins Siem en Jasper, of which one of them is blind, wandering through a part of a small forest they are not supposed to enter. They find dead squirrels, shot. When they - helped by a girl and a boy they meet - go after the possible hunter, they become the hunted...

DJANGO AND THE PARROT

DJANGO EN DE PAPEGAAI (DJANGO AND THE PARROT)
year:
2009
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Lilian Brøgger
age:
4+
rights sold:
Danish (ABC Forlag)

This was my second of two picture books with the great and famous Danish illustrator Lilian Brøgger. I met her in Berlin (at the Literature Festival) and we teamed up to make these books about the lively little Django. In this book: Django wants a parrot. When he finally gets one from his grandpa, Django is overjoyed. But not for long, because Django is allergic and the parrot has to go. Django is terribly sad. Grandpa gives him a goldfish, but Django doesn't like his new goldfish at all... or does he?

- The book was issued both in Dutch and in Danish.
- One year earlier the first book about Django was published in both countries: DJANGO HEET DJANGO.

WHO WANTS TO MARRY US?

WIE WIL ER MET ONS TROUWEN? (WHO WANTS TO MARRY US?)
year:
2008
genre:
children's book, 104 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Peter van Dongen
age:
10+

This book was the sequel to WHAT RHYMES WITH TROUBLE? (2005) and WHERE CAN WE GET A STATUE? (2007) and is, like the other two,  a fast-paced, upbeat story about the twins Cal and Gus, who form a rapband. This time they are on holiday on an island, their beloved neighbour girl is also there, but she is quite impressed by a young stud called Heiko. And their grandmother starts wandering thorugh the dunes and loses her way... The book includes the lyrics of their raps.

- This book is the third part of a trilogy.

DJANGO'S NAME IS DJANGO

DJANGO HEET DJANGO (DJANGO'S NAME IS DJANGO)
year:
2008
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Lilian Brøgger
age:
4+
rights sold:
Danish (ABC Forlag)

This was my first of two picture books with the great and famous Danish illustrator Lilian Brøgger. I met her in Berlin (at the Literature Festival) and we teamed up to make these books about the lively little Django. In this book: Django’s name is Django, but not today! Today, Django wants to be called Sir. Daddy agrees, but he does not know what he is letting himself in for. Because Sir is stone-deaf when daddy addresses him with Django. And so Django makes a mess in the kitchen and plays in the rain. But then Django hurts himself...

- The book was issued both in Dutch and in Danish.
- One year later the second book about Django was published in both countries: DJANGO EN DE PAPEGAAI.

FOR YOU AND NO ONE ELSE

VOOR JOU, VOOR WIE ANDERS? (FOR YOU AND NO ONE ELSE)
year:
2008
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
Lemniscaat, Rotterdam (rights at the author)
illustrator:
Martijn van der Linden
age:
6+
rights sold:
Italian (Lemniscaat/Il Castello), English (USA) (Lemniscaat/Boyds Mills Press)

A small picture book in black and white (and one colour) about Deer and Sparkle Deer, about their friendship-since-long, until the day that Sparkle Deer is more and more interested in female deer. Is their friendship betrayed? Or do they find a new way to be friends?

GRANDPA SHOWS HIS TOES

OPA LAAT ZIJN TENEN ZIEN (GRANDPA SHOWS HIS TOES)
year:
2008
genre:
poetry, 48 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Floor de Goede
age:
8+
awards:
Zilveren Griffel 2009 (best books for children)

For this book, which was my first collaboration with the awesome illustrator Floor de Goede (many books would follow!), we 'invented' the comic poem. I wrote 22 poems and Floor made two-page-comics out of them.

- A second volume was made two years later: DRAGONS WITH PLUGS (2010) and a third one in 2017: A TRAIN FULL OF ZOMBIES.


SUPERGUPPY'S GREETINGS

DE GROETEN VAN SUPERGUPPIE (SUPERGUPPY'S GREETINGS)
year:
2008
genre:
poetry, 64 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Fleur van der Weel
age:
6+

For this third volume of Superguppy-children's poetry I again made 50 short poems, always with a quite practical, normal-day title and subject, then trying to give it a poetical or funny swing. The fantastic playful illustrations by Fleur van der Weel make all the poems coherent. 

- Earlier volumes were
SUPERGUPPIE (2003),
SUPERGUPPIE KRIJGT KLEINTJES (2005),
and a later volume was
HOERA VOOR SUPERGUPPIE! (2010)
and the big collection of all the volumes (& new poems as well) SUPERGUPPIE IS ALLES (2014).
- In 2005 I made a cd with composer and producer Edwin Schimscheimer. The poems were turned into lyrics and Edwin made songs out of it, which were sung by a terrific bunch of famous Dutch artists (under the title SUPERGUPPIE ZINGT, Superguppy sings).

THE BOY WHO FOUND HAPPINESS

DE GELUKVINDER (THE BOY WHO FOUND HAPPINESS)
year:
2008
genre:
young adult novel, 336 p.
publisher:
age:
15+
awards:
Glazen Globe 2009 (Best geographical youth book)
Jenny Smelik IBBYprijs 2010 (Best children's/youth book about cultural diversity)
Esel des Monats September 2012 (Germany)
nominated:
Gouden Lijst 2009 (Best book for youth)
Buxtehuder Bulle 2012 (Germany, runner up)
Premi de Literatura Protagoniste Jove 2012/2013 (Spain, Catalan)
Kulturdepartementets Oversettelseprisen 2014 (Norway, for the translation)
foreign editions:
German (Carlsen), Norwegian (Cappelen Damm), Spanish (SM), Catalan (Cruïlla), Spanish (Mexico, SM)

This novel, which is very dear to me, is based on the true life-story of Anoush Elman (17). It was the first book in the Slash-series, a concept I initiated and that was kindly adopted by my publishing house Querido. In this series well-known authors team up with a younger person - to use their stories as the basic idea for their novel (so the books are 'based on a true story'). Because of this procedure these books try to reflect important tendencies or issues from modern society. THE BOY WHO FOUND HAPPINESS is about the young Hamayun, who has to flee with his family out of Afghanistan, after extreme threats by the Taliban. It's also about the difficult and amazing secret travel they made from Kabul to Western Europa ánd it's about being in a refugee shelter for many, many years, waiting til Immigration Offices make their decision - or not. The subject of this book sounds highly political, but Anoush wanted to tell me not just the bad things, but the good parts as well. 'For me it's actually a book about friendship,' he said, 'friendship and being at home.' I'm still in close contact with Anoush and his family, and this has enriched not only my profession, but also my life.

- The Dutch Translation Fund made a special on this book, to be found here.
- Movie rights for this book were sold.
- The book was also published as a novel for adults.
- The Slash-series consists of 11 more books, by other authors and other young storytellers.
- The idea of the Slash-series was adopted by Norway (company: Cappelen Damm).

WINTERHARE

WINTERHAAS (WINTER HARE)
year:
2007
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
Blue in Green (rights back with the author)
illustrator:
Sebastiaan Van Doninck
age:
4+

The titel of this book refers to the (very) Dutch tradition of the celebration of Sinterklaas - our Santa Claus. The animals in this story are all awaiting someone called 'Winterhaas', which sounds like 'Sinterklaas',  and the message about this 'person that brings presents' was brought to them by a dog that is slightly deaf (so he overheard the children in the farmhouse, talking about Sinterklaas, wrongly...). The word 'Winterhaas' means 'Winter Hare' - so the animals think a giant Hare will come to them in the night, delivering them the things they have been dreaming of...

- This book was written and illustrated for a special action in a supermarket-chain.
- It was made into a play by a puppet-theatre in Flanders.

THE HAMBURGER FILES

DE HAMBURGER FILES (THE HAMBURGER FILES)
year:
2007
genre:
youth novel, 88 p.
publisher:
Averbode, Belgium (rights are with the author)
age:
12+

One of my personal favourites, although little known. It was written for a series of books for reluctant readers in high school. It's a novella about two friends, both sixteen, Sessy and Joene. It's written as a blog, and it's both a lovestory and a thriller. The setting? A fastfood-restaurant's kitchen. Short and fast and with some secrets to be revealed at the end...

ONE MILLION BUTTERFLIES

EEN MILJOEN VLINDERS (ONE MILLION BUTTERFLIES)
year:
2007
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Carll Cneut
age:
6+
awards:
Zilveren Griffel 2008 (Best books for children)
Plantin-Moretusprize for the bookdesign
rights sold:
Danish (Lamberths Forlag)
German (Boje)
French (Pastel)
Italian (Adelphi)
Portuguese (Kual)
Portuguese (Brazil) (Cosac Naify)
Slovenian (Narava)
Spanish (Barbara Fiore)
Norwegian (Cappelen Damm)
Chinese (Taiwan) (Reader Publishing)
Chinese (mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)
Georgian (Bakur Sulakauri)
South-African (Protea Boekhuis)
Ukrainian (Nebo Art Publishing).


The big picture book I got to make with Carll Cneut! My most wide-spread book, up til this date, thanks to the great illustrations. The story: Nelius first sees them in the middle of the night: the butterflies. They fly around his head, one million of them. His parents tell him that it is time to start on his journey. Nelius follows the butterflies and meets many animals. Some of them are too young, but others are old enough to know what the butterflies mean. The butterflies guide him to the love of his life!

- A proof-translation in English is available.
- The book was also issued with a cd with the story, read by the famous Flemish actor Roel Vanderstukken.
   

WHERE CAN WE GET A STATUE?

WAAR KUNNEN WE HIER EEN STANDBEELD KRIJGEN? (WHERE CAN WE GET A STATUE?)
year:
2007
genre:
children's book, 152 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Peter van Dongen
age:
10+

This book was the sequel to WHAT RHYMES WITH TROUBLE? and is, again,  a fast-paced, upbeat story about the twins Cal and Gus, who form a rapband. This time they are concerned about their grandmother, who is kind of sad lately. Together with their neighbour girl they discover a disconcerning secret about their grandfather... The book includes the lyrics of their raps.

- This book is the second part of a trilogy and was succeeded by
WHO WANTS TO MARRY US? (2008).

LITTLE FATHER

KLEINVADER (LITTLE FATHER)
year:
2007
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Ingrid Godon
age:
6+
awards:
Vlag en Wimpel 2008 (Honorary mention Best books for children)
rights sold:
German (Carlsen), French (Albin-Michel)

In this second picture book with Ingrid Godon it's all about the grandson that talks about his fantastic grandfather - who isn't mere the father of his father, but also the father of the foxes and the chicken, of the forest, of the country! But when he gets sad and silent because of his memories about grandma, grandfather needs his grandson. His little-father.

- A proof translation in English is available.