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 (Spain) (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 (Portugal) (Kual)
Portuguese (Brazil) (Cosac Naify)
Slovenian (Narava)
Spanish (Spain) (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)
Persian (NAHL Publications)

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.

BECAUSE OF LOVE

VANWEGE DE LIEFDE (BECAUSE OF LOVE)
year:
2007
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Klaas Verplancke
age:
6+
rights sold:
Danish (Turbine), Chinese (Mainland) (Petrel Publishing House)

Tufje doesn’t feel at home with her family. Her father is only interested in fat food, her mother only cares about the garden and her brother bullies her all day. Tufje dreams of little dogs and love. One day a love-cherub falls down from the sky - tight in their backyard. ‘I am here because of love,’ he says. Tufje's parents and brother don’t know what that means. The cherub takes Tufje away - to a surprising place!       

A STORY WITH A TONGUE

EEN VERHAAL MET EEN TONG (A STORY WITH A TONGUE)
year:
2006
genre:
youth novel, 96 p.
publisher:
Lemniscaat, Rotterdam (rights are with the author)
age:
12+

In this story I wanted to combine the lovestories of three generations of men: main character is Dimmi (14 years old), but it's also about his father and his grandfather. They depart on a journey together, travelling from Egypt to Jorden. Dimmi's deceased grandmother had Always wanted to go on this biblical trip. On the road they are informed by the goodlooking travel guide Caren - and their Egyptian driver Sayydi. Throughout the fastpaced story they all learn about love and its merits and misdemeanors...

HORROR GIRL

EEN GRIEZELMEISJE (HORROR GIRL)
year:
2006
genre:
picture book, 36 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Isabelle Vandenabeele
age:
8+, grown ups
rights sold:
French (Éditions du Rouergue)
Spanish (Spain) (Barbara Fiore)

Another text that I wrote to already-existing images by Isabelle Vandenabeele. It's her variation of the classical tale about Bluebeard, more suited for grown-ups maybe, or for kids that like to shiver: one day Louise realises that her life has become boring. She used to be a horror-loving girl, who dared anything and who adored bad boys, like Rotten Boy. Louise wants to do something exciting and goes to Shiver Forest. When she is attacked by a wolf, Rotten Boy rescues her. He takes her to his castle and then leaves her alone. He forbids her to open some of the doors, but of course a horror girl never obeys. This way, Louise discovers that Rotten Boy collects women heads. She can leave the castle just in time and sets a trap for Rotten Boy.

LITTLE LIZARD THE MIRACULOUS MIRACLE

HAGEDISSIE HET BIJZONDERWONDER (LITTLE LIZARD THE MIRACULOUS MIRACLE)
year:
2006
genre:
picture book, 46 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Sebastiaan Van Doninck
age:
6+
rights sold:
Chinese (Taiwan) (Reader Publishing)

All the animals are confused: King Lion has disappeared. Who will rule them now? Suddenly Little Lizard runs over the river. ‘A miracle!’ the animals shout and they seize Little Lizard and put him on the flower throne. Little Lizard doesn’t comprehend at all but he is glad that the animals bring him flies. When he is stuffed, he wants to leave. The animals don’t let him go. Then Baby Lion roars as hard as he can and explains that his father has died, suffocated by the animals’ attentions. If they really love Little Lizard, they have to free him!

CHATBOX

CHATBOX
year:
2006
genre:
poetry, young adult, 48 p.
publisher:
age:
15+
rights sold:
English (USA) (A midsummer night's press) (selection of the poems, together with a selection of poems of my book QUOTATION MARKS)

As I wrote the novel OUR THIRD BODY, something extraordinary happened: I started writing poetry with somebody else's hand - with Tycho Zelings hand, the 19 years old main character of that novel. A separate volume was published, containing his/mine poems about the angers and joys of young people living in a big city, and, most of all, poems about love and the fire that goes with it.

- Some of the poems are available in German, translated by Rolf Erdorf.

OUR THIRD BODY

ONS DERDE LICHAAM (OUR THIRD BODY)
year:
2006
genre:
young adult novel, 304 p.
publisher:
age:
15+
awards:
Gouden Zoen 2007 (Golden Kiss Award, best book for youth)
foreign editions:
German (Carlsen), French (Thierry Magnier)

OUR THIRD BODY is the second book about the Dutch Tycho Zeling and his Norwegian love Oliver Kjelsberg, after they had met in THE DAYS OF BLUEGRASSLOVE. But it's half a year later, and they haven't talked to eachother. Tycho moves out of his parent's place, starts a writing training and meets the flamboyant Vonda, who soon becomes his best friend. She is a singer, and together with the third person living in their student's home, dancer Moritz, they enroll in giant adventures: that of the participation (for Vonda) in the Eurovision Song Contest, but especially the needs and requirements, the faithfulness and the betrayal that all can be part of a friendship under pressure. And how about Oliver? Is Tycho still in his mind - like Oliver is in his?

- This book follows THE DAYS OF BLUEGRASSLOVE (but can be read separately) and comes with the poetry volume CHATBOX (poetry written by Tycho). In 2015 a third novel about these main characters was published (a prequel, called OLIVER).
- The song 'Our third body', part of the book, was recorded! Singer Renée van Wegberg and composer Edwin Schimscheimer teamed up. The song can be listened to below.


ABOUT THE BOY WHO ATE AN OAKWOOD CHAIR

VAN DE JONGEN DIE EEN EIKENHOUTEN STOELTJE AT (ABOUT THE BOY WHO ATE AN OAKWOOD CHAIR)
year:
2005
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Gerda Dendooven
age:
6+

One day, Geurt runs to Gerlinde, the girl next door, and says: 'I have done something special.' Geurt tells her that he ate an oakwood chair. Soon, the whole street, village, country,... talks about Geurt. He performs in commercials, attends ceremonies and in America, a movie is made about him. Finally, Gerlinde and Geurt marry and grow old together. But one day, Glenn becomes ill: he can no longer hide the truth about the oak-wood chair... An slightly absurd story about honesty and love, insipred by my little nephew who dared me to write a story about an oakwood chair...      

WHAT RHYMES WITH TROUBLE?

WAT RIJMT ER OP PUREE? (WHAT RHYMES WITH TROUBLE?)
year:
2005
genre:
children's book, 96 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Peter van Dongen
age:
10+
rights sold:
German (Carlsen)

This book was written for the Dutch Children's Book Week in October 2005. It was the gift book that children got when they spent 10 euros on a book (and for that reason WAT RIJMT ER OP PUREE? was issued in 390.000 copies!). It's the fast-paced, upbeat story of the twins Cal and Gus, who form a rapband. One day there is a new substitute teacher in their class. She is far more strict than they are used to. How to solve the problems they get with her? Cal and Gus try it with music. The book includes the lyrics of their raps.

- This book is the first part of a trilogy and was succeeded by
WHERE CAN WE GET A STATUE? (2007)
and
WHO WANTS TO MARRY US? (2008).

JUST THROW THIS BOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW

GOOI DIT BOEK MAAR UIT HET RAAM (JUST THROW THIS BOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW)
year:
2005
genre:
first reader, 58 p.
publisher:
Zwijsen, Tilburg
illustrator:
Anjo Mutsaars
age:
7+

Another upbeat first reader, about a group of children that have reading-difficulties, but they also have... a non-conformist extra teacher.

SUPERGUPPY GETS BABIES

SUPERGUPPIE KRIJGT KLEINTJES (SUPERGUPPY GETS BABIES)
year:
2005
genre:
poetry, 64 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Fleur van der Weel
age:
6+
rights sold:
French (Éditions Être), German (Boje)

For this second volume of Superguppy-children's poetry I again made 49 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. 

French cover
- An earlier volume was
SUPERGUPPIE (2003),
later volumes were
DE GROETEN VAN SUPERGUPPIE (2008),
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 FUN

DE LOL (THE FUN)
year:
2004
genre:
first reader, 32 p.
publisher:
Zwijsen, Tilburg
illustrator:
Martijn van der Linden
age:
6+

At the very easiest reading level, this is a story about two moles that have been together since forever. But the female mole misses 'the fun' and leaves her husband. He runs after her and asks all kinds of animals about their idea of 'fun'.  In the end he finds his wife back. And the fun. Great tongue-in-cheek scraper-boards illustrations by Martijn van der Linden.

SONG FOR A BABY GIRAFFE

LIED VOOR EEN GIRAFJE (SONG FOR A BABY GIRAFFE)
year:
2004
genre:
poetry, gift book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Sebastiaan Van Doninck
age:
grown ups
awards:
Boekenpluim (for the illustrations)

'Oh tiny giraffe, who isn't yet full grown, do you hear what I am singing ?' An expectant father giraffe sings a tender song for his unborn baby giraffe. He sings about the world and what it looks like, about the food that hangs in the trees, about the baby's mother who has very long, graceful legs, about possible dangers... He also muses on the differences between a mother, who is always near her child, and a father, who keeps in the background. Fit as a gift for expecting fathers and expecting mothers, this book contains one longer poem and very tender pencil drawings.      

GLOWING FEET

GLOEIENDE VOETEN (GLOWING FEET)
year:
2004
genre:
children's book, 134 p.
publisher:
age:
10+

My second children's novel, and a dear one to me. Main character is the always-moving Claudio. He will celebrate his tenth birtday, and at the strike of the clock he gets... two small, funny ghosts. As presents. One ghost tries to warn him for all kinds of things, the other one fires him up. But will they stay? And how will they help him when Claudio's family (his father who is a male model, his mother who was adopted and just discovered she has a sister in the US, his grandparents who are rich and distant, and their wonderful, warmhearted maid) seems to fall apart?

PRINCE ZERO

PRINS NUL (PRINCE ZERO)
year:
2004
genre:
first reader, 58 p.
publisher:
Zwijsen, Tilburg
illustrator:
Marc Terstroet
age:
7+

A funny book in easy language about a Mink, a regular guy, that doesn't know he is a prince. Apparently. One day he is taken away from his beloved trees and beloves birds to serve his country. There is one bird who by accident accompanies him: the plain bird called the common linnet. Bird and prince don't think highly of themselves, but in the end they both save the day. 

ANNA MARIA SOFIA AND LITTLE COR

ANNA MARIA SOFIA EN DE KLEINE COR (ANNA MARIA SOFIA AND LITTLE COR)
year:
2004
genre:
picture book, 40 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Ingrid Godon
age:
6+
awards:
Buch des Monats Mai 2006 (Germany)
rights sold:
German (Carlsen), French (Circonflexe)

My first picture book with Ingrid Godon! It's all about the little Cor who drives around the village in his go-kart, and Always picks up sweet demented old Anna Maria Sofia, and brings her to her favourite places: the schoolyard, the park and the graveyard. Each place has a memory for Anna Maria Sofia, and Cor helps her remember.


ZEA WAS HERE

ZOOTJE WAS HIER (ZEA WAS HERE)
year:
2004
genre:
first reader, 64 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Carll Cneut
age:
8+
rights sold:
French (Éditions du Rouergue), Portuguese (Brazil, SM).

Still one of my personal favourites. This was my first chance to work with the great Carll Cneut. He made wonderful colour-illustrations for my first reader (short sentences of no more than eight words) about a boy who tries to help two illegal children. Or: 'Hello, my name is Tepper. The children at school tease me about my lazy eye. I hope that you won't do that. Last summer, I found two black boys in my secret hut. They had fled their country and wanted to stay here. As they were not allowed to stay, they went into hiding. We played together all summer and became close friends. After a while, we were four: Zea the ghost had joined us. Or did we only invent her to deal with difficult situations?'       

- A partial translation in German, by Rolf Erdorf, is available.

BLOWN AWAY

HET WOEI (BLOWN AWAY)
year:
2003
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Sebastiaan Van Doninck
age:
6+
awards:
Vlag en Wimpel 2004 (for the illustrations)

My first picture book with the (at that time) beginning Flemish artist Sebastiaan Van Doninck. The story: Dad was very busy - he had to wash our clothes, paint the gates, grub up the potatoes and phone the grannies. Yet, he agreed to go rowing with us. Nelly and I asked where his muscles had gone to and he answered: 'They have been blown away.' Also his hair and the parties and mum had been blown away. In the middle of the lake, dad fell asleep. Nelly and I wondered if things could be blown back as well. Yet, there was no wind. Or was there?       

RED RED RED RIDING HOOD

ROOD ROOD ROODKAPJE (RED RED RED RIDING HOOD)
year:
2003
genre:
picture book, 32 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Isabelle Vandenabeele
age:
6+
awards:
Vlag en Wimpel 2004 (Honorary mention Best books for children)
Zilveren Penseel 2004 (for the illustrations)
Plantin Moretusprize 2004 (for the bookdesign)
rights sold:
French (Édtions du Rouergue)

This variation of the Red Riding Hood fairytale was already fully illustrated by Isabelle Vandenabeele, and after that I was asked to write the text to her strong version. The fairytale now is all about learning when to say no, and fighting back when danger comes your way. Since the colour red is already emphasized in the title: expect some blood! At first I thought the book might come off as too strong, but over the years it has become a favourite of many schoolgroups that I visit - and the scary parts apparently make (some of) them laugh a lot.

SUPER GUPPY

SUPERGUPPIE (SUPER GUPPY)
year:
2003
genre:
poetry, 64 p.
publisher:
illustrator:
Fleur van der Weel
age:
6+
awards:
Woutertje Pietersprijs 2004 (best children's book)
Zilveren Griffel 2004 (best books for children)
Vlag en Wimpel 2004 (for the illustrations)
Die Besten Sieben Dezember 2008 (Germany)
Buch des Monats November 2008 (Germany)
rights sold:
French (Éditions Être)
German (Boje)
English (UK) (The Emma Press)

For this first volume of children's poetry for a younger age (four more volumes would follow) I made 51 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. This was and is my number one bestselling book in Holland, nicely helped by the prestigious Woutertje Pieterse Award.

- Later follow-up volumes were
SUPERGUPPIE KRIJGT KLEINTJES (2005),
DE GROETEN VAN SUPERGUPPIE (2008),
HOERA VOOR SUPERGUPPIE! (2010)
and the big collection of all the volumes (& new poems as well) SUPERGUPPIE IS ALLES (2014).
- The Dutch Translation Fund made a special on this book, to be found here.
- 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).