notes on dutch literature


In Children's books on November 21, 2012 at 11:08 AM


Celebrated Dutch children’s author, novelist, poet and illustrator Joke van Leeuwen enigmatic recent classic EEP! tells the story of a mysterious bird-girl who, on her quest for freedom, teaches four strangers the true meaning of family. One day Warren sees something strange lying under a bush. He doesn’t know whether it is a bird in the form of a girl, or a girl in the form of a bird. He takes the creature home. His wife Tina wants to keep it and raise it as her own child. But it has wings…

From the review in Storytimebooks: This is another wonderful book from Gecko Press, and their “curiously good books” phrase is particularly apt in this case. De Morgen, a Flemish newspaper, called it “an absolute masterpiece of children’s literature,” and it’s difficult to disagree with that assessment. Written and illustrated by Joke van Leeuwen, translated by Bill Nagelkerke, it’s a novel of around 150 pages which was published in The Netherlands in 1996 and has won several awards in Europe. It’s full of wit, whimsy and wisdom and often challenges the reader’s preconceptions about all sorts of concepts, from story, to family, to birdness. It has another stunningly memorable first page.

Eep! has become a theatre play in different countries, and also a movie, that has been awarded in Montreal, Milano, Vancouver, Copenhagen and Poland. Rights for other movies have been sold.

More information about Joke van Leeuwen can be found on her website.


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