notes on dutch literature

Posts Tagged ‘Annie M.G. Schmidt’


In Children's books on October 30, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Tow Truck Pluck illustrated by Fiep Westendorp


Tow Truck Pluck (Pluk van de Petteflet), first published in 1971 is still one of the most popular Dutch children’s books, written by the legendary Annie M.G. Schmidt. Dutch publisher Querido published the English translation not too long ago in 2011.

Pluck has a little red tow truck. He drives it all over town looking for a place to live. Then Dolly the pigeon tells him that the tower of the Pill Building is empty. There’s a room free in the Pill Building. Up on top, in the tower. When Pluck finds out, he drives straight there in his red tow truck. Finally he has a home. And right away he makes lots of new friends: Zaza the cockroach and Dolly the pigeon, Mr Penn, the Stampers and Aggie. Pluck’s adventures can begin.

Just like Roald Dahl’s work is instantly associated with Quentin Blake’s illustrations, the iconic illustrations of Fiep Westendorp (1916-2004) made Schmidt’s books even more popular. One evening she literally ran into Annie M.G. Schmidt when she was leaving a pub. They got talking, and from that evening in 1947 onwards they remained friends.

Read an excerpt of Tow Truck Pluck.


A Pond Full of Ink

In Children's books on October 29, 2012 at 3:06 AM

Annie M.G. Schmidt is a household name in the Netherlands, where almost everyone can sing at least one of her songs or recite a couple of lines of her poetry. The jury of the Hans Christian Andersen Award, which she won in 1988, praised her for her ‘ironic tone, witty criticism and a style that is amusing, clear, rebellious and simple to its essence’.

David Colmer has produced sparkling new translations for this collection of her most iconic children’s poems, A Pond Full of Ink. Illustrator Sieb Posthuma presents his own colourful take on Schmidt’s universe, and Irma Boom’s design turns it all into a dazzling whole.

a pond full of ink

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