Monday, 1 August 2016

5 Popular Dutch Children's Books

There are a lot of books in our house, and they are something that generally escape my rare but thorough decluttering frenzies. Our bookshelves are filled with both English and Dutch books (with the occasional French and German title). When it comes to Dutch children's books there are some which are incredibly popular which you will generally see everywhere - like these 5.


If you live outside the Netherlands then you know Nijntje as Miffy. I wasn't really a fan of Miffy, but since having children I do appreciate the magic of Nijntje. The series is a fun read for the little ones because of the rhyming language.

The books are written by Dick Bruna who is just about a household name in the Netherlands. I'd be surprised if there's a Dutch adult alive who doesn't know his name. There's even a Miffy museum to visit here.

You can find a Miffy book for just about every topic and any occasion you can think of so they always make great gifts.

My favourite is actually a book my husband gave me: translated it means "the writer".

I'm not sure how far Miffy has travelled around the world so let me know in the comments if she's made it to your neck of the woods.

Dolfje Weerwolfje

I'd go as far as to say that Paul van Loon has made his mark on the Dutch children's book market in a way that no other modern time writer has. Dolfje Weerwolfje is a national reading pastime. The stories follow the adventures of a boy who changes into a werewolf three nights a month - and a white werewolf wearing glasses at that. There are many adventures to follow and I know that my eldest is doing his best to work through the entire series.

There's a film, an upcoming musical and more merchandise than you could ever hope to collect, should you be so inclined.

Researching for this post I have actually learnt that elsewhere in the world the series is known as Alfie the Werewolf (available in the US and the UK or from the Book Depository) so that's another series discovered for me to read in English with my 6 year old!

Jip en Janneke

My youngest is nuts about Jip en Janneke. Every night papa has to re-read the adventures of the two Dutch kids who live next door to each other, and this is the third time around because my eldest two worked their way through the series too.

Written by Annie M. G. Schmidt, and illustrated by Fiep Westendorp, these tales are classics for sure. Despite being published in the 1950s, Jip and Janneke are still the best known children's book characters in the country.

The illustrations are black and white and certainly iconic - and some of the books are available in English like Two Kids from Holland. (US link here)

Pluk van de Petteflet

I couldn't mention Jip en Janneke without talking about Pluk too; written by the same writer with the pictures drawn by the same illustrator, Pluk is almost as iconic as Jip and his friend.

Pluk van de Petteflet tells the tale of a boy (Pluk) who rides his little red engine around looking for a place to live - he hears of a room free in the Petteflet tower and promptly moves in. He soon makes lots of friends to have lots of adventures with.

Pluk has also been translated into English - known as Pluck - and his adventures can be read in Tow-Truck Pluck (US here or available from Book Depository).

Dummie de Mummie

This is a hugely popular series of books written by Tosca Menten. My eldest is about to start reading a Dummie de Mummie adventure that he got from the library. The series started in 2009 and a book has been published every year since.

The book is a series of adventures about a Mummy called Dummy.....

The books are available in original language in the UK, and in German from Book Depository - as far as I know are only available in English in Australia but feel free to correct me on that.
Welcome to our Olympics for Kids series! The Olympics are a wonderful opportunity to teach kids about the world and explore cultures together. Today, you can find more about other travel posts about various countries thanks to our participating bloggers:
Book review: Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboahw - Multicultural Kid Blogs Latino Kids Lit Featuring Mexico - Mommy Maestra Children's Books Featuring Chile - La Clase de Sra. DuFault 5 Popular Dutch Children's Books - Expat Life with a Double Buggy Kids Books Set in Jamaica - Kid World Citizen Children's Books Set in South Africa - Colours of Us Children's Books about the Amazon - Hispanic Mama Portuguese Favourite Books for Under 6's - the piri-piri lexicon Explore Brazil with Your Child: Read, Cook, and Craft - Pack-n-Go Girls
Don't forget that you can also download our Summer Games Unit activity pack to learn more about the world and have fun during the Olympics.

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