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.
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.
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.
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.
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…..
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 BlogsLatino Kids Lit Featuring Mexico – Mommy MaestraChildren’s Books Featuring Chile – La Clase de Sra. DuFault5 Popular Dutch Children’s Books – Expat Life with a Double BuggyKids Books Set in Jamaica – Kid World CitizenChildren’s Books Set in South Africa – Colours of UsChildren’s Books about the Amazon – Hispanic MamaPortuguese Favourite Books for Under 6’s – the piri-piri lexiconExplore Brazil with Your Child: Read, Cook, and Craft – Pack-n-Go GirlsDon’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.