Last week my book STEM OP DE OKAPI, which translates as VOTE FOR THE OKAPI, got a very nice award: the prestigious Woutertje Pieterse Prijs, which is given to the best literary children's book of the year, chosen by a professional jury. The award is for both the text and the images, which were made by the amazing Martijn van der Linden. It was published in Holland by Querido.
The book is promoted by the Dutch Literary Fund, so foreign publishers could apply for translation and production grants here.
For years the okapi has been my favourite animal. This animal
that is shy and majestic at the same time, that was discovered only 100
years ago (in Congo), and that bears zebrastripes as well as horns -
but actually its only familymember is the giraffe.
this fullcolour book, that illustrator Martijn van der Linden and me
have been working on for years, we present 88 reasons to take the okapi
as your new preferred animal. The book has nine chapters, and each
chapter is different. In the first one we describe the okapi from head
to toe, in another one we follow an okapi-zookeeper for some (dramatic)
years, there are chapters with just okapi-illustrations, there is one
with 4 okapi-poems, there is the okapi museum, in which we collect
okapi-pictures (made by many leading illustrators, especially for this
It's a book full of passion, it's a book that
provides you with everything that there is to know about the okapi, it's
funny and light, it's serious and informative, we hope we have
convinced you at the end to keep an eye on the shy and majestic animals
ánd people around us...