donderdag 23 juni 2016


It's the best known children's books award in The Netherlands: the annual Zilveren Griffel (Silver Slate). Up to ten of these awards are given each year, in different categories, by a professional jury. One of these awards will be turned into a Golden one during the Children's book week in October.

This year my book STEM OP DE OKAPI (VOTE FOR THE OKAPI) won a Zilveren Griffel in the non-fiction-category. I am very grateful for that. Martijn van der Linden, the fantastic illustrator of this book, received a Vlag en Wimpel (Honorary mention) for the artwork.
The book was published by Querido in Amsterdam.

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.
In 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 book).
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...