dinsdag 20 november 2018


I fell in love with Latvia almost twenty years ago. I made friends there, I got to visit the country at least five times, and now I have a wonderful reason to go back: my young adult novel The days of bluegrass love (in Dutch: De dagen van de bluegrassliefde) will be published in Latvian in 2020. By the best Latvian publishing house: Liels un Mazs.

This novel, about the glowing love between two eighteen-year old boys, Tycho and Oliver, is one of the three books I wrote about them over the years. It is also one of the titles that brought me the most, personally and as a writer, especially because of the number of reactions I received, both from The Netherlands and Belgium as from Germany, where it was also published. 

The book received the Golden Kiss Award (best book for youth) and is still in reprint in The Netherlands, I'm pretty grateful for that as well. 

But now: on to Latvia! Huge thanks to the Latvian publisher, the wonderful Alise Nigale, and also to Kristine Jonusa and Andrejs Viksna.

vrijdag 16 november 2018

VOTE FOR THE OKAPI wins Estonian award

It's not that long ago since Vote for the okapi (in Dutch: Stem op de okapi) was published in Estonia. It was translated by Kerti Tergem and issued by the publishing house of Päike ja Pilv.

The book came out in The Netherlands in 2015 and was the result of illustrator Martijn van der Linden's and my love for this extraordinary animal, the okapi. And now Vali okaapi, as the book is called in Estonia, received the Paabeli Torna auhind 2018, or the Tower of Babel Honour Diploma, which is an award for the best translated book.

This is a very nice award, because only one book is chosen, and previous winners were for instance David Almond, Maria Parr and... J.K. Rowling.

So, congratulations to Martijn, to Kerti and to my Estonian publisher Katrin Reinmaa!

donderdag 15 november 2018


Happy to anounce that there will be a third poetry volume in English next year - this time it's my poems for very young children that will be translated by the great David Colmer. The lovely house of The Emma Press in Birmingham, United Kingdom will publish Super Guppy, a translation of Superguppie, the book that illustrator Fleur van der Weel and I made in 2003.

The book was originally issued by Querido in Amsterdam, and got several awards, including the Woutertje Pieterse Prijs (critic's award) and a Zilveren Griffel (best books of the year).
Earlier translations were the French one (Super Gloupi, Éditions Être) and the German one (Superguppy, Boje Verlag).

Other translations of my poetry are The sexy storm (A midsummer night's press, USA, 2018) and I'll root for you (Eerdmans, USA, 2018), both translated by David Colmer as well. The latter poetry collection got a starred Kirkus review.