Every Wednesday, I post a list of random stuff. This week: 5 of my favourite childhood books!
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1. Saartje Tadema, by Thea Beckman
Yes, I talked about this one last week as well, but as this is one of the small-ish amount of books I loved to be written in Dutch originally, I couldn’t not include it in here!
I was given this book once as part of a summer reading-collection, and I loved the historic aspects as well as the fact that the main character shared my first name.
Although this author is one of the most known and loved writers in Dutch-speaking regions (and although she is best known for another one of her books, Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek) this is probably the only book by her that I have never grown tired of (re)reading.
2. De brief voor de koning, Geheimen van het wilde woudand De Zevensprong, by Tonke Dragt
Another author who’s pretty renowned in the Netherlands and Flanders! My dad told me that he used to love De Brief voor de Koning when he was a kid and offered to buy it for me at a giant book fare when I was about 9. I bought it, read it, and promptly got the sequel as well as De Zevensprong, another book of his which is fairly well-known. I loved all three of them, and still re-read them sometimes, when I’m longing for a ‘simpler’ adventure story.
3. Thursday’s Children, by Rumer Godden
I read this book for the first time when I was about 9, together with my sister – we’ve lent it from the local library countless times since, and had been looking for the original version for ages when I finally managed to find a version which was still in print and got it for Christmas 2014. It’s one of those books that has a sort of inherent melancholy, something which I already loved as a kid, and it’s probably one of the first books which sparked my interest in dance and ballet – a stage which I, apparently, have still not managed to sufficiently ‘get through’…
4. Ballet Shoes, by Noel Streatfeild
More proof of my love of ballet! This is actually one of the few children’s books I first read as a teenager – I bought the DVD of the movie adaptation because it starred Emma Watson, and I loved the story. I then started begging my library to buy the book (yes, my library sometimes takes requests, is that awesome or what?), and as soon as they got it, I read it, and if that’s even possible, I loved the book even more than the movie. Naturally, when I was in England and I found this beautiful edition, as well as copies of Dance Shoes and White Boots, both a sort of stand-alone sequel-ish follow-up to Ballet Shoes, I just had to get them!
5. Koning van Katoren, by Jan Terlouw
Yet another Dutch book – although the majority of the books I read as a kid were translations, quite a few of my favourites were originally Dutch, and this one would probably be on top of this list – it’s about a young boy who gets the chance to become king of his country, but first he has to do a whole set of (serious or ridiculous) ‘quests’, set by the ministers who have reigned the country ever since the last king died, and have become just a tad bit too comfortable on their ‘thrones’. The book actually got a sequel some years back, but quite frankly – I’m kind of scared to read that, in case it isn’t as good as this one…
So there you have it, 5 of my favourite childhood books! Children’s literature tends to be more set in the first language, so there are quite a few Dutch ones on here – are there any children’s books in your first language that would deserve a place in this list? Let me know below!