Bette Westera

© Chris van Houts
Frankfurter Buchmesse
Guest of Honour 2016

Bette Westera

Doesburg, 1958

Bette Westera is a versatile writer who creates modern fairytales, poems, picture books and realistic stories for children up to the age of around ten. After a short period as a primary-school teacher, she studied psychology. Bette now teaches people how to write stories for picture books. Her other great passion is music. She sings and writes lyrics for the music that her partner composes.


  Nederlands Letterenfonds   Translations   Gottmer   Susanna Rieder Verlag

Recently translated into German

Überall & Nirgends
Illustrated: Sylvia Weve
Translated by Rolf Erdorf
Susanna Rieder Verlag, 2016
Original title: Doodgewoon (Gottmer, 2015)

Unique, unorthodox and unflinching: this describes children’s writer Bette Westera and illustrator Sylvia Weve’s approach to death in all its aspects. These poems, rhymes and songs range from poignant to light-hearted in tone and invite the reader to recite them out loud. Weve’s outstanding, evocative illustrations are marked by their diver­sity of style, composition and atmos­phere, beautifully complementing the poems and completing the collection.

The notion behind Überall & Nirgends is that the only certainty in our lives is death – and that we’d better get used to that idea. Writing about such a theme without resorting to clichés or pretension is no easy task, but Westera does a magnificent job.