All-round children’s writer. Former headmaster.
After graduating from the School of Education Edward van de Vendel became the headmaster of a primary school he had founded himself, then discovered he preferred doing the actual teaching, and finally opted for writing, where he was best able to apply his talent and idealism. He wrote two collections of children’s poetry before his breakthrough in 1999 with Gijsbrecht, a poetic adaptation of a seventeenth-century Dutch classic, for which he received the prestigious Gouden Zoen, a prize he won again the following year for a completely different book, the young adult novel Dagen van de Bluegrassliefde [Days of Bluegrass Love]. Dom konijn [Silly Rabbit], an illustrated book for small children, won him a Zilveren Penseel award. Van de Vendel rapidly developed to become one of the most multifaceted Dutch children’s writers. His extensive oeuvre covers pretty much all genres, from prose fiction and non-fiction, poetry, songs and plays to crossover books such as Sofie en de pinguïns [Sofie and the Penguins], which alternates between narrative, comic strips, photos and fact boxes. De gelukvinder [The Boy Who Found Happiness] (2008) which he co-wrote with Anoush Elman, an Afghan refugee in the Netherlands, demonstrated his social conscience. Van de Vendel has twice won the Woutertje Pieterse Prize, the leading Dutch children’s book award, for Superguppie [Super Guppy] (2004) and recently for Stem op de okapi [Vote for the Okapi] (2016). Van de Vendel lives in Rotterdam and gives guest lectures at HKU University of the Arts in Utrecht. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.
The dog Nino didn’t have
Bohem Press, 2015
Illustrations: Anton Van Hertbruggen
Tranlated by Rolf Erdorf
Original title: Het hondje dat Nino niet had (De Eenhoorn, 2013)
Nino has a dog that he doesn’t have. When he goes to the forest, the little dog he doesn’t have mimics a squirrel. When he goes to the lake, the little dog jumps fearlessly into the deep. But sometimes the little dog acts so silly, that people start to notice it. One day Nino gets a real little dog ...
Krebsmeisterschaft für Anfänger
Carlsen Verlag, 2016
Edward van de Vendel / Roy Looman
Translated by Rolf Erdorf
Original title: Het kankerkampioenschap voor junioren
Max is fifteen when he discovers that he has cancer. He immediately decides to face the disease head on; he’s determined to survive. This book explains how he does just that, so vividly that it’s as if he’s talking right to you. Max’s story is funny, but it’s also very intimate and honest. He takes the reader with him to parties and chemo treatments, to football pitches and to the silence of the night. Roy Looman (now twenty) told his life story to author Edward van de Vendel, who based this book on their many conversations.
Required reading for anyone who has first-hand experience with children or young people with cancer. Or actually, anyone. A story you won’t soon forget.
Toin Dujjx - Friesch Dagblad
One of the best, must-read young adult books of 2015.