Kuijer, Guus 1942-

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Kuijer, Guus 1942-

Personal

Name pronounced "Hoose Ky-yer"; born August 1, 1942, in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Addresses

Home and office—Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Career

Children's book author.

Awards, Honors

Gouden Griffel/Gold Pencil Award (Netherlands), 1976, for Met de poppen gooien, 1979, for Krassen in het tafelblad, 2000, for Voor altijd samen, amen, 2005, for Het boek van alle dingen; Zilveren Griffel/Silver Pencil Award (Netherlands), 1977, for Grote mensen, daar kun je beter soep van koken, 1984, for Eend voor eend, 1988, for Tin Toeval en de kunst van het verdwalen/Tin Toeval en het geheim van tweebeenseiland, 2002, for Met de wind mee naar de zee; Staatsprijs voor kinder-en jeugdliteratuur, 1979; Woutertje Pieterseprijs, 2003, for Ik ben Polleke hoor!; Gouden Uil/Golden Owl Award (Flemish), 2005, and Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award nomination, Swedish Arts Council, and Marsh Award for Children's Literature in Translation shortlist, National Centre for Research in Children's Literature, both 2006, all for for Het boek van alle dingen/The Book of Everything.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Een gat in de grens, [Netherlands], 1975.

Met de poppen gooien, [Netherlands], 1975, translated by Patricia Crampton as Daisy's New Head, Viking Children's Books (New York, NY), 1980.

Drie verschrikkelijke dagen, [Netherlands], 1976.

Grote mensen, daar kan je beter soep van koken, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1977.

Pappa is een hond, [Netherlands], 1977.

Op je kop in de prullenbak, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1977.

Krassen in het tafelblad, [Netherlands], 1978.

Madelief: Krassen in het tafelblad, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1978, reprinted, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1998.

Hoe Mieke Mom haar maffe moeder vindt, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1978.

Ik woonde in een leunstoel, [Netherlands], 1979.

Een hoofd vol macaroni, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1979.

Het geminachte kind, [Netherlands], 1980.

De tranen knallen uit mijn kop, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1980.

Crisis en kaalhoofdigheid, Arbeiderspers (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1983.

Het grote boek van Madelief, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1983, reprinted, 2004.

Eend voor eend, illustrated by Tjong Khing, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1983.

De zwarte stenen, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1984.

Het land van de neushoomvogel, [Netherlands], 1985.

De jonge prinsen, illustrated by Tjong Khing, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1986.

Tin Toeval en de kunst van het verdwalen, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1987.

Tin Toeval en de het geheim van Tweebeens-eiland, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1987.

Tin Toeval en de kunst van Madelief, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1989.

Olle, [Netherlands], 1990.

Tin Toeval in de onderwereld, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1996.

Die grote Tin Toeval, illustrated by Mance Post, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1996.

De verhalen van Jonathan, [Netherlands], 1996.

Voor altijd samen, amen, illustrated by Alice Hoogstad, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1999.

In land der Nashornvoegel, Fischer Taschenbuch (Frankfurt, Germany), 1999.

Het is fijn om er te zijn, [Netherlands], 2000.

Het geluk komt als de donder, [Netherlands], 2000.

Reukorgel, [Netherlands], 2000.

Met de wind mee naar zee, [Netherlands], 2001.

Ik ben Polleke hoor!, illustrated by Alice Hoogstad, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2001.

Polleke, illustrated by Alice Hoogstad, Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2003.

Het Boek van alle dingen (novel), Querido (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2004, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen as The Book of Everything, Arthur A. Levine Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Hoe een klein rotgodje God vermoordde, [Netherlands], 2006.

Het doden van een mens, [Netherlands], 2007.

Author's works have been translated to Spanish, French, German, Italian, and English.

OTHER

Rose, met vrome wimpers, Meulenhoff (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1971.

Het dochtertje van de wasrouw, Meulenhoff (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1973.

De man met de hamer, Arbeiderspers (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1975.

Wimpers, herziene druk van Rose, met vrome wimpers, [Netherlands], 1980.

De wonderdoener, [Netherlands], 1983.

Izebel van Tyrus, Arbeiderspers (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1988.

De redder van Afrika (novel), Arbeiderspers (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 1989.

Het vogeltje van Amsterdam, [Netherlands], 1992.

Lazarillo de Tormes, [Netherlands], 2000.

Also author of short fiction and stage dramas.

Adaptations

Madelief: Krassen in het tafelblad and Polleke were adapted for film by Ineke Houtman in 1998 and 2003, respectively.

Sidelights

One of the most beloved authors of children's books in his native Netherlands, Guus Kuijer is a prolific writer whose works range from picture books and novels to short stories and plays. In 2006 Kuijer received the Golden Pencil Award—the Dutch equivalent of America's Newbery Award—for his children's novel The Book of Everything. Kuijer's children's titles have also been adapted into Dutch films, such as Madelief: Krassen in het tafelblad and Polleke. Kuijer, in his writings for children, tends to focus his works from a child's perspective and reinforces his philosophy that children should be unrestricted and allowed to develop independently.

The award-winning novel The Book of Everything, one of Kuijer's books to be translated into English, was described by a Kirkus Reviews critic as an "austere little example of Dutch magical realism." The setting of the novel is the 1950s, the place Amsterdam, a city recovering from the recent Nazi occupation. The protagonist of the novel is Thomas, a nine year old who experiences domestic abuse at the hands of his father on a daily basis. Thomas's father is a stern Calvinist who dominates his family by beating his wife and son. In an attempt to escape the harsh reality of family life, Thomas takes solace in his observations of the magical things that happen around him, and he documents these daily observations, as well as his fears and wishes, in a volume he calls his Book of Everything. Christine M. Heppermann in her review of Kuijer's work for Horn Book, noted that the author's "fanciful details … add subtlety and lightness to the otherwise dark subject matter." Kuijer manages to balance the dark subject matter of his novel with the optimistic outlook of his young protagonist, according to School Library Journal reviewer Sadie Mattox. As Mattox also remarked, "Thomas is proof that there is beauty in dirty streets and that innocence cannot be destroyed."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 2006, Linda Perkins, review of The Book of Everything, p. 62.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, May, 2006, Deborah Stevenson, review of The Book of Everything, p. 407.

Horn Book, July-August, 2006, Christine M. Heppermann, review of The Book of Everything, p. 444.

Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of The Book of Everything, p. 233.

Publishers Weekly, March 27, 2006, review of The Book of Everything, p. 79.

School Library Journal, July, 2006, Sadie Mattox, review of The Book of Everything, p. 106.

School Librarian, Summer, 2006, Michael Holloway, review of The Book of Everything, p. 99.

ONLINE

Allen & Unwin Web site,http://www.allenandunwin.com/ (May 19, 2007).

Arthur A. Levine Web site,http://www.arthuralevinebooks.com/ (May 19, 2007), "Guus Kuijer.

Foundation for the Production and Translation of Dutch Literature Web site,http://www.productiefonds.nl/ (May 19, 2007), "Guus Kuijer."

Schrijvers Web site,http://www.schrijversinfo.nl/ (May 19, 2007), "Guus Kuijer."