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Robberecht, Thierry 1960-

Robberecht, Thierry 1960-

Personal

Born February 11, 1960, in Belgium.

Addresses

Home—Brussels, Belgium.

Career

Writer.

Awards, Honors

Prix Bouquin-Malin, Communauté de Communes du Piémont Oloronais, 2004, for Un cadavre derrière la porte.

Writings

FOR CHILDREN

Ik kan weer lachen, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2000.

La belle nuit de Zaza la vache, Nathan (Paris, France), 2000.

Quand Papa était le roi, Martinère Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2001.

J'ai perdu mon sourire, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Martinière Jeunesse (Paris, France), 2001, translated as Stolen Smile, Random House (New York, NY), 2002.

Eva in het land van de verloren zusjes, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2003.

Boze Draak, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2003, translation published as Angry Dragon, Clarion (New York, NY), 2004.

Het Meisje dat Terug in Mama's Buik Wilde, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2004, translation published as Back into Mommy's Tummy, Clarion (New York, NY), 2005.

Eva et Lisa, Castor Flammarion (Paris, France), 2004.

Benno is Nooit Bang, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2005, translation published as Sam Is Never Scared, Clarion (New York, NY), 2006.

Benno Buitengewoon, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2005, translation published as Sam Tells Stories, Clarion (New York, NY), 2007.

Benno Bloost, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2006, translation published as Sam's New Friend, Clarion (New York, NY), 2007.

Sarah en haar Spookjes, illustrated by Philippe Goossens, Clavis (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 2006, translation published as Sarah's Little Ghosts, Clarion (New York, NY), 2007.

FOR ADULTS

La disparition d'Hèléne; Alistair (novel), Casterman (Tournai, Belgium), 1996.

Pagaille chez les samouraïs, Casterman (Tournai, Belgium), 1997.

Gaffe au Gourou, Casterman (Tournai, Belgium), 1999.

Corrida à Paris (serial novel), Hachette (Paris, France), 2001.

L'entuête à l'envers (novel), Labor (Brussels, Belgium), 2005.

Sidelights

Belgian author Thierry Robberecht began writing fiction for adults in the mid-1990s, and in 1996 publishing his first novel, La disparition d'Hèléne; Alistair. Broadening his creative focus to include song lyrics and picture books for children while continuing his work as a

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novelist, Robberecht writes in both French and Dutch. His picture books, which are popular with children in Europe, include collaborations with illustrator Philippe Goossens. Several have also been translated into English.

Stolen Smile was the first of Robberecht's children's books to reach an English-speaking audience. In the story a girl named Sophie discovers that her smile is missing. Many friends ask her what is wrong when the usually cheerful girl is unable to conjure even the most subtle grin. When she realizes that the teasing Willie has stolen her smile, Sophie confronts the boy in an effort to get it back. "Typical boy-girl playground angst fills this simple, short, and effective story," wrote Leslie Barban in a review of the book for School LibraryJournal. In Publishers Weekly a critic dubbed Stolen Smile a "keenly observed drama."

In Angry Dragon, the narrator describes his anger as a dragon, and the angrier he gets, the more dragon-like the boy becomes. But when he finally lashes out, he feels bad for having done so, and his tears wash away the dragon. "The authenticity of the boy's emotions is clearly conveyed," wrote Maria B. Salvadore in School Library Journal, while a Publishers Weekly critic noted that "Robberecht's approach … reflects and legitimizes kids' feelings." The description of the narrator's tantrum is "simple, clear, nonjudgmental, and authentic," concluded Horn Book contributor Martha V. Parravano in a positive review of Angry Dragon.

A little girl copes with the loss of attention that results from due to her parents' preparations for the arrival of a baby brother in Back into Mommy's Tummy. When her birthday comes around, however, Robberecht's young heroine realizes that being bigger than a baby is not so bad after all. "Engagingly silly yet compassionate, this is a perfect tale to present to soon-to-be or fledging siblings," noted a Kirkus Reviews contributor. In School Library Journal Holly T. Sneeringer commented on the "easy conversational tone of the text," while Hazel Rochman wrote in Booklist that "the silliness and love make this story a great title for opening discussion."

Robberecht's recurring picture-book hero Sam the puppy—Benno in the original Dutch—is introduced in Sam Is Never Scared. As brought to life by Goossens's colorful art, Sam's friend Max is afraid of everything, and Sam sometimes teases him because of it. However, when Sam finds a spider crawling on his hand and becomes terrified, it is friend Max who helps him through. "Robberecht's text is the perfect springboard for conversations with young children," wrote a Kirkus Reviews critic, the reviewer noting that themes of peer pressure also appear in the story. Piper L. Nyman, reviewing Sam Is Never Scared for School Library Journal, noted that "both text and art deftly reflect the targeted age group." Sam returns in several other stories by Robberecht, including Sam Tells Stories and Sam's New Friend.

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, January 1, 2005, Jennifer Mattson, review of Angry Dragon, p. 874; December 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of Back into Mommy's Tummy, p. 56; September 1, 2006, Julie Cummins, review of Sam Is Never Scared, p. 140.

Horn Book, January-February, 2005, Martha V. Parravano, review of Angry Dragon, p. 83.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Angry Dragon, p. 873; October 15, 2005, review of Back into Mommy's Tummy, p. 1145; August 15, 2006, review of Sam Is Never Scared, p. 850.

Publishers Weekly, November 4, 2002, review of Stolen Smile, p. 83.

School Library Journal, January, 2003, Leslie Barban, review of Stolen Smile, p. 110; December, 2004, Maria B. Salvadore, review of Angry Dragon, p. 118; February, 2006, Holly T. Sneeringer, review of Back into Mommy's Tummy, p. 108; October, 2006, Piper L. Nyman, review of Sam Is Never Scared, p. 124.

ONLINE

Houghton Mifflin Web site,http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/ (August 6, 2007), "Thierry Robberecht."

Livres à Gogo Web site,http://www.livres-a-gogo.be/ (August 6, 2007), "Thierry Robberecht."

Ricochet Jeunes Web site,http://www.ricochet-jeunes.org/ (August 6, 2007), "Thierry Robberecht."

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