Stein, Mathilde 1969-
Stein, Mathilde 1969-
Born 1969, in Netherlands. Education: Attended Académie des Beaux-Arts.
Writer. Also works as a communication and organization adviser.
Kinderboekwinkelprijs (Children's Bookshop Prize), Association of Co-operating Children's Bookshops, for Bang Mannetje.
(With Maaike Lahaise) Gutten Som Ikke Ville Vœre Redd, illustrated by Mies van Hout, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2005.
(With Aino Roscher) Bange Bent, illustrated by Mies van Hout, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2005.
Bang Mannetje, illustrated by Mies van Hout, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2005, translation published as Brave Ben, Front Street (Asheville, NC), 2005.
Monsterlied, illustrated by Gerdien van der Linden, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2006, translation published as Monstersong, Front Street (Asheville, NC), 2007.
Van Mij!, illustrated by Mies van Hout, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2006, translation published as Mine!, Lemniscaat (Asheville, NC), 2007.
De Kindereter, illustrated by Mies van Hout, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2007, translation published as The Child Cruncher, Lemniscaat (Asheville, NC), 2008.
Mathilde Stein, a Dutch author, has written a number of books for children that offer fresh twists on familiar premises. In Brave Ben, one of Stein's books to be translated into English, a youngster who is fearful of just about everything, from speaking his mind to the monsters under his bed, decides to take control of his life. Ben searches through the phonebook for help, and he discovers an advertisement for a magic tree that promises results. To meet the consultant, the boy must venture through an enchanted forest where he bravely encounters an assortment of spooky creatures, including a dragon, a witch, and huge spiders. Reviewing Brave
Ben in School Library Journal, Julie Roach commented that Stein's "fun and quirky text will keep readers and listeners engaged," and a critic in Kirkus Reviews observed that the work offers "a nice lesson."
Like Ben, the protagonist of Monstersong is frightened by the five ghouls that live under his bed. Though the piglet frequently complains to his mother about his difficulty sleeping, Mother Pig fails to resolve the situation to his satisfaction; in fact, she invites the goblins to share the bed! When the frustrated piglet grows tired of his unruly new bedmates, he devises a clever solution to his problem. A Kirkus Reviews contributor praised the "crowd-pleasing kicker" that closes Stein's tale.
A possessive ghost learns to share with others in Mine!, also illustrated by van Hout. In this story, Charlotte awakens one night to spy a tiny ghost clutching her blanket and shouting "Mine!" Though mild mannered, Charlotte politely accepts the intruder's presence, as the days pass, the spirit continues its selfish ways, hogging Charlotte's bath toys, her breakfast toast, and her backyard swing set. When Charlotte finally refuses to tolerate the ghost's bad behavior and goes off to play by herself, the spirit has a change of heart. "Stein tells the tale without explicit lessons," noted a critic in Kirkus Reviews, and Martha Simpson, writing in School Library Journal, described Mine! as "simple and sweet."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, March 1, 2006, Jennifer Mattson, review of Brave Ben, p. 101.
Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2006, review of Brave Ben, p. 240; February 1, 2007, review of Monstersong, p. 129; July 1, 2007, review of Mine!
School Library Journal, April, 2006, Julie Roach, review of Brave Ben, p. 119; May, 2007, Linda Ludke, review of Monstersong, p. 108; August, 2007, Martha Simpson, review of Mine!, p. 94.