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van den Heide, Iris 1970-

van den Heide, Iris 1970-


Born March 26, 1970, in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Education: Studied industrial design.






Het Krijtje, illustrated by Marije Tolman, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2005, translation published as The Red Chalk, Front Street (Asheville, NC), 2006.

Een rare dag, illustrated by Marijke ten Cate, Lemniscaat (Rotterdam, Netherlands), 2006, translation published as A Strange Day, (Honesdale, PA), 2007.


Iris van den Heide is a Dutch illustrator who began her career as a graphic artist. Her first picture book, Het Krijtje, was published in the Netherlands in 2005 and appeared a year later in English translation—with Marije Tolman's original illustrations—as The Red Chalk.

Her second book for children, Een rare dag, features artwork by Marijke ten Cate. First published in 2006, it was released a year later in an English version as A Strange Day.

In The Red Chalk a little girl named Sara becomes bored with drawing on the sidewalk, so convinces a friend to trade his marbles for her piece of chalk. Soon bored with the marbles, Sara trades again, and the cycle continues until she winds up with her original piece of chalk, realizing that it provides the best outlet for her creativity. According to a Children's Bookwatch contributor, The Red Chalk benefits from a "simple, engaging, and entertaining storyline," and in Publishers Weekly a critic praised van den Heide's "crisp little fable." Tolman's "delicate pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations … deftly detail the make-believe" elements of the picture-book's text, concluded School Library Journal contributor Maryann H. Owen in her review of The Red Chalk.

A Strange Day, van den Heide's second work tp be translated into English, finds young Jack upset when he does not receive word of the results of a drawing contest he has entered. Distracted and moody, he walks through a local park on a windy day, unaware that he is unconsciously averting several mishaps, including stopping a runaway baby carriage and rescuing a small dog. Meanwhile, the mail carrier delivering Jack's letter faces a similar group of hurdles, resulting in a picture-book plot that a Publishers Weekly contributor described as "a clever comedy of coincidences and misadventures." In Kirkus Reviews, a contributor also praised van den Heide's story, noting that A Strange Day "is smoothly translated and teems with funny visuals."

Biographical and Critical Sources


Booklist, September 1, 2006, Gillian Engberg, review of The Red Chalk, p. 136.

Children's Bookwatch, October, 2006, review of The Red Chalk; April, 2007, review of A Strange Day.

Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of The Red Chalk, p. 1026; March 15, 2007, review of A Strange Day.

Publishers Weekly, November 6, 2006, review of The Red Chalk, p. 60; March 26, 2007, review of A Strange Day, p. 92.

School Library Journal, January, 2007, Maryann H. Owen, review of The Red Chalk, p. 109.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), November 26, 2006, Mary Harris Russell, review of The Red Chalk, p. 7.


Uitgeveij Lemniscaat Web site, (October 27, 2007), "Iris van der Heide."

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