Im in shock at all the events in Holland! The dutch version of A Bit Lost, ‘Mama Kwijt’ won the Dutch Picture Book of the Year 2012 and as part of the Voorleesdagen (read aloud week) there are many amazing events across the country. It was awarded by CPNB, a read-for-fun/literacy non-profit equivalent to Booktrust or CBI. Each year they choose a book for its read-aloud qualities and on the 18th Jan they celebrated by hosting ‘reading breakfasts’ (complete with pancakes!) in libraries and schools across the country. Its the 9th year of this award you can read more about it here Im so proud of the book’s success in holland as im a huge fan of dutch design and dutch picture books
Many celebrities were pictured taking part for the press including Princess Laurentien from the Dutch royal family and prime minister Mark Rutte (!) In the last photo there is even a real owl at the school!!!!
There was even a reading at Schipol Airport Library
There are puppet performances too. The second to last performance was by Ton Meijer in the oba library (the little girl in the picture is pretending she is a sleepy owl about to fall) and the last was by Pagetti jeungdtheatre
It was interesting to see how the story was adapted to performances and to see how each adapts it differently. One of the performances is of Oma Kwijt (I lost my granny!)
theres even a Mama Kwijt song…(!!!)
I did some press events too, on thursday 19th I opened the amsterdam stock market!!!!!! i had drawn ‘99%’ on my t-shirt in black marker and unzipped my hoodie right before i gonged (!) 🙂
At the moment Mama Kwijt is the best selling BOOK in the Netherlands #1 in the book chart (!!!) and also no.12 as there are 2 versions. The bookshops also got involved and there are amazing shop window displays as well as little hand-puppets and bags. 60,000 finger puppets were made by CPNB to be given away free with the books, we really tried to have the finger puppets made fair trade (thank you CPNB) but the cost and timescale sadly could not work out. Then 7 bookshops emailed me and clubbed together to make an order of the fair trade owls too..! Thank you to all the bookshops who supported this!! You can see some of them on sale below…
This last few days in holland has been INCREDIBLE! im in total shock. To have my book at the centre of such wonderful events promoting literacy and reading for fun in public access libraries is all i could have ever wished for, i cant tell you how honoured i am. I was amazed by the thought, care and humour that went into these events and the quality of the other beautiful children’s books and events that I saw. The time and resources that go towards childrens events seem incredible to me, the Dutch certainly seem to be really focused on all the the good things. I have met amazing people in the last few days. Thanks to so much to everyone involved in this amazing project, in all the libraries, Gottmer and CPNB. Hartelijk bedankt!!