Britain has Roald Dahl, Sweden has Astrid Lindgren and the Netherlands has Annie M.G. Schmidt: writers who entertain generations of children with their fabulous stories. Stories thatmake you laugh, and make you think. The Children’s Book Museum is celebrating its 25thanniversary with a new exhibition on the well-known Dutch writer, including the illustrations that brought her work to life. ‘It’s a contemporary ode to Annie and her bold and brassy kids’, says director Aad Meinderts. ‘Adventurous, interactive, colourful and a joy to behold. The iconic little rebels we all know so well – like Abel, Wiplala, Minou and Tow-Truck Pluck – come to life at our museum. It’s a fantastic adventure for kids, and great fun for parents and grandparents too – in both Dutch and English!’
Annie M.G. Schmidt’s bold and brassy kids proved the ideal inspiration for the Children’s Bookweird and wonderful adventure in the rebellious world of Annie M.G. Schmidt. There are all kinds of things to see and do. Step into Abel’s lift for a thrilling journey, make a cat vlog with Minou or build the mosts beautiful poems on the Poem Building Site. Listen to Schmidt’s greatest hits on Annie FM. And get messy with Scrumple’s word mixer and the letter vermicelli – but make sure the soup for Scrumple’s sick mum doesn’t explode… A short biographical film shows how Schmidt was never afraid to take the road less travelled.
Queen of children’s literature
Schmidt, the queen of Dutch children’s literature, claimed she did not write specially for children. She wrote for everyone, and she took her readers seriously. This is probably why her stories still feel fresh, and are still attractive to young people today. The bold and brassy kids in her stories are self-confident, responsible and independent. Many of her stories and characters contrast sharply with the conformist society of the 1950s and 60s. She encouraged children not to stumble at the hurdles they faced, or accept the social injustices they encountered. Her stories are slightly anarchistic and contain a measure of social criticism that prompts her readers (young and old) to reflect on society and their views on social issues.
The Children’s Book Museum in The Hague – one of the very first museums for children – opened on 8 December 1994. Over the past 25 years it has evolved into an award-winning museum where children of all ages can discover, experience and create stories. In 2020 the museum will mark its anniversary with a range of activities. This special celebratory year was launched on Saturday 7 December 2019 with the official opening of Annie M.G. Schmidt’s Bold and Brassy Kids.