Category Archives: Childrens story

Children’s books

So, as it goes, I threw a tweet in twittersphere this morning. About children’s books. I’m an -unpublished- author myself. I write in every direction possible. I write children’s stories, young adult stories, I wrote a science fiction novel, a detective one, a romantic one, a dramatic one, I also write this blog. As I told a friend: ‘whatever I can make work, I will write’.

Then, when talking to someone about this subject of children’s books, it suddenly hit me, because I truly don’t get it: I’ve had quite some nice ideas for children’s books. The thing is: I can’t draw. Not for real. I can’t make it work. If I need to draw a tree, I need to look at the drawing of a tree that’s already been made. Copy it, it you will. I don’t put my paper over the already existing work to literally copy it, but still: without an example, I can’t make it work.

There’s people, called artists, who can actually do this. They usually struggle to earn a living, because either their work should hang in a museum or should be used in a way they can’t visualise for themselves, I suppose? When you make work of something, you want it to shine and shimmer in the way you had originally intended.

And so I’m surprised that a database that connects people together, doesn’t already exist. It should be and maybe I’m unaware about it.
I have tried to approach a few artists in means of finding collaboration for my own stories. Hint: they don’t like that. The late authress Babette Cole once pointed me in the direction of a sort of app, if not community (I forgot the name, sorry) and she assured me it was looked at by publishers and so aswell, very often even. I’ve tried that, but I couldn’t make sense out of it.

I know there must be more communities like that online, but I don’t know any of them. And wouldn’t it be easier indeed if pubishers had their own deparment of that aswell? They are approached by so many willing artists, and they don’t connect the dots, it seems. It looks like they overlook talented people so very easily, while they may have matches under their hands if they would only look at it.
Given that they’re swamped with reading the many manuscripts that are send by them on a daily base, I think they should, as my friend @hill79 on twitter stated, ‘have a sort of Tinder app’ for that? Computers can make the matches that publishers clearly don’t? A writer puts his lines down for a children’s book, drops cluewords as to what the artwork should be like, an artist can do the same. Submit works and drop cluewords to what sort of works it should belong.
A publisher could have such a department with their own demands attached to it. After all, an author or artist should always meet their ‘creative demands’.

Well, it’s just an idea…


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Gonnie reeks. Olivier Dunrea

Ik heb eigenlijk niet speciaal iets met die kartonnen boekjes, qua voorlezen. En toch vormt deze reeks een uitzondering. Er zit zoveel humor achter! Het is heel simpel, ontzettend makkelijk te volgen voor baby’s, peuters en kleuters en als voorlezer schiet je zelf ook geregeld in de lach. Een feest van herkenning en gewoon grappig.


I’m not particularly fond of cardboard books to read aloud. And still, this series is an exception. It’s so hilarious! Very simple, very easy to follow for babies, toddlers and preschool and whilst reading aloud you can’t help giggling along. It’s a very relatable and just down right funny. 

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Books, Childrens story, Opinion, Uncategorized


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Prins Assepoets/ Prince Cinders

Dit zalig lollige boek is van wijlen Babette Cole en neemt de oude klassieker heerlijk op de hak. Ik hou best van de ouderwetse sprookjes, maar gezien het feit dat het altijd prinsesjes zijn die zich uitsloven voor een prins, is het ook weleens leuk om het thema omgekeerd te zien. Vrijwel alles gaat min of meer hetzelfde als in het origineel, gewoon net een tikkie moderner en de tegenovergestelde sexe.
De bijbehorende tekeningen zijn eveneens lekker cartoonesk, dus genieten geblazen! Leuk om voor te lezen, leuk om voorgelezen te krijgen.


This wonderfully silly book is from the late Babette Cole and it twists about everything you knew about the old classic. In a wonderful way. Don’t get me wrong: I do like the classic fairytales, but given that it’s always princesses doing their utter best to look proper for a prince, it’s nice to see the tables turned for a change. Pretty much everything is still the same, just with different sexes and a slight bit more modern.
The accompanied drawings are a bit cartoonesque, so it’s a full joy altogether! Nice to read to the kids, wonderful to be read. 

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Posted by on February 21, 2018 in Books, Childrens story, Opinion


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Unexpected Guests

When Alice stepped down the stairs that morning, destination bathroom, dressed in an unexiting pyjama and a white robe, she noticed the bathroom was occupied.
Had she known what she was about to be confronted with, she might have opted to leave the house to a far away destination such as Siberia.
But there wasn’t a question of knowing. You don’t just know these things. It’s hard enough to deal with once it occurs, it’s not something you can prepare thoroughly for.
So she stepped in with her not yet awoken head, in search for her toothbrush and about to take a turn in the tub. She was confronted in the mirror with the following:

A huge giraffe was in the bath tub and controlled the shower which was placed exactly above its head. A massive amount of bathing foam was situated everywhere, from its head to its hoofs, on the floor, the showerhead and so on.
It did look rather cozy, Alice had to admit. Even the towels on the rack gave a cheery vibe. Like they were decorating on the wall, instead of just being drying accesoiries.

‘How ’bout you do my nails, love? I can’t reach ‘m very well’, the animal commanded cheekily.

Alice, who couldn’t think of anything better to do now the glorious moment of using the tub herself seemed gone, searched in the many drawers of her bathroom cupboards. Alice loved drawers, though not at this particular moment, in search of her nail file. She simply pulled open all the drawers, one by one.
While doing so, Alice stumbled upon a tiny assistant: a robin.
It isn’t every day you’re confronted with a robin that comes flying out of a drawer inside of your bathroom. Alice screamed for a brief moment. A reflex, so to speak. The robin appeared to be the assistant of the giraffe, that was apparently named Henny.
‘Yes, because you know’, the robin spoke, on a self demeaning tone, flying impossibly close to Alices’ face:

‘Henny had an incredibly good nail file’, a deep sigh followed, ‘but this stupid little bird Redhood (the robin pointed to itself) bloody dropped it into the sewer. Not on purpose by the way, I dropped it in one of those unfortunate incidents, you see. There was a huge sale at H&M y’know, dresses, gowns, blouses, trousers, accesories, it’s trouble I tell you! So many choices! I was running late, but I just had find a way inside there, but no, some stupid bumhole with an utterly nasty umbrella fights her way in. Was going for dresses she wouldn’t have fit in in a million years by the way! Believe me, I know these things. Anyway, she bashes me right into the sewer, oh the demeaning thought again!’

Alice didn’t know what fact shocked her more? The fact there was such a thing as a robin named Redhood being equipped with a giraffes’ nail file, the moment it wished to visit the H&M, the fact someone apparently had managed to make a bash-move into the sewer (how did the person aim for that? Alice now thought), or the fact Alice quite unwished still couldn’t step into the bathtub herself. She didn’t even dare to bring up the question, though it was her house, her tub, and frankly, she really wanted to get in there!

A quick peek onto the small showering cabine next to the bathtub -that had a door of glass- had shown her there was a beaver in there, learning how to juggle with the four plastic ornamental oranges that Alice kept in an equally fake fruitbowl on the closet with drawers.
Minor detail was that Alice was quite jealous of that. She’d always wanted to learn how to juggle, but never succeeded. He (or rather: it) was doing it with no less than five, too!
The fact there was a beaver in there surprised her less by this point. After all, if there’s a giraffe in your tub and a robin just flew out of your drawers, one would be a bit naieve to think that was all, no?

‘Hey, Redhood, where are you with that nail file of yours?!’ Henny’s voice awoke both Alice and Redhood from a minor daydream. The giraffe waved its paws demandingly. It had the allures of a bored popstar.
Alice took it out one of the many drawers (third one of the beneath drawers, she had forgotten, it had all the things she barely ever used) and Redhood flew with the file in its beak towards the demanding boss.
Something Alice didn’t count upon, was the fact Henny started singing when her nails were filed. Also the beaver coming out of the shower to mingle in with Henny’s hair. Apparently this particular giraffe was just surrounded by assistants. Alice looked around, but couldn’t seem to find more.
It was enough as it were, though.

The song was a rather sad one, a bit Adele-like.

‘Oh yes, let it out!’ Henny was encouraged her singing by the beaver and, apparently so, her pain.
‘Why did that bastard Tony leave me?’ Henny cried, then sang again.
‘He didn’t appreciate you enough anyway, honey, be glad you got rid of him’, she was soothed by Redhood.
‘A bit more massage with it there, Theo!’ Redhood commanded the beaver.
‘Aye, I’m trying! It’s not easy with all these knots and I hardly have enough bubbles to start with!’ it complained. His tail was still shimmering of the shower he had just taken. He used it to plunge the hairs of the giraffe.
‘Geez, what freaking kind of shampoo is this?!’ the beaver started complaining. On a tone like it wasn’t even shampoo to begin with.

Alice wasn’t pleased. It was one of her favourite shampoos. The beaver had just taken it without asking and now had the nerve to complain about it?!
‘It’s just the brand of the supermarket, I quite like it myself’, she defended her choice in cleanery.
‘Hun, Uncle Theo wants good shampoo’, the beaver tossed the bottle, with a degenerating gesture, back to Alice, tapping it foot, a hand on its side.
‘Oh, I think I might have something’, Alice stuttered, as if she were the butler instead of the resident of the house.
She pulled open another drawer (second of top, necessary belongings) and handed it over to ‘Uncle Theo’ the beaver.
‘Ah, see that, love? We found ourselves the right place, they know what ‘caring’ is all about!’ said Theo the beaver happily to Henny the giraffe, reading the label of the bottle as if it were a good wine and he wanted to check the year.

Henny the giraffe had descended her paw over the edge of the bathtub. The water was about to flood over the edge and make a terrible water ballet of the place, but Redhood had good access this way to file the paw and nourish all the surrounding assets of it.

‘Oi, be careful!’ Henny the giraffe complained, when Redhood the robin touched an apparant sensitive spot. Nearly kicking the robin away, Redhood rolled his eyes.
‘Oh yes, the sensitive spot’, Redhood sighed. The robin looked up to Alice, told her on distance:
‘Henny doesn’t have a sensitive spot, but she likes to dramatise the fact that Tony has broken up with her by complaining about a nerve he’s touched. He said something nice about her nails at their first date. Ever since he broke up, she pretends like that nail has been broken so deeply, it’s about to tear her heat apart’…the robin explained. The giraffe was about to kick Redhood the robin again.
‘Don’t be mean, it really hurts and you know that!’ Henny the giraffe said, sulkily.
‘Hmmm’ hummed Theo the beaver, giving Henny the giraffe an extra nice rub in the hairs, ‘don’t think of it, think of nice, long, white beaches, making a stroll, having a swim’.

It worked, for Henny started singing again. A far cheerier song this time.

‘Okay, if that’s all you need, I am going to the other bathroom. I think this one is quite occupied enough, altogether’, stuttered Alice, who had the feeling she needed a proper excuse to be able to leave this madness. Even though it was her house. She simply didn’t feel like having to fight for her place in these circumstances. There was no other bathroom, but nor did she want to stay in this one. Alice was rather private about her body. The shower having a door wasn’t enough, the only company she wanted was that of a bar of soap and her shampoo, thank you very much!

‘Huh, what’s she saying?’ asked Henny, her ears stuffed with soap because Theo the beaver really loved a fair and thorough scrub.
‘Nothing of any importance, Henny, we’re going to wash your hairs, file your nails and then we are off to the catwalk that is life’, Theo instructed. Then he remembered something.
‘Lady! Lady!’ he yelled. Alice came back.
‘You wanted something more?’ she asked, stunned and slightly annoyed by now. It wasn’t easy for her to be this polite to uninvited and, quite fairly, unwanted guests.
‘Yes, do you have some nail polish? Because, really, this can’t be happening’, Theo the beaver held up Henny’s paw.
Just the thought that her expensive nail polish was about to be smeared all over the paws of a giraffe that had the manners of your most annoying aunt, made Alice burst out in fury.
‘Only if you leave my house afterwards. Do you realise it’s not exactly common to have your house intervened with animals of your likings? Usually people have a pet dog or a pet cat or maybe a pet guinea pig. But a giraffe that hardly even fits the tub, or a demanding beaver or even a vane robin aren’t on those lists. And frankly, I don’t want you in my house. So get lost!’
And with those words, Alice finally woke up from her nightmare.

‘I will never again drink that much tequila on one night!’ she sighed, waking up deeply relieved. She ran down for the toilet, took a quick look at her bathroom.
A hollow silence. A clean tub. All the fake fruits still in the bowl.

Just to be certain, Alice checked all of the drawers. No robin.
Alice smiled. She had never been that happy seeing her own reflection and nothing but that in the mirror. She looked behind the door and was shocked by her own new satin robe. She had had it for some time now. It hung here as she always forgot to replace it with the oversized one.
It had the images of a giraffe, a juggling beaver and a robin, flying around the giraffes’ neck on it. Alice checked the label, as she had forgotten where she got the robe from. It said H&M. She took it from the door and threw it in the bin. Something stung her from the insides while she did that.
‘Ouch!’ she hastily searched the robe for the washing label, but that was nothing special, had no sharp edges of any kind. She squeezed the robe in her hands again, thoroughly searched it for stingy bits. And there it was, in one of the pockets. The nail file she had lost ages ago. In the left pocket.

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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Childrens story, Humour


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Project: holebi gezinnen kinderverhalen / Project: gay families children’s stories

Het volgende verhaal maakt deel uit van een project(je) waar ik mee bezig ben. Kinderverhalen voor kinderen die uit anders dan de typisch samengestelde (vader, moeder, kind) gezinnen voortkomen.
Twee moeders, twee vaders, twee moeders EN twee vaders, twee oma’s, twee opa’s, etc. Dit zal gestaag gaan omdat ik kinderen die uit zulke gezinnen komen wil vragen om me daar wat bij te helpen.
Het gaat me er hierbij niet om de nadruk te leggen op het anders zijn. Wel om dit als verhaal zodanig te vertellen dat ook kinderen met die achtergronden zich voor de verandering eens thuis voelen in een verhaal.
Hun beleving, hun wereld.
Zelf heb ik twee getrouwde schoonzussen die inmiddels oma zijn. Dit kind is nu nog te jong om diens ervaringen daarbij te gebruiken.
Het is mijn bedoeling kleuter- en opgroeiende kinderverhalen te schrijven die makkelijk toegankelijk zijn. Herkenbare situaties die elke ouder bekend voor zullen komen, maar met de achtergrond van een gezin die net even wat anders is dan ‘standaard’.


‘Mamma, is het al lente?’ vroeg Juul, roepend vanuit haar bed. Hannah zat naast haar in haar eigen bed en had net al gezegd dat dat niet zo was.

‘Nee schat, nog een paar weken!’ riep mamma terug.

‘Zie je nou wel!’ siste Hannah beledigd. Het was ook altijd hetzelfde. Juul geloofde haar nooit. Hannah vond dat nooit zo leuk.

‘Gaan jullie je maar aankleden en maak Sam maar vast wakker’, riep de andere stem.

‘Ja mamma’, riep Hannah terug, terwijl ze de lakens op haar bed opensloeg en zuchtend haar sokken aantrok.

‘Wat nou?’ vroeg Juul geërgerd.

‘Gewoon, ik vind je stom!’ antwoordde Hannah simpel. Juul keek gekwetst.

‘Je vroeg aan mij ook al of het lente was, dan zeg ik nee en dat is ook zo, maar mij geloof je niet. Dat vind ik niet eerlijk’. Hannah had haar sokken aangetrokken. Mooie blauwe, met madeliefjes erop.

‘Wat een gekibbel hier, wat is er aan de hand?’

‘Juul is stom’, mokte Hannah tegen mamma, die haar hoofd om de hoek van de deur had gestoken. Haar korte blonde haar viel langs haar oor.

‘Nou zeg, het is wel je zusje hoor’, mamma vond het nooit leuk als Hannah en Juul elkaar ‘stom’ noemden.

‘Maar ze had aan mij ook al gevraagd of het al lente was, en ik HAD al nee gezegd! En dan gaat ze het toch nog vragen! Alsof wat ik zeg niet waar is. Dat vind ik niet leuk!’ zei Hannah verontwaardigd. Mamma rolde met haar ogen, ze begreep het. Juul vroeg het liefst alles twintig keer na. Vaak luisterde ze niet eens naar het antwoord. Of vergat ze dat meteen weer.

‘Tja, Juul, als je het al gevraagd hebt, hoef je het natuurlijk niet nog een keer te vragen’, gaf mamma Hannah gelijk.

‘Ik had het niet zo goed verstaan, geloof ik’, zei Juul beteuterd, die het niet eerlijk vond dat Hannah nu gelijk kreeg in haar boos zijn.

‘Mamma, ben ik stom?’ vroeg Juul nu dus bedrukt.

‘Ja!’ riep Hannah boos, die zich intussen van top tot teen keurig aan had gekleed.

‘Nou Hannah, ga jij maar even naar beneden om alvast te ontbijten dan, als je Juul zo stom vindt. Mammie is er al, die staat brood te roosteren’.

Hannah liep al richting deur.

‘Krijg ik nog een knuffel, of ben ik ook stom?’ vroeg mamma nog. Hannah omhelsde haar met een grote glimlach.

‘Nee! Jij bent lief!’

‘Grote meid’ mamma kuste Hannah op haar wang.

‘Ga maar gauw ontbijten’.

The following story is part of a small project I’m working on. Children’s stories for children that come from a less common family (father, mother, child).
Two mothers, two fathers, one parent, two mothers AND two fathers and so on. This won’t be a quick project as I would like the additional comments of children who actually grew up in such families.
To me it’s important that there’s no emphasis on it being different. My goal is merely to tell a story that makes children from such families feel at home in the given storyline, for a change.
Their experience, their world.
Although I do have two married sisters in law who are grandmothers, their grandchild is, at the moment, too small to use as an example for these stories.
It is my goal to write toddler and older children stories that are easy accessable. Normal situations for any parent, and any child, just with a slightly different background than the usual.

Getting up in the morning

‘Mum, is it Spring already?’ Jools asked from her bedside. Hannah was sitting next to her in her own bed and had already told her it was not.

‘No sweetie, not until a couple of weeks!’ Mum yelled back.

‘See, I was right!’ Hannah hissed at Jools, cross. It was the same old song. Jools never believed her. Hannah never liked that much.

‘Go get dressed the two of you and wake Sam’ the voice yelled instructively.

‘Yes mum’, Hannah pushed away her blankets and sat up straight in her bed. Annoyed, she started to pull on her socks. She sighed with fury.

‘Now what?!’ Jools asked, annoyed.

‘Simply that I think you’re stupid!’ Hannah answered. Jools looked hurt.

‘You asked me too if it was Spring already. I said no and that’s true but you don’t believe me. That’s not fair’ Hannah had pulled on both of her socks now. They were blue and had daisies on them.

‘What’s happening here?’

‘Jools is stupid’, Hannah complained to Mum, who just peeked around the corner of the bedroom door. Her short blonde hairs fell just over her ears.

‘Oi, that’s your sister you’re talking about, you know?’ Mum never liked it when they referred to each other as ‘stupid’.

‘But she had already asked me if it was Spring in a few weeks and I ALREADY said ‘no’. Then she goes and asks it again. Like it’s not true what I said. I don’t like that!’ Hannah said sulking. Mum rolled her eyes, she understood. Jools asked everything about 20 times. And hardly listened to the answer, or immediately forgot about it again.

‘Well Jools, if you’ve asked, it is not necessary to ask it again’, Mum pleaded in favour or Hannah.

‘I don’t think I heard it all that well’, Jools sadly answered.

‘Mum, am I stupid?’ Jools asked.

‘Yes!’ Hannah answered angrily, who was by now perfectly dressed from top to toe.

‘Well Hannah, you go downstairs to Mommee then, if you think Jools is that stupid. She’s making toast at the moment’, Mum ordered.

Hannah marched in the direction of the door.

‘Do I get a hug or am I stupid, too?’ Mum asked. Hannah hugged Mum with a bright smile,

‘No, you’re sweet!’

‘That’s my big girl’, Mum kissed Hannah on the cheek.

‘Now go and have some breakfast’.


De vriendjes en vriendinnetjes van Warre

“Kom je bij mij spelen?” vraagt Camille aan Warre. Ze staan op het schoolplein bij de zandbak, net klaar met school.

“Ja hoor, dat moet ik dan wel even aan mijn mamma vragen”, zegt Warre. Hij loopt op zijn moeder toe.

“Mamma, mag ik bij Camille spelen?” vraagt Warre

“Natuurlijk schat”, zegt mamma. Samen lopen ze naar Camille en haar pappa. Mamma geeft Warre een kus en zwaait hem uit, als hij bij de pappa van Camille achterop het stoeltje mag. Camille zit voorop.

Eenmaal bij Camille thuis krijgen ze thee met een lekker koekje, die de pappa van Camille op een groot dienblad op een klein tafeltje neerzet. Dat tafeltje staat in de speelhoek van Camille. Warre en Camille eten vrolijk giechelend de koekjes op en zingen liedjes na die ze vandaag op school geleerd hebben.

“Zullen we met de poppen spelen?” vraagt Camille aan Warre als het lekkers op is. Warre knikt, dat lijkt hem leuk. Samen gaan ze naar de kamer van Camille. Haar kamer is helemaal roze, want dat vindt Camille de mooiste kleur die er is.

“Nou ben jij pappa en ik pappie”, zegt Camille. Warre schudt zijn hoofd.

“Jij bent mammie en ik ben mamma”,zegt hij. Nu schudt Camille haar hoofd.

“Dat wil ik niet! Ik wil pappie zijn en dan moet jij pappa zijn!” dat vindt Warre toch echt niet leuk.

“Misschien wil jij mammie zijn en dat ik dan pappie ben?” probeert Warre. Dat klinkt beter, vindt Camille. Dat klinkt tenminste een beetje hetzelfde.

“Nu ga ik koken, lekker stamppot met aardbeien en brood met kaas”, zegt Warre. Wat een bijzonder gerecht! Camille eet alles op wat Warre serveert.

“Nu ga ik soep maken met doperwten, vermicelli en kip”, zegt Camille plechtig. Nu is het Warre’s beurt om alles op te eten. Dan ziet Warre in een hoekje wat moois staan. Het zijn rolschaatsen.

“Zullen we daar nu mee spelen?” vraagt Warre glunderend. Camille kijkt op. Ja, dat lijkt haar ook heel leuk.

Dus trekken ze de rolschaatsen aan. Wel met arm- en kniebeschermers, anders doet het pijn bij vallen. Daar gaan ze, lekker rolschaatsen. Zowel binnen en buiten.

Daarna gaan ze knutselen. Camille heeft veel mooi gekleurd papier. Ze vouwen er cirkels van en plakken die aan elkaar. Zo krijgen ze een prachtig lange ketting.

‘Voor pappie!’ roept Camille. Warre vindt het best. Hij vond het toch leuker om te maken, dan dat hij het zelf wil dragen.

Als het tijd is, komt mamma Warre halen. Camille en Warre geven elkaar een dikke knuffel, en zo nemen ze afscheid.

“Mamma, waarom heeft Camille eigenlijk een pappa en een pappie?” vraagt Warre als ze aan tafel zitten om te eten met mammie.

“Ik denk om dezelfde reden dat jij mij en mamma hebt en je nichtje Nele een pappa en een mamma”, zegt mammie dan. Dat snapt Warre niet helemaal.

“Maar iedereen heeft toch twee moeders?” vraagt hij verbaasd. Mamma en mammie kijken elkaar aan en moeten glimlachen.

“Nee lieverd, niet alle kinderen hebben twee moeders. De meeste kinderen hebben een mamma en een pappa. Sommige kinderen hebben twee mamma’s of twee pappa’s. Er zijn ook kinderen die en twee pappa’s en twee mamma’s hebben. En ook heb je kinderen die alleen een pappa of een mamma hebben”, leggen ze uit. Warre hoort het allemaal zo en snapt ’t nog niet helemaal.

“Heeft Camille dan helemaal geen mamma of mammie?”vraagt hij dan.

“Ergens misschien wel, maar Camille heeft toch vooral haar pappa en haar pappie”, zegt mamma.

“Heb ik dan ook ergens een pappa?” vraagt Warre.

“Ja lieverd, jij hebt ergens een pappa, dat is oom Harold, weet je nog?” Warre knikt. Nu weet hij het weer. Oom Harold komt zo nu en dan eens langs en brengt vaak iets leuks mee. Soms een nieuw kleurboek, een kaart, een mooie bal, en een keer heeft hij samen met mamma en mammie een mooie nieuwe fiets gekocht, waar Warre nog altijd heel fijn mee fietst.

“O ja!”zegt hij dan.

“Heb ik vriendjes die net als Nele zijn?” vraagt hij dan.

“Natuurlijk schat, heel veel zelfs!” zegt mamma en mammie somt er een paar op.

“Nele, Nathan, Jules, Anne en nog veel meer”, zegt ze tenslotte.

Al die kinderen, dat zijn er heel wat! Daar heeft Warre nooit bij stilgestaan.

Hij gaat bij ze spelen, vraagt zo nu en dan om een glas sap, een koekje of ander lekkers, soms blijft hij ook eten. Maar hij is altijd zo bezig met spelen dat het hem nooit opvalt.

Tenslotte komt oom Harold ook op bezoek, maar die blijft nooit zo lang. Na verloop van tijd moet oom Harold altijd weer naar huis. Al blijft hij soms ook wel logeren omdat hij het zo gezellig vindt.

Warre besluit dat hij het de volgende keer, als hij ergens speelt, eens zal gaan vragen hoe dat zit.

De volgende dag zit hij al de hele dag zo lekker te spelen met zijn vriendje Dries, dat hij aan hem vraagt of hij met hem mee mag naar huis. Hij zal nu meteen eens extra opletten.

Eenmaal bij Dries thuis is het niet veel anders. Dries heeft net zoals hij veel leuke speeltjes, zoals een fietsje, een bal, een mooie helm, heel veel kleurpotloden, stiften en een prachtige knutseldoos, mooie speelkaarten.

Bij de thee krijgen ze een hele mooie beker met plaatjes, een lekker koekje. Dries’ mamma zit erbij.

“Heb jij nog een pappa of nog een mamma?” vraagt hij tenslotte voor de zekerheid.

“Dries heeft nog een pappa”, antwoord zijn mamma, omdat Dries zijn mond nu al vol koek zit, “dat is anders dan bij jou thuis hè?” vraagt Dries’ mamma. Warre knikt.

Dan eet hij zijn koekje op.

“Maar wat doen jouw mamma’s dan?” vraagt Dries nieuwsgierig, “want mijn mamma kookt en doet de was, maar mijn pappa timmert en schildert en repareert alles wat stuk is. Is er bij jullie thuis veel stuk?”

Warre moet even nadenken.

“Mamma wast en mammie kookt meestal. Mammie werkt en repareert ook dingen die stuk zijn, maar dat doet mamma ook weleens. Mamma kan beter timmeren dan mammie. Mammie kan mijn fiets beter maken als die stuk is en mammie doet ook veel in de tuin”, zegt hij dan.

“En als je ziek bent, wie blijft er dan thuis?” vraagt de mamma van Dries aan Warre.

“Mamma!”roept hij vrolijk, “mamma werkt niet dus die blijft dan bij mij”.

Dan is de thee van Warre en Dries op. En hun koekje ook.

“Zullen we buiten gaan fietsen?” vraagt hij aan Dries.

Dries knikt.

Dus gaan ze lekker buiten fietsen.

Charlie’s Friends

‘Are you coming over to play?’ Isabelle asks Charlie. They are on the preschool yard, near the sandbox. School has just gone out.

‘Yes, but I should ask my mother first’, Charlie answers. He walks up to his mother.

‘Ma, can I go out and play with Isabelle?’Charlie asks.

‘Of course, my dear’, Mom answers. Together they walk up to Isabelle and her dad. Mom kisses Charlie goodbye if he has taken place on the back of Isabelle’s dad’s bike. Isabelle is on the front seat.

Once they’re at Isabelles’ home, they have tea and a nice biscuit, served on a tray by Isabelle’s dad on a small table. That table is the play corner of Isabelle.

Charlie and Isabelle eat their biscuits giggling and sing songs they’ve learned at preschool today.

‘Shall we play with the dolls?’ Isabelle asks Charlie when the biscuits have gone. Charlie nods, it seems like a perfectly good idea. They head for Isabelle’s room. Everything in her room is pink. That is because Isabelle considers this to be the most beautiful color available.

‘You are daddy and I’m dadda’ Isabelle says to Charlie. He shakes his head.

‘You are mommy and I’m Ma’ Charlie says to Isabelle. She shakes her head.

‘I don’t want to! You have to be daddy and I’m dadda!’ Charlie really doesn’t like the sound of that.

‘Maybe you can be mommy and I can be daddy?’ Charlie tries. It does sound better, Isabelle agrees. At least that’s a bit similar.

‘Now I’m going to cook. Good mashed potatoes with strawberries and eggs and bits of kale’, Charlie says. That is a very special treat! Isabelle eats everything Charlie serves.

‘Now I’m going to make soup with peas, noodles and chicken’, Isabelle states. Now it’s Charlies turn to eat everything.

Then Charlie sees something in a corner of Isabelle’s room that he likes to play with. Her rollerskates!

‘Shall we do that next?’ Charlie says, unable to even stop thinking about them now. Isabelle agrees on the idea of rollerskating.

So, on with the rollerskates. Then on with the pads for knees, elbow and wrists so falling won’t be too painfull.

There they go, both inside the house and in the yard. Rollerskating.

After that, handicrafts. Isabelle has lots of lovely colored papers. The fabric cirkels of those by sticking them to each other. That way it becomes a lovely and huge necklace.

‘For daddy!’ Isabelle says. Charlie is OK with that, he rather makes it then wear it anyway.

When it’s time to go home, Ma comes to collect Charlie. Isabelle and Charlie share a big hug for goodbyes.

‘Ma, why does Isabelle have a daddy and a dadda?’ Charlie asks when they’re having supper at the table with mommy.

‘I think for the same reason you have me and Ma and your cousin Ella has a mother and a father’ mommy explains. Charlie doesn’t fully understand.

‘But everyone has two mothers, no?’ Charlie asks surprised.

Now Ma and mommy are smiling.

‘No, darling, not everyone has two mommies. Most children have a mommy and a daddy, some children have two mommies, or two daddies, or both two mommies and two daddies and some children only have a mother or a father’, they explain. Charlie doesn’t fully understand quite yet.

‘So Isabelle doesn’t have a mommy at all?’ he asks.

‘Maybe somewhere she has, but mostly Isabelle has her daddy and her dadda’, mommy explains.

‘Do I have a dad somewhere then?’ Charlie asks.

‘Yes, honey, you do. That’s uncle Harold, remember?’ Charlie nods. Uncle Harold comes by every now and then and brings very nice gifts many times. Sometimes it’s a coloring book, or a nice card, a shiny ball to play with, and not too long ago he and mommy and Ma went to the store and bought him a bike. He still enjoys riding that bike a lot.

‘Oh yes’, he remembers.

‘Do I have friends that are like Ella?’ he then asks.

‘Oh yes, sweetie, quite a lot!’ Ma and mommy name a few.

‘Ella, Frank, Jacob, Imogen’, they sum up.

All of those, that’s quite some! Charlie has never thought of it much.

He plays at their house, sometimes asks for a drink or a biscuit, sometimes he stays for supper. But he is always occupied with playing with his friends. Too much to notice anything different.

After all uncle Harold comes by too, but he never stays. After some time, uncle Harold always goes back home. Although sometimes he does spend the night if it has become too late to go home.

Charlie decides to pay more attention, the next time he plays over at someone else’s place. He is curious now.

The next day Charlie has a wonderful time playing with Jacob. Charlie decides he wants to come home with Jacob. Also, he wants to see what’s so different now.

At Jacob’s house, it’s not much different. Jacob has many lovely toys, just like himself. A bike, a ball, a nice helmet, a big load of colored pencils and felted pens to draw with, a handicrafts box and so on.

They’re served tea in very lovely mugs and a very sweet biscuit. Jacob’s mom is sitting along with them.

‘Do you have another mommy or do you have a daddy?’ Charlie asks, just to be sure.

‘Jacob has a daddy’, his mother answers for him, as Jacob just took a bite from his biscuit and therefor cannot say anything, ‘this is different from how it is at your home, isn’t it?’ Jacob’s mother asks. Charlie nods.

Then he eats his biscuit.

‘But what do your mommies do then?’ Jacob asks curiously, ‘my mommy cooks and washes, but my daddy fixes everything that’s broken. Do you have a lot of things that are still broken?’

Charlie needs a moment to think.

‘Ma washes and mommy usually cooks. Mommy works and repairs stuff but Ma does this too sometimes. Ma is better at hammering than mommy. Mommy is better at fixing my bike when it’s broken and she does the work in the garden’ Charlie sums up.

‘And when you’re ill, who stays home to care for you?’ Jacob’s mother asks.

‘Ma! She doesn’t work, so Ma stays with me’ Charlie says with a radiant smile.

Then Charlie’s and Jacob’s tea is gone. So are their biscuits.

‘Shall we go riding the bike?’ Jacob proposes.

‘Yes!’ Charlie agrees.

So they go out and ride the bike.


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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Childrens story, Projects


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There where the elves sing is a good place

they sing half at shore, up to the moon

their singing makes your heart race

but in a good way, for never were you so merry

as listening to the sound of their approaching ferry

coming from all the way up there down to earth in the water

where it mixes with the elves and their pet otter

unfortunately this little bastard makes the ferry sink

then again it brings me up to think

elves are not so real in life for all that matters

it’s important that you keep your dream and not the shatters

of dreams being dreamed earlier before

the ones that were so lovely and never reached any shore



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Posted by on March 2, 2015 in Childrens story, Poems, Projects


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Let op je taal!/ Watch your language

‘Goeie genade!’ hoor ik ineens uit de jongste komen. Zijn moeder kijkt verbaasd op.
Ik krijg een stralende glimlach van dat mondje waar de woorden zojuist uit kwamen. Ik realiseer me pas op dat moment dat ik m’n echo hoorde.
Het moment waarop ik me bedenk ‘oei, ik moet op m’n woorden gaan letten’.
Nu vloek ik al heel bewust niet in de buurt van mijn oppaskinderen (ik laat me wel -per ongeluk- steeds gaan bij m’n eigen neefje en nichtje) maar op momenten als dit weet ik: het wordt echt overgenomen. Ik weet dat ik niet de enige ben die bijdraagt aan de taalontwikkeling, maar slechte manieren zijn er genoeg op deze wereld.
Ik wil wel graag dat ze het in elk geval niet van mij leren. Daar hebben ze genoeg anderen voor.
Opgelucht merk ik later, als ik mezelf ‘stomme trut!’ hoor roepen naar een automobiliste die ons bruut afsnijdt terwijl we op de fiets zitten, de kinderen vragen ‘waarom zei je ‘stommerik’?”
Het vergt ook wel een beetje extra oefening in het verkeer….

‘Goodness gracious!’ I suddenly hear from the youngest. His mother looks surprised.
A radiant smile accompanies the words.
I only realize that I’ve said it myself when it echoes back to me.
The moment where I am aware ‘I have to watch my language’. I’m already forcing myself not to curse around my babysit-children (sometimes I do curse around my cousins, by accident), but it’s on moments like these, I realise: it is going to be repeated, remembered.
I know I am not the only one that is of influence when it comes to learn (bad) language, but bad habits are all around and I do wish they do not learn it from me.
They have plenty of other people and peers for that.
I’m therefor relieved, that when I hear myself yelling ‘stupid bitch!’ to a driver who just to cut us off on bike so I cannot pass, and the children innocently ask me ‘how do you know she’s a witch?’
It does need a bit extra practice in traffic, I must admit….

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Posted by on January 13, 2015 in Childrens story, Daily life


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