A rabbit and animal view on history win children’s book prizes

Photo: Depositphotos.com

This year’s Gouden Griffel, the most important Dutch prize for children’s literature, has been awarded to Misjka, by Edward van de Vendel and Anoush Elman, the pseudonym for Ramin Kawous.

The book is partly based on the true story of Kawous and his family who fled from Afghanistan to the Netherlands. 

The central character in the book is daughter Roya who wants a pet so that her Dutch household is complete. She tells everything about her escape from Afghanistan to the rabbit, named Mijska. But one day, Mijska disappears. 

“Van de Vendel and Elman paint a moving picture, in which the family members’ love for each other as well as for their pets is palpable,” the jury said. “Mishka is a topical and moving family story, sublimely and catchily written.”

The prize is Van de Vendel’s first Gouden Griffel after 14 silvers.

The Gouden Penseel, for the best illustrations, has gone to Djenné Fila for her work on the Een kleine geschiedenis van de mens door dierenogen (a short history of mankind through animal eyes) written by Joukje Akveld.

The book tells the story of what 29 animals witnessed in 200,000 years of history. 

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