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My favorite children's book and why I love it: Lotta on Troublemaker Street
by Astrid Lindgren. As a little girl I could very much relate to Lotta (perhaps I still can). She was a troublemaker, felt different than everyone else and also felt left out now and again. I moved to the eastern part of the Netherlands at Lotta's age where they speak a different dialect and basically did everything different than I was used to doing. Coupled with my already outside the mainstream attitude towards life and you create a troublemaker.
No... not quite a monster, but someone who knows what she wants and makes no secret of it either. So Lotta and I have a special bond. One big difference though - my family was never mean to me; they have always been my biggest fans and support network and I miss them dearly having moved to many far-flung places over the years. Finally I have landed in Asia where I feel right at home... difficult to explain...I hope Lotta has also found peace of mind in the meantime...
A close second would be Pluk van de Petteflet by Annie M.G. Schmidt. Pluk is another rebel who all Dutch kids love. I actually believe he is somewhat of a role model for boys - he moves into his own top floor flat and owns a red towtruck. Pluk stumbles from one adventure to another but in true style he remains in good spirits (he has no parents, one of his closest friends is Zaza, a cockroach) and is victorious in overcoming the challenges he faces. I guess I recognize myself in Pluk... somewhat insecure... the underdog that still prevails.
My children's favorite books: Jip and Janneke by Annie M.G. Schmidt.
A children's book illustrator I adore: Fiep Westendorp from the Netherlands and these illustrators that I wrote about a while back on Bloesem for a special read.
If my life so far were turned into a children's book the title would be: How Big is This World?
Thanks Irene! Readers, Irene has a knack for finding new and interesting products, designers and artists which she documents on her beautiful blogs. She calls Bloesem a "daily update about everything that makes me happy, smile, and enjoy life." It makes us smile, too! BlosemKids, focused on design for children, is chock full of craft projects, house tours and MomStories.
(Images: Irene Hoofs)