Jip & Janneke in English!

Hello there!

I was quiet for a long time, right? I had many reasons (work, in particular). But now… Let me introduce the Dutch children’s book I’ve already mentioned before.

It’s Jip and Janneke, by Annie M. G. Schmidt and Fiep Westendorp who are “the uncrowned queens of Dutch children’s literature”.

Jip and Janneke
Jip and Janneke, written by Annie M. G. Schmidt, illustrated by Fiep Westendorp.
Original title: Jip en Janneke (deel I: Poppejans gaat varen en andere verhalen). Translated by David Colmer. Amsterdam Antwerpen Em. Querido’s Uitgeverij BV, 2011.

These two Netherlands’ preschoolers, Jip’s dog Weenie and Janneke’s cat Sippy seem to be the most famous characters from Dutch books for children.

I met them last year in The American Book Center in Amsterdam. (Read here.)

They are very lovely, good friends. I think they are the best friends. They play together, eat pancakes, sing in the street, cut pictures out of books (ouch!), send letters, do some modelling and/or get married. Nothing is too demanding for them.

Jip and Janneke Jip and Janneke Jip and Janneke Jip and Janneke Jip and Janneke Jip and Janneke

There are 48 short stories in the book, they are simple but not primitive! They are SWEET. My favourite story? It’s called Cutting Out Pictures. Here’s the storyline:

It’s a wet day, and Jip and Janneke have nothing to do. Jip’s mother gave them scissors and magazines to cut pictures out of. “Finished,” says Janneke. “Are there any more picture books?” Guess how it ends…

Jip and Janneke are two little sweet kids who live their lives spontaneously because that’s how life should be lived, and they know it. One stamp on the letter doesn’t look nice? Well, let’s put on another three! They do what they want, and how they want – in the most beautiful and funny way. And that’s why I love them.

Jip and Janneke
Celebrate Easter with Jip and Janneke! Illustration by Fiep Westendorp

There are colour illustrations in many Jip and Janneke books in Dutch. And they are very beautiful. If you’re looking for more Jip and Janneke pictures, visit Pinterest.

English translation has been released by Dutch publishing house Querido. If you don’t know how to read Dutch names, here’s a clue from the book:

The Dutch name Jip is pronounced “Yip”.
Janneke is a little more difficult. It might be easiest to think of as “Yannicka”, with the “a” as in “father” and a firm stress on the first syllable.

And if you’re looking for more sweet Dutch books for kids, try to find Pluk van de Petteflet, by the same amazing writer and the same phenomenal illustrator!

Sippy, Janneke's Cat

12 thoughts on “Jip & Janneke in English!”

    1. Hi David, Thanks for your comment. Really??? That’s pretty amazing because – guess what – I’m going to Utrecht this November… ;) What about other Dutch books for kids in English? Do you know any?

  1. HI — is there a way to purchase Jip and Janneke in English from the US? Would love to get it for my girl. Thanks!

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