- Edward van de VendelAuthor–Netherlands
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Edward van de Vendel is a literary jack-of-all trades. Van de Vendel's oeuvre is rich and varied: he writes picturebooks, poetry for children and (young) adults, songs, novels, and non-fiction books about various topics—such as soccer, his favorite sport. Next to this, he is also the initiator of numerous literary projects for young adults. Finally, he also translates children's books from English into Dutch.
Van de Vendel's work can in general be characterized by its sparkling cheerfulness and at the same time by its capability to discuss serious topics in an appealing way. Examples of these distinct characteristics can be found, on the one hand, in his happy and playful poetry for small children about Superguppie, in which Van de Vendel plays with rhyme and syntax. On the other hand, Van de Vendel writes about concealing a homosexual relationship in a soccer team in De dagen van de bluegrassliefde (The Days of Bluegrass Love) by structuring the book itself as a soccer match (first half, halftime, second half). In this book, he also uses flashbacks to reflect on what happens.
Another example of Van de Vendel's versatile work can be found in his captivating fairy tale adaptations, such as Rood rood Roodkapje (illustrated by Isabelle Vandenabeele) based on Little Red Riding Hood. The main character loves the color red because it makes her laugh. Her days, however, are grey because of her grey grandmother who complains all day. One day, Little Red Red Red Riding Hood meets a black beast in the woods, which she sends to eat her grandmother. After this event, the girl kills the wolf, which frees her from her grey existence. Little Red Red Red Riding Hood can start her own life now.
Next to writing diverse books for children of all ages, Van de Vendel is the initiator of the young adult series Slash. In this series, a famous author teams up with a remarkable young adult to write a book about his or her life experiences. Topics of these true books range from homelessness and running away from home to imprisonment and escaping prison in a foreign country. Van de Vendel wrote the first novel in the series, De gelukvinder (The Founder of Happiness), in 2008; it tells the story of an Afghan refugee boy, Hamayun, who flees to the Netherlands with his family because they have been threatened by the Taliban.
Van de Vendel is a translator of children's books from English, Swedish, Norwegian, Italian, German, or Danish into Dutch. He says he enjoys translating various books a lot. He translated, for example, Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton's treehouse series, titled The 52-Storey Treehouse (2014) from English into Dutch in 2015. But he also translated the picturebook Quel oeuf! by Sally Grindley and Pascal Lemaitre from French into Dutch in 2016. [End Page 29]