Children's book: My House, Your House  23 September 2008

Fiep Westendorp honoured with children's book in four languages

My House, Your House is the English title of the book published by the Jewish Historical Museum (JHM) in October 2008. It is a fitting tribute to the much-loved Dutch illustrator Fiep Westendorp (1916-2004). Thanks to her financial support and that of her friend Margot Rehfisch, an art studio named after Fiep Westendorp was realised in the JHM Children's Museum in 2006. The original Dutch texts in the book Mijn Huis, Jouw Huis have been translated into English, Hebrew and Arabic in order to build bridges and have children enjoy experiencing each other's cultures, much the same as in the Children's Museum.

The JHM, in consult with licensing organization Illustre BV, selected delightful drawings by Fiep for this new children's book. These illustrations, together with poems and stories by the legendary Annie M.G. Schmidt and some verses by author Han G. Hoekstra, are the basis of My House, Your House. Children's author Bibi Dumon Tak's unique writing links the diverse chapters to each other. The book also has its share of surprises: recipes from various cultures; a game in four languages; and a CD of the well-known poem Dikkertje Dap sung successively in Dutch, Arabic, Hebrew and English by the Dutch pop group VOF de Kunst, actor Hakim (from the Dutch version of Sesame Street), Cantor Gilad Nezer and the Canadian-born musical star Jimmy Hutchinson.

The book My House, Your House, similar to the permanent exhibition in the JHM Children's Museum, is also centred around a 'house'. Each chapter is about one room and the different spaces are brought to life by illustrations, poems and stories. The reader of My House, Your House is playfully introduced to four different languages and their alphabets. This gives the book a unique educational and cultural undertone. No matter what language a child speaks, My House, Your House makes understanding each other fun. This book is for children who can read themselves or for reading aloud, but also for grown-ups who can appreciate the fine translations of these familiar Dutch poems.

My House, Your House is available in bookstores and the museum shop.
(€ 19.50, ISBN 978-90-9023286-7)

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