Toon Tellegen (born 1941) has won many prizes for his children books. Besides poems, prose for adults and theater plays, he writes philosophical and absurdist animal stories about Squirrel, Ant, Mole, Hedgehog and other animals, who are carefully trying to find their way in an incomprehensible world. Here is an example of a story called The Elephant and the snail:

Things are seldom ordinary in Tellegen’s world. Like in Wat dansen we heerlijk (What a Delightful Dance):

The bear dances with the honey cake, whispering sweet nothings as he gobbles down every last crumb of his dance partner, while the hedgehog only wants to dance with the squirrel if they can both do it in their own homes. “The way I dance is not a pretty sight,” he confesses to the squirrel.
It is no surprise that he has won both the Theo Thijssen Prize (an oeuvre award for writers of books for children and young adults) and the Constantijn Huygens Prize for his entire oeuvre.

It is sooo much fun to read, and the stories of Toon bring valuable lessons for kids as well, just between the lines.

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