Toon Tellegen (b. 1941) became famous primarily for his poetic, philosophical animal stories about Squirrel, Ant, Mole, Hedgehog and the other animals, who are carefully trying to find their way in an incomprehensible world. However, his extensive oeuvre also includes fairytales, children’s books and poetry and prose for adults. Tellegen began his writing career as a poet. In 1984 he published Er ging geen dag voorbij (Not a Day Went By), his first collection of animal stories for children. Four more collections were to follow and all these stories were then collected in Misschien wisten zij alles (Perhaps They Knew Everything, 1995). Two of Tellegen’s books feature the elephant as the main character: in Jannes (1993), an elephant leads the protected life of a young child in a world in which every being wears a trunk. In Teunis (1996), on the other hand, the main character is the only elephant in a world of human beings, which results in the humorous description of the struggle of someone who is ‘different’. Besides his animal stories, Tellegen also created Juffrouw Kachel (Miss Stove, 1991), the terror of all schoolchildren, and Mijn vader (My Father, 1994), a loving portrait of the world’s most amazing father. 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.
I Wish Book Talk
Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket will host a book talk for I Wish. He will share his reflections on the work, and also on the creations by Takoma Park Education Campus' fifth graders who created poems and drawings inspired by I Wish.