Tonke Dragt

Tonke Dragt was born in Jakarta in 1930 and spent most of her childhood in Indonesia. When she was twelve, she was interned in a camp run by the Japanese occupiers, where she wrote her very first book using begged and borrowed paper. Her family moved to the Netherlands after the war, and after studying at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague Dragt became an art teacher. She published her first book in 1961, followed a year later by The Letter for the King, which won the Children’s Book of the Year award and has been translated into sixteen languages and sold over 1 million copies. The movie based on the book was released in 2008. Dragt was awarded the State Prize for Youth Literature in 1976 and was knighted in 2001. She is considered to be the greatest Dutch female writer for children. Pushkin Children’s Books publish Letter for the King in November.

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Radical Revenge

We all know what it’s like to want revenge, but where does that urge come from?  Why is it so hard to give up?  And why can some people only satisfy it through extreme and brutal acts?  In her new book, Radical Revenge, Renée Danziger draws on psychoanalytic thinking to offer a fresh perspective on […]

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Light to Life

In this fascinating, revelatory new book, biologist Raffael Jovine takes us on a journey of discovery into the intricate, beautiful and often surprising processes that convert energy from the sun into life and how all-important these are to our survival. Despite the unprecedented challenges the Earth faces from global warming, habitat loss, air pollution and […]

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The Art of Repair

It all started with a pair of socks… White, woollen – my favourite pair. The heels had become thin and threadbare; then a small hole appeared on one of the toes. Too precious to throw away, I decided to mend them. I chose a ball of yarn from my mother’s wool collection and she found me her old darning mushroom, which had once belonged to my granny, and explained the basics. I remember the feeling of it: threading the needle with a strand of contrasting grey wool, while pulling the heel over the domed wooden mushroom; weaving my needle in and out of the surviving strands; making little bridges back and forth like a lawn mower; slowly closing the hole. The process was instinctive. I can still recall the feeling of pride and achievement when I had finally finished. Sure my darn looked a little rustic, but I had given my socks
a new lease of life, a second chance.

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