Dead Normal Golden Pencil 2015

Last night, at the annual Dutch Children’s Book Ball, the Gouden Griffel (Golden Slate Pencil) for best literary children’s book of the year was awarded to Bette Westera for her magnificent poetry book Doodgewoon (Dead Normal). Earlier this year, the book was also awarded a Vlag & Wimpel (Honourary Mention) by the Paintbrush Jury for its extraordinary illustrations by Sylvia Weve and the Woutertje Pieterse Prize for best children’s book of the year.

Bette Westera and Sylvia Weve

It is the first time since 20 years that this prestigious prize for children’s literature goes to a poetry book. “With Dead Normal Bette Westera has written a beautiful, unprecedented and rich lyrical work on death. Sadness, wonder, rebellion, resignation and anger have all been put into words”, according to the jury, “yet Westera’s extraordinary sense of humor enables the reader to breathe between the lines and emotions”.