22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Annet Schaap

Portrait Annet Schaap
© Lisenka l'Ami

The Dutch illustrator and children’s book author Annet Schaap was born in Ochten in 1965. She studied at an art school in Kampen and at the Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in The Hague. Between 1995 and 1999 she also attended the Schrijversvakschool ʼt Colofon in Amsterdam and worked for several years in youth theater. At that time she wrote a number of children’s plays, songs, and the libretto for a children’s opera. In 1988, Schaap illustrated her first children’s book, »Jokel, Jula and Jericho« by Christine Nöstlinger. Since then, Schaap has produced illustrations for over two hundred books by numerous authors, including Francine Oomen, Jacques Vriens, Mieke van Hooft, Thea Dubelaar, Janneke Schotveld, Liesbeth van der Jagt, Paul Biegel, and Astrid Lindgren. She draws her pictures in pencil and then works them out in India ink or watercolor.

In 2017, Schaap made her debut as an author with the book »Lampje« (Eng. »Lampie and the Children of the Sea«, 2019). The book, written for girls up to ten years old, is about Lampie, the daughter of the one-legged lighthouse keeper, who lights the light in the tower every evening. One day she runs out of matches and a ship crashes at night, resulting in her father going to prison. Lampie works the debt off in the Admiral’s black house, where a monster is said to live. She tries to solve the mystery and one day bravely opens a closed door. »The brittle narrative tone, rough as the sea, full of stirring crowns of tension and crests of waves, fits congenially with the sad, captivating story of oppression and being thrown under, of lost loved ones, arguments and reconciliation, and last but not least of self-determined decisions to uncover hidden paths« (STUBE). For her debut as an author, Schaap was awarded the most important children’s book prizes in the Netherlands –  the Nienke van Hichtum Prize, the Woutertje Pieterse Prize, the Gouden Griffel, and the Flemish Boekenleeuw. Together with musician Fredrike de Winter, she also developed a storytelling performance of »Lampje«. In her latest children’s book »De boom met het oor« (2019; tr: The Tree With the Ear), illustrated by Philip Hopman, she tells the story of a little boy who discovers something that only the animals know: in the trunk of a giant tree in the park, there is an ear in the middle that actually listens. A funeral procession moves for the beetle Trude, who was pecked to death by a crow. Led by Trude’s grieving husband, the procession approaches the tree as the boy listens to what the animals have to say. This story was commissioned by a chamber music festival and inspired by the music of Modest Mussorgski’s »Pictures at an Exhibition«.

The author lives in Utrecht.