Dutch Language Blog

Annie M.G. Schmidt – Jip and Janneke Posted by on Mar 12, 2010 in Dutch Language

Where was I in my last blog..? O yeah, Jip and Janneke. Okay, so the two young next door neighbors, Jip and Janneke, appeared weekly in Het Parool, a famous Dutch newspaper. Annie M. G. Schmidt wrote the stories between the journalists and editors in the building of Het Parool. Jip and Janneke share kiddy adventures like celebrating holidays, playing games, visiting family and this all with a mother who looks after them in case things go wrong. When she appears you will often hear her say: “Dat mag volstrekt niet!” (that is absolutely forbidden!). Besides mother, we I can’t forget the cat Siepie and the dog called Takkie, the animal part of the show.

Annie published eight books about Jip and Janneke in the period from 1953 until 1960. The books were translated in Polish, German, English, Spanish, Russian, Ivriet, Indonesia, Ests, Latin and Twents.

Just as important as the stories were the drawings, which were made by Fiep Westerdorp, another employee of Het Parool. All the countries used her images as well after translation, except for the British publisher. Jip and Janneke were published as black silhouettes to make sure the image came out well on the paper of the newspaper. The English thought this would be encouraging discriminating, because the kids looked like black people. So England continued with other illustrations.

In 1957 the last story about the pair was written, but Jip and Janneke are never forgotten. You can find images on mugs, pajama’s, lunch boxes and so on, mainly sold by the Dutch warehouse Hema. Jip en Janneke also received their own spot in the Dutch language. When people talk about Jip-and-Janneke-langauge they refer to an easy and clear language that could be understood by anyone. This phrase is often used in corporate organization or the government.

Jip and Janneke is one of the subjects Annie M.G. Schmidt is famous for. But that’s not all. She also wrote for older kids. A lot of her books turned into movies, like Minoes, Abeltje and Pluk van de Petteflet. You can ask any kid on the street and the chance that they don’t know at least the movie is very unlikely. Want to know more about that part of Annie’s work? In my next blog I will tell you all about it…

If you found this blog interesting, check out my other blogs on Annie M. G. Schmidt:

Who is Annie M.G. Schmidt

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  1. donna flower:

    I am so glad that you wrote this as I have just bought a piece of fabric with Jip and Janneke on. I didn’t know anything about them and just bought the fabric because I liked the design. I shall do more research on them now 🙂