Reading to someone - sharing an experienceSelma Noort has written an impressive amount of books for the ages 3 - 16 and won several prices. She was three times awarded with the Vlag en Wimpel and two times with the prestigious Zilveren Griffel (silver slate-pencil). Her work has been translated in German (Verlag Freies Geistesleben) and several other languages.
Since several years she is more and more specialising in writing books that are especially fit for reading out loud to children (ages 3 -10), for teachers, librarians, parents, counsellors, everyone sharing an experience with a child. But her books are also very well suited for children to read by themselves. The stories she writes are very much about (loving) relationships between children and the persons most near to them. Their parents, brothers, sisters, next of kin, teachers. Sometimes her books have a very fantastic athmosphere, a touch of magic. You feel, no, you wish the setting could be true, but it is just a bit too fantastic to be true. Like the awarded story "Homesick for the Island" in which the young boy Raven shares a private island in the cold Northsea with his extended family and lives a simple life beautifully in tune with sea, sand and wind. Until the day comes that he must go to school...
And then there is the touching tale of a search for identity in the impressive story of love between Kloes, lost child of the Dune-people (a little bigger than a sparrow), and a young girl sparrow. They consider each other brother and sister and travel a long and dangerous way to find Kloes' family ("Musje, mijn zusje" Leopold, 2006 "My sparrow sister") Both books were beautifully illustrated by the much awarded and internationally wellknown illustrator Annemarie van Haeringen.
Beside her more fantasy-full stories Selma has also written a series (11 books) of heartwarming stories (age 6-10) of the real life familie of a father, mother, two sons of 10 and 9 years old, and their 5 year old sister in daily life situations in a typical Dutch village. (Illustrated by Harmen van Straaten) One of these books has been awarded with the Dutch Silver Slate-pencil for the loving sensitivity, the great sense of humor and the literary quality of the stories. These modern time stories can be compared with last century's Astrid Lindgrens stories of Lotta and her brother and sister. They are very recognisable and especially fit for reading out loud to a schoolclass or as bed-side stories in the family. Both listener and reader, from which viewpoint the stories are also very recognisable and humorous, will share many moments of laughter, sympathy and suspense. (Some available in German by Verlag Freies Geistesleben.)
Then there are Bart and Esra, two three-years old neighbour children and their small adventures. Short stories, lovely illustrated by Sandra Klaassen, which have been especially tested for reading out loud at bed-time or in rest moments between play. Loving, playful and again very humorous.
Most of Selma's books from Uitgeverij Leopold have been translated into German and have been published by several bookhouses there, for the last years solely by Verlag Freies Geistesleben.
Selma writes also many books for Uitgeverij Zwijsen. This publishing house publishes (educational) books voor children who are still learning to read. All these books have a special degree of language/reading difficulty.
Selma gives workshops and lectures to adults and children about her work. Sometimes she is a guest in tv-shows and she regularly takes part in a theatershow (see: pictures "foto's" on this site) reading with great succes to the audience, having no trouble at all keeping them in suspense.
Selma speaks fluently English.
Selma can understand German, but hardly speaks it.
You can mail her: firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to describe a clear subject in order not to be thrown out by her spamfighter.
For more specific information on Selma's Dutch en German publishing houses, see on her site's (www.selmanoort.nl) heading under: "Algemeen en links" (general info.)