Going Dutch – Nijntje Aan Zee by Dick Bruna

1 July 2014

When I was invited to join the Read Around the World Summer Reading Series hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs, I couldn’t resist sharing our favorite Dutch children’s book by Dick Bruna.

I also instantly knew that “nijntje aan zee” would be the perfect Dutch contribution to the summer reading list for the three and under crowd. What better way than to introduce a book about spending a day at the beach, a beloved national pastime among the Dutch, written by acclaimed Dutch writer and illustrator Dick Bruna?

Part of our family’s love affair with Dick Bruna started when we were given a signed copy of “nijnte aan zee” as a baby-shower present from my Dutch mother-in-law.

nijntje aan zee 1

“For Mama Rina and Papa Bram, Dick Bruna”

The Dutch love Dick Bruna so much that they even opened the dick bruna huis in Utrecht, dedicating a museum of over 7000 pieces consisting of children’s books, book covers and posters created by Dick Bruna.

As one can see from the photo below, Dick Bruna playfully introduces the basics of visual art. Through his work, babies and toddlers are immersed in a world of colours, shapes and lines along with a simple story line written in lower-case letters. It’s a perfect way to introduce the visual and written word to the preschool crowd.

And the great news is that there are 16 books available in English making Nijntje (Miffy) more accessible for children around the world. Happy summer reading everyone!


This post is my contribution for the Read Around the World Summer Reading Series from Multicultural Kid Blogs!  From June through August, bloggers from all over the world will share their recommendations of great multicultural books for the entire family!  For more details and the full schedule, please visit the series main page.  You can also follow along on our Summer Reading Pinterest Board!