Jef Aerts is a Belgian author of children’s literature, novels and poetry. His timeless children's books won several awards, including three Zilveren Griffels and the Book Lion, prize for the best children's book in Dutch. Jef Aerts’ children’s and youth books have been translated and sold in 15 languages. He has three children and lives in a small farm with lots of animals.
Jef Aerts grew up in a village between the woods near Leuven. After studying literature and theater, he started to work as a dramaturge and journalist. Since 1999 he has published four novels and a book of poetry for adults.
His first book for children, Het kleine paradijs (The Little Paradise), was published in June 2012. The Dutch and Flemish press praised Jef Aerts as a 'masterful storyteller' and the book was called a potential 'modern classic'.
Together with the renown Swedish/Dutch illustrator Marit Törnqvist, he made the wonderful picturebook Groter dan een droom (Bigger Than a Dream). Rights are sold to Sweden, Germany, Japan, China, Denmark, Korea, Iran and the United States (World English).
In 2014 Groter dan een droom was awarded the Boekenleeuw, the most prestigious children's book prize in Flanders, and a Zilveren Griffel in The Netherlands.
Vissen smelten niet (Fish Don't Melt) is gripping tale in which every minute counts and a warm friendship grows. The book was on the shortlist of the Boekenleeuw 2014 and won a Zilveren Griffel in 2014.
Paard met laarzen (Horse in Boots, 2015) is a powerful children’s novel about a moving friendship between a girl, a horse and an elderly woman. In his clear, figurative language, Jef Aerts depicts the way love and hate can lie close to one another, and not everything is what it seems.
Kersenhemel (Cherry Blossom and Paper Planes) is a warm and universal tale about a deep friendship between two children from a different background. With splendid landscapes by the Dutch illustrator Sanne te Loo. The picturebook was awarded a Vlag en Wimpel from the Griffel Jury in 2018.
De blauwe vleugels (The Blue Wings) is Jef Aerts' most recent novel. It is an intense and moving adventure of two inseparable brothers and a young crane. The Blue Wings won a Zilveren Griffel award in 2019 and is selected als the Flemish laureate for the Ibby Honour List 2020.
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‘In Jef Aerts children’s literature has acquired a new big name.’ - GRIFFEL JURY REPORT 2014