I grew up in a village in the south of Holland called Hapert. My father always told us stories. When he was telling we were all sitting around him. I also liked reading, but most of the time I was drawing. When I was very young I knew that I wanted to become a drawer. And I didn't know what to do otherwise. Goodreads
Mies van Hout is an illustrator and creator of picture books from the Netherlands. To date, she has illustrated more than 100 children’s books. She has won the Dutch Children’s Bookshops Prize on two occasions and has been awarded a Flag and Pennant by the Golden Paintbrush Jury. About twenty of her books are available in English. Take a look at this gallery of her work.
It is impossible for me to name one favourite illustrator but Mies van Hout would certainly be on my list. One of her books that I especially love is her Nursery Rhyme collection entitled Pussycat, Pussycat. Every page is just delightful. This book would be a very special gift for a new baby. The Dutch title of this book is Poseje Mauw.
On this page the rhyme says: "Baby bird asleep in the nest, Mother will keep you warm. Head tucked under feathery wings, Mother will keep you from harm."
I'm sure you recognise this is Baa Baa Black Sheep:
Mies has a series of books featuring emotions. In each of these books the black pages contain animals and fanciful monsters alongside one seemingly simply word but there is nothing simple here. Taking a look at the book Surprise. Inside you will find wonderful illustrations exploring words such as yearning, hoping, expecting, marvelling, caring, comforting, cherishing and encouraging. Here are a set of teaching ideas to use in a preschool.
Here are some pages from Surprise which is titled Verrassing in Dutch. I found a video where Mies draws her page 'marvelling'. The word on this page is 'enjoying'. If you can read Dutch, Meis shares art ideas on her web page.
Here are some review comments about books by Mies:
Kirkus on Happy: The line, colour, and texture make each page a pleasure to return to, and each single word is fully expressed in its corresponding picture. Along with the azure-and–sky-blue ovoid fish at the end, readers will pronounce themselves, in yellow, white and green letters, “delighted.”
Kirkus on Friends: With only a dozen or so words and spectacular images, van Hout captures the landscape of friendship for toddlers through teens and beyond.
Seven Impossible Things before Breakfast on Happy: Mies van Hout’s Happy is a tour de force of underwater awesomeness and emotion, showcasing what an artist can do with a few pastels, black paper and something fundamental to express. I want to hug it and buy a copy for every shorty on my list.
Happy, which contains 22 fish, is titled Vrolijk in Dutch. Just to show the the reach of her work this book is available in German, Italian, French, English, Japanese, Korean, South African, Spanish, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Portuguese.
Here is one of her newest books published in 2021.