Holland’s second queen: Annie M. G. Schmidt

Annie M G Schmidt in 1986 (© Wikimedia)

There isn’t a Dutch person alive who doesn’t know the characters Jip and Janneke – toddlers who have all sorts of adventures that can be read out in perfect bedtime story chunks. Going onto their 50th year, the ageless toddlers have been fixtures on the bookshelves of three generations of Dutch people. Their creator Annie MG Schmidt (1911-1995) also wrote hugely popular radio and television shows and a cluster of toe-tapping musicals that pop up inevitably at pub singalongs all over the country.

Annie MG Schmidt is a Dutch icon. She wrote about very Dutch characteristics, keeping the mood light even when showcasing very serious issues. Her work is etched on the Dutch psyche. She died in 1995 at the age of 84. Her work never will.

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: March 28, 2004