This richly illustrated children’s book, which features colourful pictures, historic photographs, letters, detailed maps and topographical material, follows Vincent van Gogh along all of the places where he lived and worked. The atlas offers a playful and accessible introduction to how Vincent used the rapidly changing world around him as the subject of his drawings and paintings.
The Vincent van Gogh Atlas Junior Edition is written by Nienke Denekamp (journalist and author) and René van Blerk (Senior Educator at the Van Gogh Museum), and illustrated by Geert Gratama. The book is intended for children from age 9 and older, and is a revision of the adult edition of The Vincent van Gogh Atlas, which has now been translated into seven languages.
Author René van Blerk:
‘With the special junior edition of the atlas, we offer children an accessible introduction to Van Gogh’s work and the time in which he lived. But we also want to inspire younger readers with Vincent’s personal story, in which finding your own identity, following your heart and dealing with setbacks are all significant themes.’
‘Readers may relate to the book, or it may primarily boost their reading pleasure. Either way: children are the future, and we would like for Vincent’s unique story to be part of this future.’
Van Gogh’s route: from rural tranquillity to frenetic city life
Vincent van Gogh travelled thousands of kilometres through different European countries. He stayed in touch with his family by writing countless letters. More than 800 of these letters, some 850 paintings and approximately 1,300 drawings have survived.
The Vincent van Gogh Atlas Junior Edition uses this extensive documentation to chart a course taking in dozens of locations where Vincent lived and worked in the Netherlands, England, Belgium and France: from the rural tranquillity of the Brabant countryside and the South of France to the frenetic city life of cities such as London and Paris.
Where did Van Gogh ultimately become the artist he so dearly wanted to become? To answer this question, the atlas joins Vincent on his journey.
Especially for younger readers
The special junior edition of the atlas has many similarities to the adult edition, which was published in 2015. Both publications follow the same route and offer readers a detailed introduction to Vincent’s personal quest and the contemporary world of his time, which was developing rapidly, due among other things to the emergence of an extensive European railway network.
The junior edition uses age appropriate language and Geert Gratama’s lively illustrations to cater specifically to a younger target group. Younger readers are accessibly and visually immersed in the history of the 19th century and the turbulent life of Vincent van Gogh, the artist and the man.
The book dovetails with the Van Gogh Museum’s goal to use Vincent’s intriguing story to introduce younger generations to art and culture.
The Vincent van Gogh Atlas Junior Edition is available in the Van Gogh Museum shop and webstore, and at bookstores. The introductory retail price is € 19.99 (ISBN 9789047629917). An English translation will be published alongside the Dutch edition.
About the makers
Nienke Denekamp is a journalist and author. She writes for both children and adults. Together with René van Blerk, Denekamp wrote The Vincent van Gogh Atlas, which has been translated into Chinese, Russian, Korean, Japanese, French, German and English. She also wrote The Gauguin Atlas, which has also been published in Russian, German and English. Denekamp also penned The Newspaper Cat, Newspaper Cat, Where Were You? and The Sailor’s ABC, all part of the Little Golden Book series.
René van Blerk
René van Blerk is a Senior Educator at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. He started his career as an art historian and has worked as a primary school teacher. At Rubinstein, he previously wrote the Little Golden Book Vincent and Camille, which was published in nine languages, and Discover the World of Vincent van Gogh (which was also published in English and French). Van Blerk wrote the adult edition of The Vincent van Gogh Atlas together with Nienke Denekamp.
Geert Gratama grew up in Leeuwarden and studied at the Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He is currently based in Naarden, working as an illustrator and graphic designer for publishers, theatre groups, governmental organisations, institutions and companies. Gratama is part of the ‘Lange Halen’ collective: illustrators who work on location, creating quick sketches to help develop ideas.