Jef Aerts is a Belgian author of children’s books, novels and poetry. He 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 and Iran.
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. Rights are sold to Serbia and Hongary.
Kersenhemel (Cherry Heaven) is a new picture book that was published in February 2017. It 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 book was awarded a Vlag en Wimpel from the Griffel Jury in 2018. The English translation will be published in 2019.
Jef Aerts has three children and lives in a small farm with lots of animals.
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‘In Jef Aerts children’s literature has acquired a new big name.’ - GRIFFEL JURY REPORT 2014