Although a star in her own country, [Tonke Dragt] is virtually unknown in the UK. But that’s slowly changing with last year’s English translation, the first ever, of her 1962 adventure story The Letter for the King (De Brief Voor de Koning) and, this month, the appearance of its sequel, The Secrets of the Wild Wood. The Letter for the King is a Dutch classic, winning the country’s children’s book of the year award in 1963 and, in 2004, the “Griffel der Griffels” for best children’s novel of the past 50 years. Translated into many languages, it has sold over a million copies worldwide.
Tonke Dragt’s The Secrets of the Wild Wood, translated by Laura Watkinson, is published by Pushkin Press.