Dick Bruna: The Art of Simplicity

My wife’s been ordering Dutch children’s books for Olivia (they’re supposed to help her learn Dutch, but I can guarantee you she won’t be the only one in the house learning from these). In the process I’ve been learning about the classic books that Anna and many other Dutch kids have grown up with. There are several Dutch authors and artists that have gained worldwide renown for their children’s books. One such artist is Dick Bruna.

“Things must be as simple as possible.”

Best known for his “Nijntje” (or “Miffy” in the English version) books, Bruna has sold more than 85 million books which have been translated into over 40 languages worldwide. His books are characterized by simplicity. Simplicity in imagery and in text. With Nijntje (which is the toddler’s way of saying “konijntje”, little rabbit), he had very little means with which to express emotion, only two dots and the cross of the mouth. A perfectionist, Bruna would sometimes spend an entire day perfecting a single image.

“I want to make lots of room for their own imagination.”

Below is a short interview with Dick Bruna, where he talks about the importance of simplicity. Also, check out his bio.

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