Guus Kuijer is a Dutch author I got to know by his five books about the girl Madelief. I loved those books when I was a child, kept rereading them until my collegeyears and the books (I own them in the shown omnibus) survived several rounds of bookshelf-cleaningup. This battle made me read them again for the first time since, well years, and I still loved every page of them.
To me, Madelief appears a girl about 7-8 years old in the first book, and approximately 11 years old in the last one. She is a rather dominant, selfconscious type of girl, but also warmhearted, cheeky and witty in her contact with other children. And a tomboy. She lives in an unnamed big city in the Netherlands, with her unnamed mother -who works a lot. The books were written mainly in the seventies of the 20th century, and that tells. Her mother very empathically doesn’t need a man, Madelief doesn’t go to daycare when her mother works but is left alone a lot, and her mother and teacher are very much the nonautoritairy raising kind of people.
What I like mostly in the books, is the fact that it describes real life with all its struggles -in a way it still is appealing to read for young children for who the books are meant in the first place. In short chapters is described how Madelief plays with her friends (and fights with them), is discovering the world around her, and above all, is trying to understand adult people. Who are, in Kuijers books, very often weird, sometimes unreliable, and most of the time, very non-understandable Human Beings.