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How we defeated the monster

Amsterdam children’s stories during the pandemic

‘I am going to tell you a wonderful story. It started a few weeks ago when we had to keep our distance.’

When you are only ten years old, this corona time will leave a lasting impression. No school for four months feels like an eternity. Especially if you do not have all the resources at home to help you with your digital education and your parents are unable to help with home schooling.

The book Hoe we het monster versloegen (‘How we defeated the monster’) tells the stories of Amsterdam children. During lockdown and in the summer, writers offered these children creative writing workshops. Their imagination came to life and stories were created about how they experienced these times.


Time capsule
The stories are about the virus, quarantine and lockdown. They are angry, scared, sad, funny, courageous and especially full of fantasy. The book is like a time capsule. In twenty years’ time we will reread this book and say: ah yes. That’s how it was then. That weird corona year. These stories illustrate how children experienced this corona period.

The stories express hope with regard to the future of the world and their own life. Children have plenty of creativity… more than enough to take on any monster. These children are the future. Just read for yourself!

An extraordinary collaboration

Hoe we het monster versloegen was created and edited by Anna van Praag, author of children’s and youth books, with imaginative illustrations by Marc Suvaal, graphic designer and illustrator, with a degree from the Rotterdam art academy.

The creative writing workshops for children were organised by Stichting voor Kennis en Sociale Cohesie (SKC) (Foundation for Knowledge and Social Cohesion). SKC believes in young people’s potential. There are relatively many young people in the big city who are growing up in a disadvantaged environment. As a result, they often have less chances to develop to their full potential. SKC is convinced that these young people have what it takes to be successful. They also can participate with the correct help and support.

The book was published by ROSE stories. With a keen eye for talent and awareness of what is going on in the world around, ROSE stories collects stories and introduces these to the world, together with the narrator.

This room is curated by:
ROSE stories & Stichting Kennis en Scoiale Cohesie


Het huis van Amsterdam met dank aan: Gemeente Amsterdam West Soundtrackcity