Childrens Books


In the folklore and legends of the Netherlands and Belgium, Zwarte Piet (meaning Black Pete) is a companion of Saint Nicholas (Dutch: Sinterklaas) whose yearly feast in the Netherlands is usually celebrated on the evening of 5 December and 6 December in Belgium, when they distribute sweets and presents to all good children. The characters of Zwarte Pieten appear only in the weeks before Saint Nicholas's feast, first when the saint is welcomed with a parade as he arrives in the country (generally by boat, having traveled from Madrid, Spain). The tasks of the Zwarte Pieten are mostly to amuse children, and to scatter candies for those who come to meet the saint as he visits. According to myths dating to the beginning of the 19th century, Saint Nicholas operated by himself or in the companionship of a devil. Having triumphed over evil, it was said that on Saint Nicholas Eve the devil was shackled and made his slave; a devil as a helper of the saint can still be found in the Austrian Saint Nicholas tradition, in the character of Krampus. Another explanations is that Pete is an Ethiopian slave freed by St. Nick, or a Moor with origins in Spain. The lyrics of older traditional Sinterklaas songs warn that while Sinterklaas and his assistant will leave well-behaved children presents, they will punish those who have been very naughty. For example, they will take bad children and carry these children off in a burlap sack to their homeland of Spain, where, according to legend, Sinterklaas and his helper dwell out of season. These songs and stories also warn that a child who has been only slightly naughty will not get a present, but a "roe", which is a bundle of birch twigs, implying that they could have gotten a birching instead, or they will simply receive a lump of coal instead of gifts. Until the second half of the 20th century, Saint Nicholas' helper was not too bright, in line with the old colonial traditions. Once immigration started from the former colonised countries, Zwarte Piet became a much more respected assistant of Saint Nicholas, often inattentive, but playful. Zwarte Piet is today commonly depicted as a black person in the colorful pantaloons, feathered cap and ruffles of a Renaissance European page, a tradition that comes from a children's book published in 1850. Attempts to make him more politically correct suggest that Black Pete’s black face is actually the result of climbing down chimneys to deliver presents. The subject of Zwarte Piet is highly controversial. "It has to be the most racist celebration in contemporary Western civilization,” writes Anthony Murrell, a black American resident of Amsterdam. “It serves as a virtual assault on all black and brown people living in Holland.” In a Facebook post to civil rights campaigner Rev. Al Sharpton, Murrell argues for cultural sanctions against the Netherlands in response to Black Pete.

adb082 Sinterklaas book (no title)

Price: $50

adb083 Sinterklaas book (no title)

Price: $50


Sinterklaas is jarig

Nans van Leeuwen 1980

Price: $50


Daar wordt aan de deur geklopt...

Mulder & Zoon 1996

Price: $50


O, Komer eens kyken..

Price: $50


Zie de maan schynt door de bomen...

Mulder & Zoon 1996

Price: $50


10 Sinterklaas Verhalen.

Price: $150


The golliwog, golliwogg or golly was a black character in children's books in the late 19th century usually depicted as a type of rag doll. It was reproduced, both by commercial and hobby toy-makers as a children's toy called the "golliwog", and had great popularity in North America, Europe and Australia into the 1970s. The doll is characterised by black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips, and frizzy hair. While home-made golliwogs were sometimes female, the golliwog was generally male. For this reason, in the period following World War II. the golliwog was seen, along with the teddy bear, as a suitable soft toy for a young boy. The image of the doll has become the subject of heated debate. While some see the golliwog as a cherished cultural artifact and childhood tradition, others argue that the golliwog is a destructive instance of racism against people of African descent, along with pickaninnies, minstrels, mammy figures, and other caricatures, and has been described as "the least known of the major anti-Black caricatures in the United States".In recent years, changing political attitudes with regard to race have reduced the popularity and sales of golliwogs as toys. Manufacturers who have used golliwogs as a motif have either withdrawn them as an icon, or changed the name. In particular, the association of the golliwog with the pejorative term "wog" has resulted in use of alternative names such as "golly" and "golly doll".


Amelia Jane Again!

Enid Blyton 1988

Price: $80