In October 2009 the American author F’Allen Griffin and Dutch illustrator Karen Kommer published a book with a Dutch-American theme. The book is published by the Stichting Kinderboekenmarkt, the Dutch Children’s Book Fair Foundation, to accompany the 2009 annual kinderboekenmarkt in The Hague. We acquired a copy.
A bilingual children’s book
The book is Tecumseh TenSee is bilingual: each chapter is printed in Dutch followed by the English version. We asked Ilana, a 10-year old American girl to read the English chapters and assist with this review, an assignment she enjoyed. On a scale from 1 to 10 she would rate it a 9.
Tecumseh TenSee is the name of the main character, an American boy with Native American and Dutch ancestors. “Tecumseh turns 11 years old and goes to Grand Father Oak who tells him he’ll have a vision”. The American boy experiences a coming of age vision, and in his vision he meets his Native American ancestors, as well as his Dutch grandfather in the Netherlands.
“A very brave main character”
“It was an exciting book; the main character is very brave because he traveled a long way with nobody watching him.”
The illustrations in the book were by Karen Kommer. “The pictures in the book had everything the story was about; a little confusing, but you get it”. The book contains many biographical elements, including the references to Serpent Mound in Ohio.
The cover text: “An American boy of partly Indian descent, sets off on the night before his eleventh birthday, on a search through the Ohio Valley for the vision of his famous Shawnee ancestors Tecumseh and Tenskatawa.
In the magical vision quest through time TenSee, as he calls himself, transforms into a young Griffin Buzzard and flies over the Atlantic Ocean to the Nether Lands. He meets Janneke the Dragon Fly and they find their philosophy of life: Peace is the heartbeat of nature. Tecumseh TenSee is meant to inspire avid 10+ readers and seekers.”
Where to buy
The book is for sale at the Stichting Kinderboekenmarkt, Stationsweg 93 (de Gebarenwinkel), 2515 BK Den Haag. The price is €7.35; shipping in the Netherlands is available for €1.25. Contact the publisher for purchasing information for the US.
Author: F’Allen Griffin, illustrations: Karen Kommer
ISBN 978 90 453 1043 5