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Learn how to cycle with Jip and Janneke

Today it’s Annie M.G. Schmidt day. The Dutch children’s book author was born on this day. She died in 1996. She wrote in easy, understandable Dutch. We call this Jip and Janneke taal. After the popular Jip and Janneke book series. These were my favourite when I was young.  The two kids go on adventures close to home. Jip and Janneke are tireless daredevils. There’s this one story of Jip. He uses his father’s bike. He is wobbling, but he can do it. He is convinced he knows how to ride a bike.  Janneke encourages him. He wants to show Janneke his tricks. Then the bicycle falls over.

You can learn how to cycle when you just belief in yourself

I’m writing an article about adults learning how to ride a bike. It’s for the Access Magazine summer edition 2016. It’s great fun, because I meet lots of women and men. Future cyclists of the Netherlands. They want to learn how to cycle. They remind me of this story of Jip and Janneke. They also keep trying. No matter if they wobble or fall of their bikes. Just like Jip. And the cycling learners encourage each other. For children it’s easy to learn how to cycle. That’s what some Dutch people say. They say  adults think too much. Could be. But if all cycling learners, young and old have the same attitude as Jip, they will succeed and learn how to ride a bicycle.


Be like daredevil Jip. Keep trying. Cross boundaries. Keep believing in yourself. I look forward to cycling with you in the Netherlands.

Cover picture 'Two kids in Holland' by Annie M.G. Schmidt. Drawing made by Fiep Westerdorp
Cover of book ‘Two kids in Holland’ by Annie M.G. Schmidt. Drawing made by Fiep Westerdorp


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