Meet the Illustrator

Kees de Kiefte

Portrait of Kees de Kiefte

Kees de Kiefte, who lived in the Netherlands, illustrated both Dutch-language and English-language books for children. He was known for his simple pen-and-ink drawings, such as those that appear in the Yang books by Lensey Namioka.

De Kiefte was interested in nature, especially bird watching. He was a member of the Artists for Nature Foundation, a Netherlands-based organization of artists whose work focuses attention on nature conservation. You can see De Kiefte's love of nature in his illustrations for such books as The Backyard Bestiary and a biography of the animal scientist Jane Goodall.


Kees de Kiefte said he felt connected to children's books that demonstrate "high quality, personality, simple means, and beauty." As an artist, he said, the most difficult and rewarding challenge was "trying to be yourself and meet your own standards."


Photography Credit

de Kiefte

Other Books Illustrated by Kees de Kiefte

  • Nine Daring Adventures
    (written by Mary Verdick)
  • Jane Goodall
    (written by Eleanor B. Coerr)
  • The Backyard Bestiary
    (written by Ton de Joode and Anthonie Stolk)
  • Story of the Christmas Rose
    (written by I. M. Richardson)
  • Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear
    (written by Lensey Namioka)
  • Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family
    (written by Lensey Namioka)
  • Chuck and Danielle
    (written by Peter Dickinson)
  • Cricket Never Does: A Collection of Haiku and Tanka
    (written by Myra Cohn Livingston)
  • Yang the Eldest and His Odd Jobs
    (written by Lensey Namioka)