Sieb Posthuma (1960-) Biography
Personal, Addresses, Career, Honors Awards, Writings, Sidelights
Born 1960, in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Education: Rietveld Academy, degree in visual arts, 1987.
Agent—Thijs Faas, FAAS MM, Herengracht 596, 1017 CJ Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Freelance illustrator and author. Commercial projects include political cartoons, adult and children's books, animated films, postal stamps, CD covers, and posters. Clients include Amnesty International, Dutch AIDS Fund, Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Dutch Ministry of Justice, Roche Pharmaceuticals, and others. Exhibitions: Centraal Museum, Utrecht; Museum Het Schielandhuis, Rotterdam; National Parliament, The Hague; OXO Tower, London; and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.
Best Book Design, The Netherlands, 1993 and 2000; Silver Award, American Society of Newspaper Design, 1998; honorable mention, Griffeljury, 2002.
(Self-illustrated) Rintje [The Netherlands], 2001, translation published as Benny, Kane/Miller (La Jolla, CA), 2003.
(Self-illustrated) Rintje ruikt avontuur, Querido, 2003.
Has provided illustrations to adult and children's books in The Netherlands, including the works of William Shakespeare, Isaac B. Singer, and Thomas Mann. Author of a weekly comic strip based on Benny for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.
In 1987 Sieb Posthuma graduated from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and immediately found work as a freelance illustrator in The Netherlands. His editorial and commercial work ranges from political cartoons to books, lifestyle drawings, animated films, logos, postage stamps, telephone cards, CD covers, and charity campaigns.
Posthuma has illustrated numerous books in The Netherlands, including works by William Shakespeare and Thomas Mann. He has also mounted exhibitions in The Netherlands and London. It is as a children's book author and illustrator, however, that he has finally made
an international mark. In September, 2001, his first picture book, Rintje, based on the adventures of his own dog, was published in The Netherlands. It has since been translated into English and published in America as Benny. The character has proven so popular in his native land that he now appears in a weekly comic strip.
Benny the dog has a problem. He can't find his favorite bone. With mounting anxiety young Benny discovers that he can't smell anything—not the goods in the bakery, the old leather boots, or the "wonderful, filthy dog poop." A trip to the doctor leads to a diagnosis: Benny has a cold. His mother serves up a happy ending, and Benny's all-important sense of smell is restored. In her Horn Book review of the work, Christine M. Heppermann liked the way Posthuma's "quirky visual touches … extend the humor" of an already humorous situation. Ilene Cooper in Booklist also found the illustrations "quite delightful" for their "… peppy mix of pure canine and human characteristics." A Publishers Weekly critic deemed Benny "a heartwarming comedy for the cold season."
Posthuma told SATA that he regularly draws inspiration "from watching how people interact in daily life, and the absurdities associated with it."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Booklist, February 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Benny, p. 1077.
Horn Book, July-August, 2003, Christine M. Heppermann, review of Benny, p. 446.
Publishers Weekly, January 27, 2003, review of Benny, p. 258.
School Library Journal, August, 2003, Maryann H. Owen, review of Benny, p. 140.*