This week we look at the hit Dutch children's series Dummy the Mummy, about a boy who finds a mummy in his bed.
Full title: Dummy the Mummy and the Golden Scarab is the first title in a seven-book series. The series chronicles the adventures and mishaps a boy and his unexpected new friend, a mummy, enjoy.
First published in: The first book in the series was released in the Netherlands in March 2009, by Van Goor, part of Unieboek–Het Spectrum BV.
Format: 256-page hardcover, with black and white illustrations
Author: Tosca Menten, a former teacher, published her first children's book in 1999. A number of her books have been nominated for children's literary awards in the Netherlands.
Acquiring Editor: The series was originally bought by Susanne Diependaal, who is now publisher for children's and YA at Unieboek–Het Spectrum BV.
How It’s Performed: Every book in the series has spent at least a few weeks on the Dutch children’s bestseller list. Rights to the books have been sold to 11 countries, including RCS Libri Spa (Italy) and Bayard Editions SAS (France). Over 212,000 copies of the books in the series have sold in the Netherlands and, in 2013, the movie rights were acquired by the Dutch production company PV Pictures. The first Dummy the Mummy movie came out in the Netherlands in October 2014; the film adaptation of the second book in the series is set for December.
Why They Think It’s Working: Diependaal calls the books "truly original" and feels kids are responding to the positive message in the series, namely that people should not be judged based on their looks. Diependaal also thinks kids enjoy the fact that the series teaches them a bit about ancient Egypt. Beyond that, she said kids like reading about "two boys, a clumsy father, a donkey, an understanding teacher and a mean school boss."