Dik Trom

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Statue (2006) of Dik Trom riding a donkey, Marktplein (Market Square), Hoofddorp,

Dik Trom is the main character in a series of five children’s books written in the Dutch language. The author, C.Joh. Kieviet wrote the first book in 1891. It was called “Uit het leven van Dik Trom” (“From the life of Dik Trom”). The books became extremely popular and they continue to be very popular today, more than 100 years after they were written.

The Life of Dik Trom[change | change source]

Dik Trom was a naughty boy who got up to lots of tricks with his friends. However, he is a very honest boy and he is very kind, so the readers like him.

Dik Trom lived in the village of Hoofddorp in the Harlemmermeer in the north of Holland. This is the village where the author grew up, so he was setting the stories in his own village, and based a lot of the characters on real people he had known.

Dik’s real name was “Dirk”. This is a common Dutch name. Dirk was very fat, even as a boy, so he soon became known as “Dik” (the Dutch word “dik” means “fat”). The word “trom” means “drum” so his name really means “Fat Drum”.

Dik’s parents love him very much, but they are no good at disciplining him. When he does something naughty his father just says: “‘t is toch een bijzonder kind - dat is-ie” (“he’s a really special child, that he is”).

Dik is always brave, he is never a coward. His friends want to go and annoy a little old lady, but Dik persuades them to go and annoy the village policeman, and he has a leading role in that adventure.

Another adventure tells how Dik said he could ride a donkey without falling off. The donkey belonged to the village merchant, and it was a stubborn beast that always tried to throw off its riders. Dik managed to stay on by sitting backwards on the donkey and holding on to its tail. This is how Dik is usually seen in pictures, and there is a statue of him in the village of Hoofddorp which shows him on the donkey.

Other books about Dik Trom[change | change source]

Kieviet found it difficult at first to find a publisher for his book, because the main character was naughty. Once it had appeared in a second edition with some illustrations it became very popular, and Kieviet followed it with four other books about Dik, and one about Dik’s son. Eight films have been made about Dik Trom, the most recent in 2010.

List of Dik Trom books[change | change source]

  • 1891 Uit het leven van Dik Trom (“From the life of Dik Trom”) Valkhoff & Co.
  • 1907 De zoon van Dik Trom (“Dik Trom’s son”) Valkhoff & Co.
  • 1912 Toen Dik Trom een jongen was (“When Dik Trom was a boy”) Kluitman.
  • 1920 Dik Trom en zijn dorpsgenoten (“Dik Trom and his fellow villagers”) Kluitman.
  • 1923 Het tweede boek van Dik Trom en zijn dorpsgenoten. (“The second book of Dik Trom and his fellow villagers”) Kluitman.
  • 1931 De avonturen van Dik Trom. (“The Adventures of Dik Trom”) Kluitman.

References[change | change source]

  • “Uit het leven van Dik Trom” by C.Joh. Kieviet - Alkmaar gebr. Kluitman