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Princess Laurentien reads to schoolchildren

Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands was the Children Books Museum in The Hague last Wednesday to read to a group of children from a picture book called, “Shhhh….The tiger is sleeping.” She did this on the occasion of the so-called Reading Breakfast.

The children were enthralled by Princess Laurentien as she read the story about a group of animals who tried to get passed a sleeping tiger and clapped enthusiastically when the story was done. The book was written by Britta Tecktrup, a German author and illustrator, and was chosen as the picture book of the year.

Princess Laurentien has been aiding the fight against illiteracy in the Netherlands for a long time and became a UNESCO Special Envoy on “Literacy for Development” in recognition of her “outstanding commitment to the promotion of education and her profound dedication to the Organization’s ideals and objectives” in 2009. She received the Major Bosshardt Prize for her work in combating illiteracy in 2010.

The National Reading Days have been happening since 2004 and are an initiative of the Reading Foundation. They encourage the reading to children in the age of six months to six years. Princess Laurentien has been working with them for years and is often joined by Dutch celebrities. Chief of Police Erik Akkerboom also read to a class of children from “Shhhh….The tiger is sleeping” and later told the press, “The book is about a number of animals that have to pass a sleeping tiger. They do that quite ingeniously. As the police, we like to visit schools. We like to make contact with the youth in a positive way, and reading to them tickles the imagination.”

Princess Laurentien is the wife of Prince Constantijn, the younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. They married in 2001 and had three children together, Countess Eloise (born 2002), Count Claus-Casimir (born 2004) and Countess Leonore (born 2006).

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