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Pluk van de Petteflet facts for kids

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Tow-Truck Pluck
First edition
Author Annie M.G. Schmidt
Cover artist Fiep Westendorp
Country Netherlands
Language Dutch
Publisher Querido
Publication date
Media type Print
Pages 167
ISBN 978-90-214-8098-5
OCLC 65557528

Tow-Truck Pluck is a children's book by Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt. First published in 1971, it remains in print and is one of the most popular Dutch books for children, and the second most popular book by Schmidt (after Jip and Janneke). A radio drama based on the book was produced in 2002, and a movie in 2004; Tow Truck Pluck ranked No. 10 on the list of most popular Dutch movies between 1996 and 2005 and was awarded platinum status early in January 2005. The cover of Pluk (all drawings are by Schmidt's regular illustrator, Fiep Westendorp) is used to illustrate the article about Schmidt on the website of the "Canon of the Netherlands," and Pluk got his own stamp in 1999.


The book, like Schmidt's other children's novels, has a "realistic, modern setting"—Pluk drives a little truck and has a difficult time finding a place to live—but his world is full of fairy-tale creatures, such as, in this case, talking cockroaches, pigeons, and seagulls; horses of record-length; extinct fantastical birds; and a werewolf who operates a ferry. In its combining reality and magic, Pluk is often mentioned alongside Roald Dahl's The BFG.

Pluk, a young red-haired boy, lives alone in a little room on the top floor of the Petteflet, an apartment building. He has no parents, but he does have a little tow truck. He quickly makes friends, such as Zaza, a cockroach, and Mr. Penn, who operates a bookstore. With the help of Dolly, a friendly pigeon, he exchanges notes and candy with the girl below, Aggie, whose mother is überclean and tries to get Pluk evicted, especially when she sees Zaza in his room (her scheme is foiled with the help of a number of seagulls). With the Stamper family (a single father and six unkempt boys) and Aggie, Pluk spends a week at the beach. The book's biggest adventure is the rescue of the park, which is to make room for developments. Pluk has to travel a great distance to get help from a mysterious hermit (who refers to himself as a hermite); the magic berries he brings back have a strange effect: the construction crew and all the other adults (including the mayor) get giddy and forget all about their task—instead, they go and play. As a final adventure, Pluk helps save a strange bird, the "krullevaar," bred from a mysterious egg he and Aggie found on their vacation at the beach.


Pluk was translated to German as Pluck mit dem Kranwagen; it is praised by German critics as a positive reading experience. Pluk has also appeared in Norwegian, in Polish and in Spanish. The Dutch publisher, Querido, published an English version, translated by David Colmer, under the title Tow-Truck Pluck in 2011. The book is so canonical that occasionally it is used in case studies in language research. According to the Annie M.G. Schmidt website, there are also translations of Pluk in Bulgarian, Danish, Estonian, Afrikaans (Wannie van die woonstel), West Frisian, and Serbo-Croatian.

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