Van Stockum was known for her warm and vivid, but realistic depictions of family life, often in the face of difficulty or danger. Her most famous book, The Winged Watchman (1962, named a "Notable Book" by the American Library Association), tells the story of two young boys living in a windmill who help the Dutch resistance during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.
5/08/08 Option Renewed. This means the producer with the option to do the movie has extended the option for another 18 months. This is a good sign that the movie is being seriously considered for production. The original 18 months was extended by the length of the movie screenwriters' strike.
1/05/06 Option Agreed to The Winged Watchman has been optioned for a movie. This means a producer is exploring the idea of making a movie out of the book and has purchased the exclusive right to do this for 18 months, renewable for another 18 months.HvS's six children are excited about the possibility that the movie will be made.
The Winged Watchman - Blog Comments
1/9/07 (STUDEO Blog) "Hilda van Stockum and Hope" - We had a teen discussion last night on Hilda Van Stockum's The Winged Watchman, a family story set in Holland during the terrible day of the Nazi occupation during World War II. There were ten teens and four moms and we had quite a wonderful discussion. Even though it can be considered a simple children's story, it has a great deal of depth and wisdom in it. We spent a lot of time discussion details of the story - conflicts in people's hearts and families because of the war, character development, perspective and lots more. It was also a nice opportunity to discuss how we are affected by stories and what the author accomplishes through her characters. We thought it was a bit of a "soft" story in a way - no real sharp edges, you know. The Verhagen family is a family we can relate to even though circumstances force them to be "more than" themselves. It seems that the author also uses them as a sort of lens through which we can understand some more difficult things as well. For example, though the mother of the Verhagen family is admirable and heroic and suffers through fear and want, we can relate to her because she is not so very far from ourselves. And yet, through her, we better understand the heroism and deprivation in those we are less able to relate to. She helps us understand them better (in an "even more so" sort of way), but she also (Mrs. Verhagen still in case this is getting too confusing) shows us a path of action that we could imitate if we found ourselves in difficult circumstances. Mrs. Verhagen must make difficult decisions, unselfishly, and she helps us to believe that these choices, in the end, will make us happier.