White Ravens: Dutch

139 books      

Belgium (Dutch) - 1993 - 166
Moeyaert, Bart (text)
Heymans, Annemie (illus.)
Voor altijd, altijd
(For Always, Always)
Tilburg: Zwijsen, 1992.
ISBN 90-276-2324-4
death - emotion
A red-headed woman sits by the lake. She is very sad. She misses Tasja Mei. Upon seeing the woman, Nanne is curious about the story behind her sadness. She first thinks Tasja Mei is a run-away cat. From Neuling she learns the real identity of Tasja Mei. “Tasja Mei was drowned last summer. She was only 8 years old. She could have been your girlfriend (...) Willa Mei is her mother. She went crazy because of her grief. She is the strangest mother in the village." In a sensitive way the theme of death is discussed, The characters and their feelings are precisely described in pure and well-chosen words. (8+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1994 - 199
Lieshout, Ted van (text/illus.)
Multiple Noise
(Multiple Noise)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 1992. 64 p.
ISBN 90-258-3962-2
With this title Van Lieshout reaches the summit of juvenile verse-writing in Holland. It is not a book of poetry in the classical sense, but rather a genesis. The subtitle Poems, Studies, Thumbnail Sketches and Rough Drafts" clearly indicates the book's intention. With the illustrations and poems presented side by side, the poet and illustrator, in one person, feel at ease with each other, "There is not so much difference between a poem and a drawing. One starts with a blank sheet of paper on which something has to come into existence. One draws words with lines or one writes with lines a drawing." The poems show someone searching for something, someone longing for freedom and security, someone's moods and thoughts. At the end of the book, the various illustration techniques are explained, adding a further dimension to the publication. It is to be commended that Lieshout's publisher dares to publish a book of this kind, which is likely to appeal only to a small readership. (13+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1994 - 200
Vries, Anke de
Blauwew plekken
(Black and Blue)
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1992. 170 p.
ISBN 90-6069-831-2
Child Abuse
Even if Judith does her best, she can never please her mother. Once in a terrible rage, her mother beat Judith black and blue. The girl had to invent stories to cover up for her absence from school. By making friends with her new classmate Michiel, she discovers what it means to live in a happy family. For a long time no one had been aware of Judith's problem, but finally Michiel grows suspicious and able to provide some help. This is a fascinating and smoothly written book with an open end that incites the reader to think things over. The prospect that Judith will get help is only touched upon. In this near documentary story of an abused child, the childhood experiences of Judith's mother, which lay at the root of her own behavior, are also described in a captivating way. (11+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1994 - 201
Kolk, Anton van der (text)
Fialkowski, Camila (illus.)
Een pelikaan op straat
(A Pelican Out on the Streets)
Amsterdam: Van Goor, 1992. 136 p.
ISBN 90-00-02887-6
Multicultural Society - Moving House - Culture Clash
Six-year-old Marita moves from a small Costa Rican island, to the Netherlands, to live with Erik, her mother's boyfriend. Everything there is different, causing some funny situations to arise. It is not easy for the spontaneous Marita to get used to a country in which it often rains, is often chilly and there are strange habits to get used to every day. The problems caused by this move, the adjustment to an entirely new way of life. are perceptively described by the author in this debut novel, a smoothly written story. This book was awarded the Jenny Smelik IBBY Prize In 1993, which is given an author or illustrator of a juvenile work that contributes to the better understanding of minority groups, especially allochtonous peoples. (8+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1995 - 166
Biegel, Paul (text)
van der Veen, Fiel (illus.)
De soldatenmaker
(The soldier-makers)
Haarlem: Uitgeverij Holland, 1994. 142 p.
ISBN 900-251-0704-4
Sibling rivalry - Tin soldiers - Dream/Reality
The narrator of this novel tells about a period in his childhood when every night tin and lead soldiers meet in his garden to do battle with one another. Yet he is drawn into this mysterious warfare. He is expected to melt down the wounded soldiers and make new, battle-ready ones. But he doesn't know what side to take and, above all, whether he isn't just dreaming it all; he repeatedly finds signs that this other world really exists. Even in the end, the reader is also left with unanswered question in this gripping adventure set somewhere between reality and fantasy. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1995 - 167
Hazelhoff, Veronica (text)
van Poppel, Peter (illus.)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1994. 73 p.
ISBN 90-214-6548-5
Sister/Twin - Sibling rivalry - Friendship - Loneliness
Vacation with the parents at the seashore. Nini is bored because the only child to be seen for miles around is her twin sister Maya. And she is so different from everyone else, difficult and withdrawn. When they meet Nessa, Nini wants nothing more than to have her as a friend. But Nessa feels more drawn to Maya. They seem to understand each other without many words, and Maya begins to open up a little. Feeling left out and lonely, Nini even finds herself thinking how useful it would be if Maya would just disappear. But in the end both of the twins recognize that they belong together and need each other. This complicated story of sibling rivalry and growing up is told in a gentle sensitive narrative. (12+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1995 - 168
Provoost, Anne
Baarn: Houtekiet, 1994. 264 p.
ISBN 90-5240-2278-7
Grandfather/Grandson - Death - Second World War/Past/Present - Scapegoat
Fascism and racism in history and today are the main elements of this young adult no- vel. When his grandfather dies and it be- comes known that he had betrayed Jews in hiding during World War Two, Lucas dis- covers that the past can catch up with you. He is told that he has many of his grand- father's traits. When he rescues his girl- friend from a burning car, no one will be- lieve that it had been an accident. People suggest that he has a violent character. (14+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1995 - 169
Tellegen, Toon (text)
Berner, Rotraut Susanne (illus.)
Mijn vader
(My father)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1994. 86 p.
ISBN 90-214-8371-8
(Dt. Ausg.: Josefs Vater. Übers. v. Mirjam Pressler. München: Hanser, 1994. 86 S. ISBN 3-446-17794-9)
Everyday life
One day a dot rolls into Josef's life, gets bigger and bigger and soon has arms and legs and a head. "I am your father," he says. And soon Josef knows that this father is someone very special. It is not just because he is taller than all other people, he can simply do anything: he can help Josef out when he is doing mental arithmetic, help him do acrobatic tricks at the gym, or even chase a scoundrel out of is bedroom. He is always there. He can be funny or sometimes just plain normal. When he finally disappears, Josef is sure that his father will return. After all, he can do thousands of things. A funny story of everyday life in an unusual family, told from a child's perspective. (8+) ☼

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 233
Dekkers, Midas (text)
Vrede, Angela de (illus.)
Neuzen in je oksel
(Put Your Nose in Your Armpit)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 1995. 46 p.
ISBN 90-258-3389-6
Plants - Animals - Anatomy
Midas Dekkers has constructed this book using a typical, associative technique. He describes various anatomical characteristics of human beings, animals and plants, and takes these as a starting point to highlight all kinds of characteristics and behaviours of the owners. The illustrations, consisting of juxtaposed loose elements of various organisms, are not only functional but very beautiful. Midas Dekkers' narrative technique and Angela de Vrede's illustrative style go hand in hand in this book. (9+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 234
Hagen, Hans (text)
Geelen, Harrie (illus.)
Stilte a.u.b. ik denk aan de kip
(Quiet Please, I'm Thinking of Chicken)
Amsterdam: Van Goor, 1995. 32 p.
ISBN 90-00-03046-3
Death - Mourning - Dreams
In this book, the death of a friend is not presented in tragic or inevetable terms. Each in their own way, Onno Ebe, cockerel and crow try to deal with chicken's death, and to accept it by letting their dreams and thoughts take their own course. In this way, a new bond with chicken evolves. The picture book, with its sober yet effective use of words, a poetic language without frills, certainly stimulate the reader's thoughts about life and death. (5+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 235
Jong, Trude de (text)
Dematons, Charlotte (illus.)
Een verboden kind
(A Forbidden Child)
Amsterdam: De Harmonie, 1995. 204 p.
ISBN 90-6169-492-2
The Netherlands/World War II - Mother/Daughter
As far as Erica knows her father died in the war. She now (circa 1955) lives with her mother and her aunt in a bourgeois street in The Hague. At home Erica receives evasive answers to her questions but gradually she finds out that during the Second World War her mother had an affair with a German soldier.The descriptions of the relationship between Erica and her mother is handled with sensitivity. Incomprehension and anger gradually make way for understanding and appreciation. (11+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 236
Mileau, Sofie (pseud. of Carry Slee) (text)
The Tjong Khing (illus.)
Haas en kip
(Hare and Chicken)
Houten: Van Holkema & Warendorf, 1995. 30 p.
ISBN 90-269-3903-3
Love - Friendship - Differences
This story deals with relationships. How can two individuals love each other, in spite of, or perhaps because of all their differences. A mosaic of poetic stories. In a few deliberate and well-chosen words, the author evokes feelings of friendship and love. The gossamer drawings are moving, sober and recognizable. With a few lines the illustrator expresses deep feelings. (5+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 237
Moeyaert, Bart (text)
Poppel, Peter van (illus.)
Blote handen
(Bare Hands)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1995. 94 p.
ISBN 90-214-7573-5
Death - Grief - Loneliness - Revenge
On New Year's Eve, Ward, his dog Elmer and his best friend Bernie are caught by Betjeman who kills Elmer with his plastic hand. Bernie and Ward can only think of revenge and return to Betjeman's house. Bernie with a knife, Ward with his bare hands.The book has a stifling and indeterminate mixture of feelings and moods, an intrinsic tension that keeps the reader in suspense. Ward's sorrow over the loss of Elmer, his feelings of hatred, resentment, fear and insecurity are expressed in a subtle, indirect and suggestive way. The subdued, poetic language, the sober narrative style and the deliberately frugal way in which the story is told contribute to his fascination. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 238
Vries, Anke de (text)
Walraven, Ilja (illus.)
Mijn olifant kan bijna alles
(My Elephant Can Do Most Everything)
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1995. 30 p.
ISBN 90-6069-988-2
An elephant who can do most everything: stand on a balloon (at least, when he holds his breath) or hang from the ceiling like a gnat. He can do most everything, but he can't stand being away from his young master. When he is off to school, the elephant is sad. When he comes home, elephant can do everything again. A simple picture book with clear, colorful illustrations by a promising children's book illustrator. (3+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1996 - 239
Wilmink, Willem (text)
Ali Baba en de veertig tekenaars
(Ali Baba and his Forty Illustrators)
Amsterdam: Zirkoon (De Bijenkorf), 1995. 85 p. With illustrations
ISBN 90-71442-68-3
In this text, originally published in 1983, Willem Wilmink tells the story of Ali Baba and the 40 thieves in rhyme. The story is told in forty stanzas, each one a little gem of playful rhyming. »This book should please everyone who likes horror stories,« as he says in his introduction. But it is not so much the text which makes this book so special. With each stanza, a renowned illustrator has given his or her view on the story. This makes for an exuberant and colorful mosaic of illustrations in a great diversity of styles. Beneath the illustration plates, which are attached by the upper edge only, a small biography of the illustrator is included. Also, all the artists have left their fingerprint in gold next to their illustrations. The book, including its excellent design and typography, can be considered representative of the current standard of Dutch children's book illustrations. (8+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1997 - 233
Boonen, Heide (text)
Dendooven, Gerda (illus.)
Mijn vingers zijn niet lang genoeg
(My fingers aren't long enough)
Averbode: Altiora, 1996. 46 p.
ISBN 90-317-1222-1
Mother/Daughter - Death - Accident
Charlotte dreams about her mother, who was killed in a car crash. »Charlotte loved the night, she hated the day. Particularly that day. The car came from nowhere.« At night, she sees her mother again and again in her dreams. Although all the objects in her room, including her doll Cuddles, sympathize with her, they have their own lives as well. For instance, the wardrobe (Napoleon III) is in love with the wardrobe in the neighbor's house across the road, while Dorien, the spider, is pregnant. When the sun takes the place of the moon, Charlotte wakes up sadly, crying. Essentially this story is about a young girl's process of mourning following her mother's death, but amusing situations counterbalance deep-felt emotions in a harmonious way. The story is written in subdued and plain language, which finds its match in the typography and the illustrations. A very special book which will stimulate much thought. (8+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1997 - 234
De Maeyer, Gregie (text)
Vanmechelen, Koen (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Averbode: Altiora, 1996. 29 p.
ISBN 90-317-1196-9
Psychoterror - Bully
This is a daring and challenging story about a boy who wants to escape bullying. He thinks he can save himself by taking away the causes. He shaves his bright red hair, cuts his flap-ears, pinches his squint eyes. Alas, to no avail. A fairy tale of the cruellest sort, with the clearest possible message. A unique project combining a story and pictures of the »unmaking« of a wooden sculpture of Juul, it is ideal for reading and talking about bullying with children in primary schools, and upwards. (6+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1997 - 235
De Maeyer, Gregie (text/illus.)
Meersman, Karl (illus.)
Leuven: Davidsfonds/Infodok, 1996. 67 p.
ISBN 90-6565-745-2
Bakery - Marzipan
In the bakery, the little rolls, the pies, the monkey cookies and the chocolates are quarreling. Who would be the most tasty one of them all? August, the little marzipan clown, does not join in. He just sits there, looking a little sad. After a while, Marie and Maarten enter the store. They buy a lot of goodies, including August. At home Maarten talks to August while eating him. A very snappy and original story about eating and being eaten to read aloud or to be read by children themselves. The powerful illustrations are always a colorful surprise and go hand in hand with the text. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 236
Kuiper, Nannie (text)
Hopman, Philip (illus.)
Het kleuterwoordenboek
(The toddler's dictionary)
Amsterdam: Piramide, 1996. 112 p.
ISBN 90-245-2584-5
Vocabulary - Short story
In nearly one hundred short stories, each dealing with a particular word, children are taught to extend their vocabulary in a playful manner. The stories are divided into five chapters in which various subjects are dealt with in alphabetical order. Sophy and Martin, who are friends, are the main characters in each story, which means that the book can also be read as a whole. In a very clever way Nannie Kuiper is able to make ideas, emotions, words understandable to very young children. The cheerful, colorful illustrations by Philip Hopman are an excellent complement to the stories, even giving them an extra dimension by treating an idea with humor. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 237
Geelen, Harrie (text/illus.)
Jan en het gras
(Jan and the grass)
Amsterdam: Van Goor, 1996. 36 p.
ISBN 90-00-03095-1
Ability - Self-confidence
Jan is good at nothing. At least, that's what he thinks. The grass philosophizes with John about what 'nothing' is. 'Nothing' can also be 'very, very much'. Jan can tread on the grass, pick flowers, play pirate games, and find a buried treasure. He even saves a worm and also 'a funny little animal which lay on its back and couldn't get up anymore'. These heroic deeds are written in the sky in big letters, so that everbody can read about them. A deceptively simple tale, the plot works very subtly. In words and pictures, Geelen places his readers right in the middle of Jan's world. He uses recognizable elements from the world of children in order to explain an abstract notion like 'nothing'. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 238
Leeuwen, Joke van (text/illus.)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1996. 151 p.
ISBN 90-214-7326-7
Bird - Assimilation - Freedom
Viegeltje, a »bird-girl«, looks like a human, except for her wings, but has very birdlike habits. Her foster parents, Warre and Tinne, try to raise her as a human child, but Viegeltje keeps her distance from them. Nobody knows what is going on in her mind, but it is clear that she has an enormous longing for freedom, which in the end leads to a nonetheless surprising departure. In order to say goodbye, Warre and Tinne follow her, having some bizarre adventures along the way. The longing for freedom and independence and the fear of being deserted is movingly expressed. The illustrations form an inseparable whole with the text. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 239
Lier, Bas van (text)
Braamhorst, Jan (illus.)
Het VOC-schip »De halve maan«
(The East Indian Company's ship »The half moon«)
Amsterdam: Ploegsma, 1996. 80 p.
ISBN 90-216-1199-6
The Netherlands/History 18th century - Trading ship
This story deals with the maiden voyage of »The Half Moon« (a fictitious ship which bears a great deal of resemblance to well-known 18th century ships), which served the United East Indian Company. In this successful combination of fiction and nonfiction, a glorious era in Dutch history is brought to life through the story and in the informative passages dealing not just with heroic deeds, but everyday life as well. The engrossing and historically accurate illustrations are complementary to the text and provide the reader with a great deal of pleasure. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 240
Schubert, Ingrid (text/illus.)
Schubert, Dieter (text/illus.)
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1996. 26 p.
ISBN 90-5637-046-4
Forest - Magician - Threat - Animal - Solidarity
Although the animals in Darkwood had never had any trouble with the wizard Macrobius before, suddenly no animal was safe from him. The animals come up with a marvellous magic trick in order to settle accounts with the bad wizard. Together, appearing as one great monster, they scare the living daylights out of the wizard, who flees into the forest. But in the end, they make peace with each other again. This wonderful picture book uses a well-constructed dramatic tension, which resolves into a very satisfactory ending. The illustrations accompanying this amusing story are very detailed, which makes for a beautiful book. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 241
Vijgen, Theo (text)
Nuyten, Peter (illus.)
Tipi's, totems en tomahawks. Het leven van de Noordamerikaanse Indianen
(Tipis, totem poles and tomahawks. The life of the North-American Indians)
Nijmegen: SUN, 1996. 183 p.
ISBN 90-6168-459-5
North America/Indians
The way Indians are depicted in many children's books is very remote from the truth: from good, noble folk to bloodthirsty savages. This book rectifies this prejudice by providing a clear history of the life of the North-American Indians from the very beginning, about 40,000 years ago. In words and pictures ample attention is paid to the Indians' everyday life, to the various tribes and their chiefs, and to the relationship between Indians and whites. The book concludes with a chapter on life in the reservations, and the current Indian protests with regards to territorial rights. A very full, informative and entertaining history which does full justice to the North-American Indians. (12+) ☆

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1997 - 242
Vriens, Jacques (text)
Schaap, Annet (illus.)
Meester Jaap
(Mr. Jaap)
Houten: Van Holkema en Warendorf, 1996. 45 p.
ISBN 90-269-8883-4
School - Teacher - Short story
Every day, something funny happens in Mr. Jaap's classroom. A fight with toilet paper, a Christmas dinner with green cabbage on the menu, or a dressup party which ends in complete chaos. Sometimes, less pleasant things occur as well, but in these situations Mr. Jaap usually finds an amusing solution. In these twenty stories, Vriens paints a sparkling picture of a classroom with 10- or 11-year-old pupils. All the events are very recognizable, even though it's not every child who has a teacher like this. (10+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 1998 - 227
Dreesen, Jaak (text)
Heymans, Annemie (illus.)
Marieke, Marieke
(<Proper name>)
Averbode: Altiora, 1997. 44 p.
ISBN 90-317-1269-8
Death/Child - Grief
In this magnificent poetic picture book the firstperson narrator is waiting, desparately missing Marieke. He has laid out all kinds of things under the apple tree, waiting for her to come and play. The combination of a melodious rhyming text and grey-tone illustrations evokes an atmosphere of increasing tension. Then, with the arrival of Marieke's mother, it becomes clear that the girl will never come again, though this is not stated explicitly. In spite of the tangible sense of emptiness, the open ending provides some comfort - Marieke is gone but will always be present in another way. (6+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 1998 - 228
Driessen, Iny (text)
Westerduin, Anne (illus.)
Bruine ogen, Blauwe ogen
(Brown eyes, blue eyes)
Hasselt: Clavis, 1997. 43 p.
ISBN 90-6822-487-5
Adoption - Cultural identity
Six-year old Benjamin doesn't share the excitement of his parents and three brothers about the coming of two new sisters and it takes some time for him to accept the new situation. Simone and Erlan, the two sisters from Haiti, must take leave of their mother to join their new well-to-do family in Belgium. From Simone's perspective we learn about their sense of grief and difficulties of adjusting to their new lives. The two narratives in this book give an excellent picture of the experiences of adopted children and their families. It is written with warmth and respect while also providing useful background information. (8+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 1998 - 229
Elias, Bettie (text)
Westerduin, Anne (illus.)
Water van zout
(Bitter tears)
Mechelen: Bakermat, 1997. 108 p.
ISBN 90-5461-133-2
Death/Father - Grandfather - Grief
When their father dies in a car accident, eight-year old Dries and his sister have a very difficult time coping with their grief. In simple short sentences recorded in his diary, Dries is able to work through feelings of disbelief, anger, confusion and guilt. His grandfather is a constant presence and full of understanding. Both he and Dries' sister help him to come to terms with his sorrow. The attractive black-and-white pen drawings render the atmosphere of this sensitive story very well. (8+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 230
Dros, Imme (text)
Geelen, Harrie (illus.)
Dit is het huis bij de kromme boom
(This is the house near the bent tree)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1997. [30] p.
ISBN 90-214-6044-0
Moving house - Lost/Found - Siblings
When the first-person narrator's little sister is born, his family's house is just too small. They move into the house of the deceased grandmother, taking all their belongings except the boy's little duck in the bathtub. His great sadness disappears when the mailman brings the toy after all. This simple, recognizable tale about loss and restoration, told with a cumulative, rhymed text, is accompanied by magnificent illustrations using thick black outlines and warm pastel colors which radiate a gentle, touching atmosphere. (4+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 231
Ede, Bies van (text)
Thé, Tjong-Khing (illus.)
Malle Matte is zo gek
(Silly Matte is so crazy)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 1997. 87 p.
ISBN 90-258-3367-5
Mental illness - Imaginary world - Music
Nine-year old Matte is both mentally and physically handicapped. Because she is slow, clumsy and cannot communicate well, she lives largely in a world of her own. While her mother works in the evenings as a dancer in the café downstairs, Matte listens to the music and repeats the melodies on her piano. But her public performance for the neighbors turns out badly. The author sketches a realistic image of a girl whose handicaps limit her contacts with other people and gives insight into her view of the world. The poetic narrative is well suited to the atmosphere of the story, balanced between fantasy and reality. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 232
Gestel, Peter van (text)
Heymans, Annemie (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Baarn: De Fontein, 1997. 192 p.
ISBN 90-261-1297-1
Miracle play - Middle Ages - Identity - Feral child
Young Mariken grows up alone in a forest, completely isolated from the world. She is found by the peculiar Archibald who teaches her many things, but not enough to survive in the »real world«, where Mariken later comes into contact with many different kinds of people. Often she is just barely able to extricate herself from tricky situations. This novel is based on a little known miracle play from the Middle Ages. Van Gestel gives his own splendidly written interpretation of the story and also helps to introduce this »literary heritage« to young readers. (12+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 233
Hagen, Hans (text)
Hopman, Philip (illus.)
De kat en de adelaar
(The cat and the eagle)
Amsterdam: Van Goor, 1997. 65 p.
ISBN 90-00-03167-2
Pakistan - Child/Work - Cat
Day after day eight-year old Farid works on the public bus that his father drives, collecting the fares from the passengers. He has taken over his mother's job because she can't work any longer after an accident. For some time, Farid has seen a black cat everywhere he goes and imagines that it is his mother. Hans Hagen tells a very expressive and balanced story in short sentences and brief chapters. This is a simple engrossing story in which fantasy alternates with reality in a most plausible manner. The reader can empathize with Farid and also get a feeling for everyday life in modern Pakistan. (8+) ☆ ☼

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 234
Hazelhoff, Veronica
Niks gehoord, niks gezien
(Nothing heard, nothing seen)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1997. 83 p.
ISBN 90-214-6566-3
Coping behavior - Child abuse - Friendship
Linda, who prefers the name River, is an only child and stays aloof of most people. Her new friend Walt is throughly involved with her parents. Linda's father and Walt are creating a picture book together. By reading between the lines, it becomes evident that Walt is an abused child. Only gradually does River come to realize the truth about her friend. The author gives convincing portraits of the two main characters, their ways of life and thinking. The issue of child abuse is integrated into the story, but not every reader will immediately recognize it. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 235
Lichtveld, Noni (text/illus.)
Anansi tussen god en duivel
(Anansi between God and the devil)
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1997. 93 p.
ISBN 90-5637-087-1
The spider Anansi is a well-known character in the tales of many countries. Sometimes he comes to the rescue of others, sometimes he is a trickster. This collection includes Anansi tales of varying length from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. Lichtveld's retellings include considerable dialogue between the animal protagonists, making it an ideal read-aloud book. The colorful illustrations are rich in detail, extending the text, and inviting closer exploration. (6+) ☆

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 236
Merle, Ditte (text)
Wolf, Alex de (illus.)
IJsberen en andere draaikonten in de dierentuin
(Polar bears and other fidgeters in the zoo)
Houten: Van Reemst, 1997. 128 p.
ISBN 90-410-9024-X
Zoo - Animal care
This is an information book about how animals are kept at the zoo. The author covers the history of zoos, their past designs, and the importance of keeping these animals in captivity active. The book also deals with the care and feeding of animals, reproduction, diseases, births and other topics. The text is very lively and filled with humor, extended by illustrations which also provide considerable information. The book has designed in an attractive, playful way with different fonts and a creative layout. (8+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 237
Mileau, Sofie (pseud. of Carry Slee) (text)
Heymans, Margriet (illus.)
De verborgen prins
(The hidden prince)
Houten: Van Holkema & Warendorf, 1997. 36 p.
ISBN 90-269-8923-7
Lesbian - Romance - Eroticism
Inside herself, Lotte hides a second person, a prince who demands to be dressed up in a cape and cap secretly in the attic. One day Lotte's new neighbor, Eva, stands in front of her window, dressed as a princess. Later she persuades Lotte to visit her garden house and begins a ritual which has veiled erotic overtones. Yet Lotte's initiation is not innocent, as Eva turns their relationship into a power struggle, with the naive Lotte in a subservient role. Their fairy tale-like ritual turns malicious when Lotte breaks the barrier between fiction and reality and kisses Eva in the schoolyard. Eva betrays their »lesbian romance« by laughing at Lotte. This is a short story magnificently rendered in a strongly stylized narrative. (11+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1998 - 238
Sluyzer, Betty (text)
Hout, Mies van (illus.)
Naarden: Kimio, 1997. 19 p.
ISBN 90-71368-65-3
Zoo - Animals - Grandfather - Human behavior
A black girl and a white boy visit the zoo together with the boy's grandfather. They observe how the behavior and appearances of the different animals resemble those of human beings. In this simple picture book funny sketches consisting of black outlines filled in with fresh colors on the left-hand pages are set off against short rhyming texts and small colored drawings on the right side, in which the two children comment on what they see. The author and illustrator capture the experiences of the children in a very appealing way. (4+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1999 - 226
Van den Heede, Sylvia (text)
Thé, Tjong-Khing (illus.)
Vos en Haas
(Fox and Hare)
Tielt: Lannoo, 1998. 140 p.
ISBN 90-209-3197-0
Tolerance - Friendship
Fox and Hare live together in a hole. Fox especially likes a lot of food (which can be seen by his rather fat belly) and Hare takes care of the household. Owl, their neighbor, takes care of a chick that he hatched himself. The stories around these four figures can be read separately, but also constitute a whole. They are arranged in a chronological order and follow the seasons; in terms of reading proficiency, the texts become increasingly difficult, so the book can grow with the reader. The stories are very well written, have functional repetitions and nice puns. The design invites beginning readers and the many, colored illustrations characterize the animals very nicely, clearly giving the book additional value. (6+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 1999 - 227
Vandewoude, Katrien (text)
Cate, Marijke ten (illus.)
Duizend madeliefjes voor Saar
(Thousand daisies for Saar)
Hasselt: Clavis, 1998. 53 p.
ISBN 90-6822-544-8
Mental handicap - Friendship
Six year-old Linde helps her neighbor, Saar, with endless patience, because Saar cannot do the most essential and simple things like dressing herself, singing, talking and eating properly. One day, Saar has to go to a special education and only comes home at the weekends. However, they remain close friends. Each of the twelve short chapters tells an adventure of Linde and Saar. The relationship between the two friends is described with much insight. Linde can barely accept that Saar will always remain behind mentally and that living in a boarding school for special education is a lot better for her. The pencil illustrations in soft pastel shades, link up very well with the somewhat sad undertone of the story. (6+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1999 - 228
Busser, Marianne (text)
Schröder, Ron (illus.)
Liselotje gaat kamperen
(Liselotje goes camping)
Houten: Van Holkema & Warendorf, 1998. 27 p.
ISBN 90-269-9058-8
Camping - Stubbornness - Fear
When the holidays arrive, Liselotje proposes a camping trip to her mother, the queen. At the camping site a big tent is pitched. The king, however, stubbornly demands to have a very small tent all for himself. At night the king hears all kinds of noises and becomes more and more afraid. Finally, the small tent is placed at the front of the big tent. A new addition to the series of adventures with the little princess Liselotje and her father, the king, who is often childish and stubborn. In itself, the story is simple, but because of a sparkling rhyme and excellent elaboration of the characters, Busser and Schröder succeed in creating a beautiful read-aloud story. The elegant, action-filled illustrations add considerably to the reading (and viewing) pleasure. (3+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1999 - 229
Kuiper, Nannie (text)
Hopman, Philip (illus.)
Het zomerwoordenboek
(The summer dictionary)
Amsterdam: Piramide, 1998. 34 p.
ISBN 90-245-1539-4
Seasons - Adventure
This is one of a series of four books, in which the four seasons are discussed in relationship to the adventures of Sofie and Maarten. In each one, scenes are sketched that allow the explanation of certain words. Every explanation of a word can be read separately, but all the explanations together form the adventures of the two pre-school children as well. Kuiper doesn't shrink from using difficult words and incorporates them logically into the story, explaining them in a simple manner. The illustrations of Philip Hopman are rich in detail and invite to repeated viewing pleasure. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1999 - 230
Kuyper, Sjoerd (text)
Haeringen, Annemarie van (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 1998. 28 p.
ISBN 90-258-3789-1
Pelican - Secret - Lost child
Everybody asks Malmok the pelican about the storm, but he keeps his beak closed. Even when they try to get Malmok talking by offering him all kinds of delicious things. Finally, when a women comes to the pelicans, looking for her son who is lost in the storm, he reluctantly opens his beak and the little boy that Malmok had picked up during the storm can be returned to his mother. In this touching and fairly original story the author uses the continuous building of tension followed by an anticlimax starting with »...but Malmok...«. In particular the illustrations make the book special. Van Hearingen is able to sketch the situation with a few, well-chosen lines and the illustrations are one continuous movement of tension from the beginning to the end. The colors are subdued, but therefore especially convincing. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1999 - 231
Meinderts, Koos (text)
Fienieg, Annette (illus.)
Hoe Sjoerd in een hond veranderde
(The way Sjoerd changed into a dog)
Tilburg: Zwijsen, 1998. 47 p.
ISBN 90-276-3951-5
Parent/Child - Child abuse - Boy/Dog - Transformation
Sjoerds parents definitely agree on one thing: children only exist to be able to draw child support or to earn some extra money, for example, through sport competitions. But Sjoerd is not good at anything. The only useful thing he does from his parents' point of view is run the entire household almost singlehanded. Sjoerd is very unhappy and would preferably be a dog. Then suddenly this wish comes true and everything changes drastically. An absurd story in which characters have extreme opposite characteristics. The parents are extremely bad and Sjoerd (a kind of male Cinderella) is extremely nice. The narrator is clearly present in the story and sometimes addresses the readers directly, involving them in the story even more. (8+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1999 - 232
Oomen, Francine (text/illus.)
Stoute Sammie
(Naughty Sammie)
Amsterdam: Van Goor, 1998. 28 p.
ISBN 90-00-03170-2
Anger - Tolerance - Co-existence
The mother of Sammie, the rabbit, is angry at him, but Sammie does not understand why. That makes Sammie angry, too, and, without further reason, he starts teasing his friends. And his friends don't put up it. Little by little everybody is angry at everybody and nobody knows exactly why. The simple story is unfolded very nicely in the form of an accumulation of occurrences on the theme of 'arguing and making up' and lends itself perfectly to exploring together with pre-school children. The full-page, colorful illustrations definitely appeal to the viewer, fit in with the story seamlessly and add an extra dimension to the story. (3+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 1999 - 233
Veldkamp, Tjibbe (text)
Hopman, Philip (illus.)
22 wezen
(22 orphans)
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1998. 26 p.
ISBN 90-5637-109-6
Orphanage - Play
The twenty-two orphans of the orphanage know how to play readily with everything they find, or enjoy doing nothing and going about their own business. But one day, a new, sincerely concerned director arrives and makes the orphans go to bed right away. They are bored and together they dress up as a huge elephant. The director cannot find her wards and - together with the elephant - she starts looking for them. In an inventive manner it is made clear that adults should not interfere with children and that an exaggerated concern and too much protection is not good for them. The well-composed text and highly detailed illustrations are matched to one another magnificently. (4+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2000 - 222
Minne, Brigitte (text)
Cneut, Carll (illus.)
(The wicked fairy)
Wielsbeke: Uitg. de Eenhoorn, 1999. [32] p.
ISBN 90-5838-016-5
Fairy - Witch
Rosemary has a fight with her mum. She slams the door and heads for the witches' wood, where it is all right to be dirty and naughty. There she makes very interesting friends, including witches who turn out not to be as wicked as everybody thinks. The illustrations in this book are sometimes more important than the text. At times the acrylics are broken up with pastel crayon and colored pencil for a playful effect. The psychological accuracy of the illustrations is fascinating, Rosemary is the hero who views her environment fearlessly and critically. In the end Rosemary, the witches and even mum are convinced that fairies are not always nice, and witches are not always wicked. Everybody wants to be a fairy sometimes and a witch other times. (5+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2000 - 223
VanDaele, Henri (text)
Verplancke, Klaas (illus.)
Van de sneeuwman die niet smelten wou
(The snowman who didn't want to melt)
Averbode: Uitg. Altiora, 1999. 43 p.
ISBN 90-317-1424-0
Snowman - Spring
The snowman has been standing in the nice east wind all winter long. A big carrot for a nose, two pieces of coal as eyes, a hat, a red scarf, a pipe in his mouth and a broom in his hand. He is very happy with his existence and hopes things will never change. But one morning spring arrives, and the snowman is so impressed by her appearance that he has to cry and soon only his hat, scarf and broom are left on his place. Luckily for the scarecrow, these are just what he needs! In a very subtle manner Van Daele succeeds in elaborating on an abstract concept like transition using nondaily events and different views on reality. The smooth storytelling and the easy sentences make the book perfect for reading aloud. (6+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2000 - 224
VanGenechten, Guido (text/illus.)
Muis ging eens op wandel
(When Mouse went for a walk)
Hasselt: Clavis, 1999. [28] p.
ISBN 90-6822-645-2
Ten animals take a walk, talking all the time. After a while Horse sees a carriage and decides to stay with it. He says goodbye and then there are only nine. As the rhymed story continues, when Cow sees a lovely meadow with juicy grass and stays behind, Pig jumps into a dirty quagmire, Dog finds a knuckle with some meat still on it, and the sea tempts Crab. In the end only sad little Mouse is left. But then he discovers all kinds of small animals hidden between the blades of grass. Soon a new row of animals sets off for a walk. This counting story is based on a well-known principle that lets children get involved in telling stories and also learn the characteristics of many animals. The colorful full-page illustrations show the animals from different angles. (4+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 225
Dam, Arend van
Mart en de liefde
(Mart and Maki)
Amsterdam: Uitg. Piramide, 1999. 143 p.
ISBN 90-245-3693-6
Japan - Friendship - First love
Mart, an 11-year old boy who lives in the lighthouse of a dull Dutch fishing village, is very excited when an enormous sailing ship called 'Love' enters the harbour. He meets the owners of the ship, Mister Shibuya and his daughter Maki, who came all the way from Japan and is so impressed by Maki that he wants to know everything about Japan. Fortunately there is an old man in the village, Mister Lodewijk who can tell Mart a lot about the history and culture of Japan after school. Mister Lodewijk's stories are sometimes rather long digressions from the main plot, but they also expand it. The author describes the customs and traditions of Japanese life in a playful way and captures the special feelings of an 11-year old boy. (10+) ☆

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 226
Dubelaar, Thea (text)
Spee, Gitte (illus.)
Nanseli, waar ren je heen?
(Nanseli, where are you running to?)
Amsterdam: Ploegsma, 1999. 46 p.
ISBN 90-216-1901-6
Siblings - Baby
Never before has Nanseli run home this fast from school. She crosses the street without looking and is almost hit by a car. She doesn't stop to watch the pelicans by the sea like she usually does and she doesn't even visit Uncle Jonas who always has such wonderful stories to tell. And Grandma Fado has to go shopping on her own today. Nanseli has a new brother and she is so curious to see him! The author succeeds in creating a very special feeling of thrill and expectation in the hurrying figure of Nanseli. The story takes place in an exotic country, as evident in the details, but the theme of the story is universal. The somewhat sober illustrations fit the simple, but striking story. (5+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 227
Kromhout, Rindert (text)
Haeringen, Annemarie van (illus.)
Wat staat daar?
(What is written there?)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 1999. [28] p.
ISBN 90-258-3798-0
Reading - Alphabet
Ape receives a letter, but cannot read it. So he goes to his friend Billy Goat. Billy Goat is just learning how to read, but so far he has only learned the words 'moon' and 'goat'. So, in the letter he only recognises his own name. Together they walk to Guinea Pig, who knows the words 'moon', 'rose' and his own name. He only recognises Guinea Pig in the letter. After they've asked several other animals (all in alphabetical order) for help, they finally come to Party Animal, who turned out to be the sender of the letter - a dinner party invitation to all his friends. Kromhout succeeds in writing a cumulative without falling into the trap of dull repetition. The detailed and humorous illustrations complement the story very well. (6+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 228
Leeuwen, Joke van (text/illus.)
Een sok met streepjes. Leren lezen met plaatjes
(The red-white striped sock)
Tilburg: Zwijsen, 1999. [36] p.
(Moet je mij zien : Lezen : 4 en 5 jaar)
ISBN 90-276-4239-7
Lost/Found - Search
A young child has lost its sock. Bear, rabbit, doll, tiger and some other friends help their friend to look for it. They find a lot of things: a little box, a fork, a mug, a shoe, but no sock. After some time a mouse enters the scene wearing a remarkable bonnet. The bonnet turns out to be the red-andwhite striped sock they have been looking for so long. But mouse is only willing to give up his bonnet if he gets something else in return. The concept of this book is not new: about forty words are replaced by illustrations, pictograms. Van Leeuwen, however, knows how to give the well-structured story depth through the illustrations which show more than just the main plot. Didactic notes on awakening literacy are included. (6+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 229
Nolet, Beatrijs (text)
Jagtenberg, Yvonne (illus.)
Verboden toegang
(Do not enter!)
Houten: Van Holkema & Warendorf, 1999. 70 p.
ISBN 90-269-9174-6
Invention - Fantasy
Vink likes to tinker but one day her invention goes wrong and her TV screen begins to let things through - in both directions. It's possible to grab the delicious candy during the adverts but also find a football land in the living room during an important game. People start to panic everywhere: some suspect aliens, others the beginning of a governmental crisis. Although the sign on Vink's door says »Do not enter!«, she has to tell her mum at last and together they comfort the viewers by explaining it was just a small technical mistake. Nolet's fast-paced story is uncomplicated but suspenseful. Between the lines the author satirizes soccer, television, and politics without lapsing into overbearing social criticism. (9+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 230
Schubert, Ingrid (text/illus.)
Schubert, Dieter (text/illus.)
Dat komt er nou van ...
(Now you see what happened ...)
Rotterdam: Lemniscaat, 1999. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5637-194-0
Animals - Education - Leaving the nest
One morning Bear discovers three orphaned eggs. He decides to hatch them together with his friend Hedgehog. When they hatch, Bear and Hedgehog are very surprised to find ducklings inside. Bear and Hedgehog do their very best to please the little ducklings. They protect them as well as they can, but sometimes they have problems educating them. It gets even worse when they have to let their 'children' go when they literally spread their wings. This is all beautifully presented in detailed, colorful pictures, which fit the text perfectly and give it an extra dimension. This is a well-written story, also for (young) parents, and is well suited for reading aloud time after time. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2000 - 231
Simoen, Jan
En met Anna?
(What about Anna?)
Amsterdam: Querido, 1999. 216 p.
ISBN 90-214-8216-9
Death - Grief - Family - Bosnia/Civil War
Anna is 16 years old and has already lost two brothers. In 1994 Jonas died of AIDS and in 1997 her brother Michael was reported missing in Bosnia, supposedly killed when his landrover hit a land mine. One day, however, Anne receives a letter from Hugo, a friend of both her brothers. He has met Michael's girlfriend and believes there is a possibility that her brother is still alive. Anna is completely confused. She sets out to get more information and in the end meets Marta, Michael's girlfriend, and their little son. Jan Simoen describes beautifully how Anna copes with the sparse information. He accelerates the pace of the plot until all pieces of the puzzle are put aright. The author has a brilliant way of developing the story from different points of view, making this a very moving and honest youth novel. (12+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2001 - 221
Franck, Ed (text)
Schamp, Tom (illus.)
Mijn zus draagt een heuvel op haar rug
(My sister carries a hill on her back)
Averbode : Uitg. Altiora, 2000. [75] p.
ISBN 90-317-1550-6
Disabled person - Suicide
The first-person narrator, a boy between the age of 8 to 10, thinks a lot about his little sister: Why does she suddenly start crying? And why she is so often so desperately furious that she has to disappear for a while? His sister is humpbacked. Even though he doesn't consider the hump an infirmity, he fantasises about it. With boundless naiveté he protects his sister against angry words and against herself. One day, his sister has disappeared – to the only place where she can be happy. The intimate colour illustrations and a sophisticated composition complement the story. This is not an easy, but a very honest book; no attempt is made to simplify the young narrator's very mature thoughts. (10+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2001 - 222
Sollie, André (text)
Cotteleer, Erika (illus.)
En alles is echt waar
(And everything is real)
Wielsbeke : Uitg. de Eenhoorn, 2000. [32] p.
ISBN 90-5838-022-x
Loneliness - Fear - Life - Children's poetry
What is life like when you are a child? You simply say »I am the gardener« and then you really are one. Sollie's poems in this poetry-picture book are of a moving simplicity. At once comprehensible to everyone and playfully incomprehensible, they pay tribute to the imagination of young children and their associative ways of thinking. The illustrations present little miniatures, in which no brushstroke is too much or too little. The colours are chosen very carefully. Text and illustrations collaborate in a poetic, imaginary play: A teddy bear turns into a man and a doll into his wife. The bed is a dune, the gate a door, the sky a roof. Imagination and reality mingle, but seen through the eyes of a child, everything is real. A very special picture book about loneliness, longing, work, fear, reconciliation, and love. (5+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2001 - 223
Vandewijer, Ina
Witte pijn
(White pain)
Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2000. [106] p.
(Davidsfonds/Infodok jeugdboek)
ISBN 90-6565-971-4
Inuit - Family - Grandfather
Together with his grandfather, Tim is travelling through the land of the Inuit, the Indians from the high North of Canada. Tim has grown up in Montreal, far away from the desolate snowfields. Tim admires his grandfather's talent for survival in the snowstorms and the cold. This novel is an impressive debut, in which the life, the culture, and the habits of the Inuit, like hunting seals, nose rubbing, building igloos, slurping fat and always telling stories, are very well represented. The relationship between Tim and his grandfather is described in a very subtle and carefully sensitive tone. A warm story about the solidarity with family and nature. (13+) ☆
(Knokke-Heist Prize [Youth Book]; 2000)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 224
Bos, Chris
Kleine leugens
(Little lies)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2000. [116] p.
ISBN 90-258-3405-1
Friendship - Grandparents - Sexuality - Love
Solange, a trendy teenager who wants to explore her own sexual feelings, meets Ruben, a selfwilled boy who can very well take care of himself. He considers being in love as a sick phenomenon, totally disconnected from reality. Accordingly, he does not react to Solange's advances). Solange's story is interwoven with that of her grandmother. Sick with grief about the husband she never had, she commits suicide. The characters and their relationships are well elaborated. In the end, the two story lines come together, and Solange begins to understand many things about herself and about life. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 225
Busser, Marianne (text)
Schröder, Ron (text)
Steen, Wilbert van der (illus.)
De griezeltjes
(The little ogres)
Houten : Van Holkema & Warendorf, 2000. 48 p.
ISBN 90-269-9340-4
Teasing - Ogres - Aunt
Mees and Moontje are allowed to stay with aunt Tivoli for a year, because their parents are abroad. But Madame Pin, the principal of the orphanage, demands the children to come directly with her. Madame Pin is the personification of evil and all their ingenuity is required to chase this terrible creature away. The readers will enjoy all the quirky tricks the three play on her. In the end, they triumph: Madame Pin is dismissed and aunt Tivoli is appointed principal of the orphanage. The colourful illustrations are simple, but particularly funny and cheerful. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 226
Dematons, Charlotte (text/illus.)
Ga je mee?
(Are you coming with me?)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5637-288-2
The boy-narrator of this picture book lives in a particularly child-friendly neighbourhood, in a house with an immense garden. The reader is taken in tow by the young narrator in an original, highly imaginative way as a travelling companion on an adventurous trip and gets a number of assignments. The reader has to indicate to the boy the way between the freakish rocks to the open sea, distract the robbers with some firm abuses, or turn the pages really quietly, so that the snoring giant, hiding in the bushes, will not wake up. The fully explored, double-spread illustrations catch the eye immediately. Details and unexpected surprises call for accurate observation. The story keeps reminding the reader how important his contribution to the story is. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 227
Hagen, Hans (text)
Hagen, Monique (text)
Törnqvist, Marit (illus.)
Jij bent de liefste
(You are the sweetest)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2000. [52] p.
ISBN 90-214-6478-0
Pre-schooler - Everyday life - Children's poetry
This anthology features poems on subjects preschoolers are very fond of sweet-hearts, dreams, the longing for a dog, or staying over at a friend's. The rhymes are characterised by boundless imagination akin to the pre-schoolers' way of thinking. The expression excells in simplicity, while the rhythm never declines to a boring drone. The exuberant and festive illustrations create loving characters and tell mostly their own story, incorporating the subject of the poems in a creative way. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 228
Kolk, Anton van der (text)
Straaten, Harmen van (illus.)
De dag dat er niets bijzonders gebeurde
(The day that nothing special happened)
Tilburg : Zwijsen, 1999. 37 p.
(Spetter : 7+)
ISBN 90-276-4300-8
In the reflection of a window Bas sees that the light is different today. This must be a sign giving promise of exciting events on a day on which nothing special was going to happen! And truly, Bas goes on an adventure with a friend. It's a voyage of discoveries that leads to new insights and a solid friendship. A simple, well set up story that explores the different meanings and understandings of the word »special«. The linguistic level has been adapted to beginning readership. The principal characters really come to life and will be very recognisable to the young reader. The illustrations complement the story, giving it an extra dimension. (7+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 229
Schaap, Peter
Beeldhouwer voor de farao
(Sculptor for the pharaoh)
Amsterdam : Uitg. Piramide, 2000. 239 p.
ISBN 90-245-3608-1
Egypt/History - Pharaoh - Sculpture
By coincidence, the young water carrier Joeti meets sculptors who work for pharaoh Echnaton and his wife Nefertiti. It is a turbulent time, and fairly quickly Joeti gets involved in a complot against the ruling authority. Espionage, changes of power, but also the love for a beautiful girl add to the confusion of the protagonist. This novel incorporates a wealth of information about the life of the Egyptians; sometimes, the excess of information disturbs the flow of the story. Overall, however, this is an exciting story unfolding against a rich historical backdrop. (11+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 230
Verschoor, Diet
Emma's noorderlicht
(Emma's northern lights)
Haarlem : Uitg. Holland, 2000. 191 p.
ISBN 90-251-0840-7
Holidays - Grandmother - Love
Fifteen-year old Emma is at a turning point in her life: Her mother suffers from depression and goes to a Frisian island and Emma is left with her father, a minister, with whom she cannot really talk. Against her will, she accompanies her grandmother to the family home on Texel. This is where she learns about her mother's big secret from the letters of her great-grandmother and where she lives her first passionate love. Emma's confused feelings are described with understanding and psychological insight. Convincing parallels are drawn between her experiences and those of her mother. Fragments of poetry complement this romantic story very well. (14+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2001 - 231
Westera, Bette (text)
Straaten, Harmen van (illus.)
Een opa om nooit te vergeten
(A grandfather to never forget)
Amsterdam : Hillen ; Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2000. [28] p.
ISBN 90-76766-05-3. - 90-6565-942-0
Grandfather - Death - Funeral - Grief
While he waits for his grandfather's funeral, Joost thinks about all the nice things they did together. To be honest, he does not want to go, and, to soothe him, his mother plays peekaboo with grandfather's red handkerchief. Her question »Do you remember?« brings vivid memories back to life: how Joost and grandfather played cowboy or pirate together, how grandfather taught Joost to ride his bike and how every stay with him was like a party. At the churchyard he notices how slowly the grown-ups walk and his mind is full of questions. The realistic illustrations are provocative and original and fit the story about taking leave and the power of memories perfectly. They are characterised by a plain, impressive use of colours and very strong composition. (4+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2002 - 221
Dreesen, Jaak (text)
Moons, Sofie (illus.)
Een man voor mama
(A husband for mama)
Averbode : Uitg. Altiora, 2001. 48 p.
ISBN 90-317-1704-5
Family relations – Single-parent family
The father of Maus and Vegge has gone to sea with his accordeon and never come back. Their mother Dolorosa has been very sad ever since. As the brothers think that things can't go on like this, they start looking for a new husband for their mother. After some failed attempts they find Felix, who is a reader like their mother. The two get along very well. This is a romantic story of sorrow and desire in an extremely sober style in which there is not one word too many. The melodious names and the number 7 have magic and symbolic power, which the poetic songs accentuate even more. (8+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2002 - 222
Tock, Annelies (text)
Talsma, Nynke (illus.)
Varen naar de overkant
(Ferry to the other side)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2001. 55 p.
ISBN 90-209-4091-0
Death – Grandfather – Granddaughter – Friendship
The ferryman is old and there won't be any work left for him when the bridge is built. Together with his granddaughter Raja he wants to listen to the singing of the river one last time. When grandfather dies, Raja is left behind, and when her boyfriend threatens to leave her, too, she is fed up with life. But then, suddenly, there is a man who wants to be ferried across and a woman with herbs who wants to get back to bring her medicine to a patient. Raja becomes a ferry-woman and takes over the duty of her grandfather. At the centre of this beautifully and sensitively written story is Raja's desperation after her grandfather's death. She is tormented by self-doubts and only this dramatic moment helps her regain faith in herself and in life. (9+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2002 - 223
Brouwers, Peter (text)
Cate, Marijke ten (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Hasselt : Clavis, 2001. [44] p.
ISBN 90-6822-801-3
Love – Marriage – Hare
Hare Freek is different from other hares. He doesn't like carrots and has a cold in winter. One day he goes to live in the forest. There he meets a squirrel and immediately falls in love with her. A year later they get married. In this simple story the illustrations are particularly important. Marijke ten Cate succeeds in giving the animals something human, in a personal way, without overcoating it with too much sugar. This book's characteristic feature is the contrast between the animals and the overwhelmingly huge trees – an effect which is reinforced by contrasting techniques. (5+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 224
Biemans, Ienne (text)
Heymans, Margriet (illus.)
Met mijn rechteroog dicht, mijn linkeroog open
(With my right eye closed, my left eye open)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2001. 37 p.
ISBN 90-258-3029-3
Children's poetry
The source of inspiration of the lullabies in this book is amazement. The rhymes often have a nonsensical slant or use jumpy associations that are sometimes caused by the rhyme, but more often by an unpredictable meaning of certain words. The atmosphere in most of the rhymes is magical and therefore reminiscent of fairytales. Ienne Biemans frequently conjures up dark feelings that are also common in fairytales, like loneliness and fear, and at the same time she evokes very familiar feelings. The playful and magical illustrations are a fascinating supplement to the rhymes. (4+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 225
De Preter, Gerda (text)
Weve, Sylvia (illus.)
Een koffertje voor opa
(A suitcase for grandpa)
Amsterdam [et al.] : Querido, 2001. 112 p.
ISBN 90-214-7848-x
Grandparents – Grandson – Addition to the family – Siblings – Death
Since the birth of his sister, Arne gets little attention from his parents. He comes up with a lot of reasons why they should swap his sister for the little poodle of his classmate for example, but he can't convince his parents. He becomes friends with Fleur, who likes to get as little attention as possible from her ever-arguing parents. With his grandparents, Arne has a tender relationship, especially when it turns out that his grandfather is incurably ill and will die soon. The funny, poetic, and sometimes sad scenes describe the boy's life, whose imagination is very vivid and highly associative. (6+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 226
Dijkstra, Lida (i.e. Lida Dykstra) (reteller)
Wachten op Apollo
(Waiting for Apollo)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2001. 120 p.
ISBN 90-5637-385-4
(First publ. in Frisian: Wolken fan wol. Ljouwert : Bornmeer, 2000)
Ovid/Metamorphoses – Mythology/Greek
In this book, the author retells six »Metamorphoses« by Ovid using a double frame. Waiting for the oracle of Delphi, the crow Cornix tells a shepherd's boy about her own metamorphosis and that of Arachne. Human characteristics, such as greed, jealousy, and recklessness, are central themes. With the metamorphosis of the shepherd's boy into the god Apollo – Cornix sees him flying by after his visit to the oracle – the book has an open ending. The author displays great eloquence with the animated dialogues, the modern diction, the pithy narrative style, and the extremely fast pace of the events. The distinct, humorous rendering of character is modern and recognisable for young readers. Like Arachne spun her luminous yarn out of clouds of wool, Lida Dykstra knows how to weave different stories into a new unity, accessible to young and old. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 227
Huiberts, Gerrie (text)
Straaten, Harmen van (illus.)
Piraat op straat
(Pirate on the street)
Baarn : Fontein, 2001. 41 p.
ISBN 90-261-1667-5
Pirate – Adventure
Pim quarrels with his know-it-all brother Bastiaan and searches for a pirate who might be able to teach him a lesson. He finds a mermaid who is waiting for her pirate. When the pirate turns up, he appears to be a real boozer, but Pim fails to notice that at all. The pirate writes a letter for Pim inviting him to join the pirate on his adventurous journey. When Bastiaan reads this letter he is very impressed and subdued and their argument is over soon. In this story, the child's fantasy world is presented very well. Bastiaan's realism is finally defeated by his brother's imagination. The exaggerated pictures perfectly illustrate the contrast between children and adults. (7+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 228
Jagtenberg, Yvonne (text/illus.)
Een bijzondere dag
(A special day)
Amsterdam : Hillen [et al.], 2001. [20] p.
ISBN 90-76897-01-8
School – First school day – Pre-schooler
Arno has to go to school for the first time and is quite afraid of it. At school he hardly dares to do anything. But then his teacher has an idea: Arno is allowed to play the wolf and a girl can play Little Red Riding Hood. With a wolf's head Arno isn't afraid anymore and the first school day turns into a very special experience. This is a very well-organised and elaborated story about a very familiar topic. The illustrations are like collages, in which the figures are coloured with grease pencil, felt-tip pen and coloured pencil. The full-page illustrations add an extra dimension to the story. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 229
Kromhout, Rindert (text)
Haeringen, Annemarie van (illus.)
Beesten in het nieuws
(Animals in the news)
Tilburg : Zwijsen [et al.], 2001. 54 p.
(Bizon boek)
ISBN 90-276-8903-2
Ben's mother has run away, and his father is always busy with his pet shop, although there are only few customers. As Ben often feels lonely, he writes stories and publishes them in his own journal that he distributes in his neighbourhood. When he starts a series with short stories about animals (snakes who eat mice, a spider who tickles a child) in his journal, a lot of customers suddenly show up in his father's shop. Rindert Kromhout tells a wellstructured story, with a well-crafted plot and lots of humour. The illustrations fit seamlessly to the story and are very funny, especially when picturing the animals. (6+) ☼

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2002 - 230
Vlugt, Simone van der (text)
Wolf, Alex de (illus.)
Bastiaan komt eraan
(Bastiaan is coming)
Houten: Van Holkema & Warendorf, 2001. 88 p.
ISBN 90-269-9391-9
School – Pre-schooler
Bastiaan is not allowed to go to school yet. In the course of the book, however, he celebrates his fourth birthday and finally makes the big changeover from home to school. Among the little everyday things of life, which are being told, Bastiaan's wish to be a big boy pops up again and again, while at the same time it is evident that he still needs the security and closeness to his mother. The dialogues speed up the story and Bastiaan's utterances are often very humorous. The illustrations appropriately depict the story and show a lot of details. The colours are well-chosen and perfectly reflect the atmosphere of the story. (6+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2003 - 213
De Kockere, Geert (text)
Fossey, Koen (illus.)
(Noah <proper name>)
Wielsbeke : De Eenhoorn, 2002. [40 ] p.
ISBN 90-5838-137-4
Flood – Noah
This book presents in a unique way a story of the Flood and adds a philosophical dimension to the biblical story. Noah calls on several characters to take a place in his boat in order to survive the Flood. He does not want to house animals in his boat but instead the characteristics of human beings, like Gaiety, Fear, and Stubbornness or Doubt. One after the other, the personified characteristics refuse his offer and claim that they will survive the Flood on their own. There is an open end to the book, and we will never know whether they really did. In the full-page colour-illustrations, the artist uses collage-techniques and unusual materials like linen, beetroot, brushes, stone, but also a glove and beater. The story, whose anonymous teller claims to have come to know it via oral tradition, is literary, poetic, and peppered with humour. (10+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2003 - 214
Mans, Roland
Het verdwijnboek
(The disappearing book)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2000. 103 p.
ISBN 90-209-4892-x
Tease – Revenge
Because Mercander is constantly being teased at school and his parents do not listen to him, he walks away. In an old ruin (a dilapidated domain) he finds a mysterious book from the 18century which houses a curse. Whenever he rips out a page from the book (for example the items trees, cattle, or insects), all sorts of things disappear in the real world. That is his way to take revenge on everyone who has teased him. In Bavonië panic breaks out and only Tim, whose father is writing a book about the history of the domain, can bring salvation. This is an exciting book, in which three different story lines (the story of Mercador’s running away, Tom’s adventures, and the history of the domain) fluently intertwine. The story plays in a ficticious land that nevertheless appears very realistic. The set-up of the book is clearly structured and the characters live up to their promise very well. (10+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2003 - 215
Slabbynck, Peter (text)
Verplancke, Klaas (illus.)
Het huis in het midden van de straat
(The house in the middle of the street)
Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2002. [32] p.
ISBN 90-5908-014-9
It seems to be another usual morning when the houses in the street are waking up. Until they discover something strange: At night, one of the houses has moved to the middle of the street. The other houses do not like this at all and think of all sorts of ways to chase it away. They even want to set fire to the house, but, in fact, nobody dares to do anything. Finally, it turns out that the house can be driven off. This unique book features photos from collages, in which, among others, pieces from magazines, cardboard, matches and chalk are being incorporated. Text and illustrations form an organic entity on each page. The illustrations are extremely original and sometimes even form a story of their own. (8+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2003 - 216
Vendel, Edward van de (text)
Vervaeke, Geert (illus.)
Pup en kit
(<Proper names>)
Wielsbeke : De Eenhoorn, 2002. 62 p.
ISBN 90-5838-129-3
Dog – Cat – Contact
Pup the dog and Kit the cat arrive at the same time at the house of their new owner. Of course, they have to get used to him, but also, and that is more difficult, to each other. Together, they do all kinds of foolish things, like taking a bath, going on a boat trip, trying to walk on the ice and many more. Although Pup and Kit do not always agree, they become very good friends. A beautiful, simple, sensitive and heart-warming story, in which the cat and dog come across very lifelike. The book is meant for beginning readers. The author, despite the limits regarding reading techniques, has succeeded in writing a loveable story that will captivate the young reader from cover to cover. (6+) ☼

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 217
Dudok de Wit, Michael (text/illus.)
Vader en dochter
(Father and daughter)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2002. [28] p.
ISBN 90-258-3494-9
Father – Daughter – Homesickness – Death
A little girl cycles with her father over a dike. After a while, they say goodbye to each other and the father rows away in a boat. The little girl grows up, marries, and has children. When she is old, she returns to the place where her father has disappeared. She chooses this place to die there herself and then meets her father again. Vanishing by boat into the horizon is a metaphor for the death or loss of a dear one. The theme has been detailed very well and gains extra strength from the gloomy colours and the rough pictorial composition based on animated cartoons. The minimal use of text, combined with big jumps in time within the story gives the reader the possibility for self-interpretation. For the young reader some guidance will be necessary. (7+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 218
Fontein, Elsbeth (text/illus.)
Kareltje Knor neemt een duik!
(Kareltje Knor takes a dip!)
Amsterdam : Zirkoon Uitg., 2002. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5247-229-7
Pig – Fun – Swimming
The little pig Kareltje Knor wants to learn how to swim and asks frog, duck, and turtle to help him. Because they all swim in a different way, they start to fight and Kareltje Knor falls into the water. Luckily, the pig remains afloat, but he is carried away by the current. His friends try to help unanimously. Falling down a little waterfall he ends up in a quagmire where his little brothers are happily rooting in the mud. This is the third part of a series of playful picture books about a cheerful pig. The stories are simple, but the successful combination of text and illustrations clearly gives the books extra value. Toddlers and pre-school children, who like to go and investigate, will easily identify with the story. (3+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 219
Grobler, Piet (text/illus.)
Niskos, L.M. (transl.)
Eén slokje, Kikker
(Take a sip, Kikker)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2002. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5637-438-9
(Engl. parallel edition exists)
Thirst – Animals
It is very warm and all the animals try to get some refreshment. Thirsty Frog takes a sip from a little puddle. It tastes so good that he keeps on drinking and finishes one puddle after the other. Frog is so thirsty that he drinks up all the water everywhere, except the water of the sea, which is too salty. The other animals on the savannah are very angry about this and try to get the water out of frog again, without success. Finally, the eels tickle Frog and the water comes rushing out of his mouth. This beautiful picture book has whimsical, stylised drawings that are full of motion. Grobler’s sublime savannah animals cavort through the creamy pink pages with tremendous charm. Many details make it a book to view again and again. (4+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 220
Jagtenberg, Yvonne (text/illus.)
Mijn konijn
(My rabbit)
Amsterdam : Hillen [et al.], 2002. [24] p.
ISBN 90-76897-03-4
Rabbit – Searchtrip
Arno wants to draw his rabbit, but the rabbit does not want to pose and runs away. Arno searches everywhere and asks many people whether they might have seen his rabbit. When he finally finds him, he decides to go home without him, because rabbits actually need to be free. However, his rabbit follows him and lies down on a pillow at home. Now Arno can make his drawing. This is a beautiful picture book with full-page illustrations, partially in collage- technique and partially chalk-drawings, often only half coloured. The text is simple and relates only the most essential. (3+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 221
Olthuis, Theo (text)
Boer, Kees de (illus.)
Een steen zweeft over water
(A stone wanders over water)
Amsterdam : Ploegsma, 2002. 48 p.
ISBN 90-216-1834-6
This is a book of 35 poems which, according to the author, has taken shape in the contact with children and their own poems. Subjects are daily events and nature, but also big themes like being in love and death. The poems are short and accessible and tell their stories with apparent simplicity. Traditional rhyme schemes are not being used, but in spite of that, the poems have a smoothly running metre. The black-and-grey illustrations accompanying the poems are playful: sometimes a little cryptic and sometimes representing the story literally, at other times, the illustrator represents his own interpretation of the poem. A beautiful and well-balanced volume, that stimulates readers to philosophise. (9+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 222
Remmerts de Vries, Daan
(Little God)
Amsterdam [et al.] : Querido, 2002. 87 p.
ISBN 90-451-0261-7
Gang of youths – Magic
In the village where Robbie Nathan lives, there’s little to do during the summer holidays. That’s the reason why he looks out for adventure to give meaning to his life as leader of a group of youngsters. At the graveyard, they dig up an old brown skull. Through the days, Robbie fights with everybody because he is so overbearing, but when he is lonely and realises what he has done, he repents. He does not need the skull to which he attributed magic forces anymore. In this remarkable and extremely well written novel, the reader is addressed directly by the main character. The reader will find Robbie variably sympathetic but sometimes also extremely arrogant and irritating when he once more humiliates his friends. The story is well structured and fascinates from cover to cover. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2003 - 223
Zwigtman , Floortje
(A pack of wolves)
Baarn : Fontein, 2002. 512 p.
ISBN 90-261-1813-9
Violence – Good/Evil – Coming of age
Old Ion tells a secret. At the end of 1900 when he was a boy, he and two of his friends joined a gang of robbers, consisting of young Romanian farmers. One day, they end up in an old monastery on the island of Snagov, where strange powers rule and lead to discord and eventually to murder. This is a cleverly constructed historical novel combining various framing stories, narrators, times, cultures and religions. For example, reports of two princes from the 15century Valachia, a mysterious correspondence, and historical chronicles have been included. Fact and fiction often intertwine. A magisterial epic about Good and Evil, cyclical history and coming of age. (14+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2004 - 212
Gaudesaboos, Pieter (text/illus.)
(Little red rag)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2003. [26] p.
ISBN 90-209-5358-3
Solitude – Fantasy
This graphically outstanding picture book tells the story of the girl Lapje (Little Rag), who always wears red during her journey through life. As she travels around, she is never alone, or is she? The red that Roodlapje (i.e. Little Red Rag) wears attracts bulls that recur in all possible ways in pictures, illustrations, and even in a computer game’s fragment, frightening and reassuring the girl at the same time. The nostalgic-looking pages with the – sometimes rhyming – descriptions of events, alternate with texts written by the main character herself that seem to consist mainly of associations with the colour red. This picture book lends itself particularly well to reading with adults. (6+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2004 - 213
Guldemont, Agnes (text)
Cneut, Carll (illus.)
Mijnheer Ferdinand
(Sir Ferdinand)
Wielsbeke : Uitg. de Eenhoorn, 2003. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5838-173-0
Search – Philosophy
Sir Ferdinand feels as if he had lost something, but he doesn’t know what. He searches his entire house for it – in vain – but the feeling that something is missing stays with him. Therefore, he continues to search in the city. He meets odd people who make him realise that, when you look around carefully, you continuously find special things. The unusual, delicately drawn, slightly surrealistic illustrations, executed in a mixed technique, represent solitude and the loss of reality in a striking way. The poetic language isn’t easy to understand but fits in very well with the illustrations. A brilliant, artistic picture book for connoisseurs. (7+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2004 - 214
Van Daele, Henri (text)
Verplancke, Klaas (illus.)
Glamp! of hoe Paddenwratje Kabouter opkikkerde
(Glamp! Or how Paddenwratje [Little Toad’s Wart] cheers up Gnome)
Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2003. 313 p.
ISBN 90-5908-075-0
Gnome – Witch – Quest
»Glamp,« that is how Gnome feels. And even though he himself doesn’t know exactly what that is, one definitely should do something against it. On Owl’s advice he goes to the sea »whom you can tell everything.« During the exciting journey – a price has been put on Gnome’s head, so there are enough pursuers – in a wooden-shoe-boat jointly made by the animals of the Wild Woods, Gnome understands that this rough ride is necessary for him to recover and rediscover himself. The help of the little witch Paddenwratje is imperative to this end. This modern fairy tale, which never becomes overly moralistic, is told with mild humour and a wink at modern society. (13+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2004 - 215
Vranken, Dirk (text)
Bode, Ann de (illus.)
Hasselt; Amsterdam : Uitg. Clavis, 2003. 71 p.
ISBN 90-448-0025-6
Outsider – Bullying
A boy is teased terribly by his classmates for unknown reasons. When he goes to the forest with his class, he even gets sprinkled with the poisonous juice of hogweed. The forester gives him an ointment that makes him feel as strong as a bear and is able to resist the annoying nuisances. However, before midnight, he has to drink from the pool because otherwise he will remain a bear forever. This exciting story presents a mixture of reality and fantasy. The paralysing fear and humiliation of the bullied boy are described in a realistic way. The open ending does not answer the question whether Bruno will succeed in fighting off the bullying for good. (9+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 216
Biegel, Paul (text)
Veen, Fiel van der (illus.)
Man en Muis
(Man and Mouse)
Haarlem : Uitg. Holland, 2003. 144 p.
ISBN 90-251-0917-9
Drugs – Addiction – Power struggle
Hundreds of grey mice live in uncle Theodoor’s house without his knowledge. Thanks to his computer, they order everything they need online and live a life of luxury. But then the rat Belem arrives. He sells Dwelm, highly dangerous addictive spices that make a mouse have delightful dreams. This is an ingenious fable, which draws many parallels to contemporary society, especially the world of drug addiction. Although it includes many fanciful elements, the story has a very realistic and serious undertone. Paul Biegel once again knows how to captivate the reader from the beginning to the very end of the story with his magnificent narrative. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 217
Franck, Ed (text)
Cneut, Carll (illus.)
Zie ik je nog eens terug?
(Will I see you again?)
Amsterdam [et al.] : Querido, 2003. 64 p.
ISBN 90-451-0063-0
Death – Grief
One day, Sarah runs away from home and ends up in a toy museum a few blocks away, where Nestor, the owner of the museum, looks after her. Sarah is obviously distressed, but she doesn’t want to talk about it. Using different kinds of toys, especially a little teddy bear, Nestor tries to gain her confidence and to find out what’s bothering her. At the end of the day, when he takes her home, Sarah shows him the cemetery where her little brother is buried. This is a brilliantly written story in short episodes representing the eight-year-old girl’s psyche, including her tantrums and the way she tries to deal with her little brother’s death, in a subtle and very touching manner. (8+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 218
Goossens, Jesse (text)
Dit is theater
(This is theatre)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2003. 239 p.
ISBN 90-5637-565-2
Theatre – Cabaret – Musical
This extremely thorough and serious non-fiction book about the many aspects of the world of performing arts is arranged according to topics. It gives an introduction to theatre, cabaret, and musicals, but also to the world of stage designers, make-up artists, and costume designers. Classical plays and highlights of the history of performing arts are described in a well-structured way. In addition, the book also includes various interviews, in which several celebrities are given the floor. Text, illustrations, and design are perfectly adapted to young readers. The book takes the readers on a true voyage of discovery through the world of illusions, the world of performing arts. (12+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 219
Hagen, Hans (text)
Hopman, Philip (illus.)
De dans van de drummers
(The drummers’ dance)
Amsterdam : Van Goor, 2003. 109 p.
ISBN 90-00-03459-0
Africa – Storytelling
Six children have gathered around the ill master drummer Dudu Addi. Each child has to choose a drum and an accompanying symbol. The ones who make the ‘wrong’ selection won’t get drumming lessons. Dudu Addi helps every child to choose by telling a story. The stories are partly based on traditional stories and, one by one, create a beautiful image of the atmosphere and cultural traditions in African countries. The author writes in a pleasant style with simple, short sentences. At the end, all the stories come together and, by then, the frame story is complete. The attractive colour illustrations seamlessly match the story and reflect the atmosphere of the African setting very well. (9+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 220
Leeuwen, Joke van (text/illus.)
(Idunno [= I don’t know])
Amsterdam [et al.] : Querido, 2003. [36] p.
ISBN 90-451-0023-1
Lost – Search
When her mother leaves the room for a moment, something falls on the girl’s bed: a little creature with a beak who has fallen out of the story that the mother had been telling her. The creature soon gets the name Kweenie (Idunno, i.e. »I don’t know«). Together, the little girl and Kweenie go looking for the tale that started with »Once upon a time,« because Kweenie’s father and mother must still be somewhere in that story. They end up in several different stories, but the parents are nowhere to be found. Eventually, they find them but now the little first-person narrator has to go back to her own story. The reader is guided through this book, which offers a variety of tales within a magnificent frame story, by a highly imaginative design, comics and colourful illustrations and just the right dose of humour. (7+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 221
Noort, Selma (text)
Meijer, Marja (illus.)
Pol en de kans van zijn leven
(Pol and the chance of his lifetime)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2003. 138 p.
ISBN 90-258-4142-2
Single-parent family – Singing – Travelling
Mother Lot and her son Pol, who live in a bridgeman’s house serving both as city gate and public toilet, know and see a lot of people. When notorious and famous singer Lorenzo takes refuge in their toilet, they save him from the gutter press who are trying to uncover Lorenzo’s well-kept secret, namely that he is the son of a poor organ grinder from the village. One day, Lorenzo finds out that Pol has a beautiful voice and decides to offer the boy the chance of his lifetime, even if he does this mainly to polish his own image a little. Pol, however, chooses his own friends. This original and heartwarming story, which is captivating to the last letter, raises moral and philosophical matters in a non-conformist way without ever making the story sound moralistic or boring. The combination of pleasant, everyday events and a highly imaginative, almost fairy-like world makes this book very special. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 222
Scholtens, Anneke (text)
Oud, Pauline (illus.)
Niet voor één gat te vangen
(Always a way out)
Assen : Educatieve Uitg. Maretak, 2003. 64 p.
ISBN 90-437-0180-7
Siblings – Babysitting
Lies, Max’s mother, is going to become a teacher at his school after the holidays. Since the school’s headmaster wants to talk to her beforehand, Max has to come with her to the schoolmaster’s house and baby-sit his younger brother Otto in the meantime. The two boys play in the backyard and everything that can go wrong does go wrong. Many things in the garden turn into a mess, the rabbit escapes, but at the same time the long-lost watch of the headmaster’s grandfather is found. In this distinctly humorous story about an everyday topic, the author has created a text both original in language and style, despite the young age of the target group. (6+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 223
Smids, Annejoke
(Pirate blood)
Amsterdam : Ploegsma, 2003. 319 p.
(Ploegsma kinder- & jeugdboeken)
ISBN 90-216-1616-5
Shipwreck – Island – Pirate – Madagascar/1697
In 1697, the ship Katharina is shipwrecked in a storm. Only three men are rescued by pirates and taken to the pirate island of Madagascar. The survivors basically turn into pirates themselves, except for young Sebastiaan who cannot stand all that murdering and, thus, is soon seen as a traitor. He is sent away to find a mysterious ghost ship, The Flying Dutchman, that has been haunting the region for centuries and has robbed the pirates of their treasures again and again. In this stirring historical novel by a promising debutante, the plot remains plausible even when non-realistic elements are introduced. What sets this book apart is the fact that the pirates are described from a fairly unusual perspective. (12+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2004 - 224
Westera, Bette (text)
Weve, Sylvia (illus.)
De raadselridder
(The mystery-knight)
Amsterdam : Hillen, 2003. 96 p.
ISBN 90-76766-69-x
Mystery – Knight – Love
In a castle in the forest lives Ganzerik, the mystery- knight, with his old mother who is lying on her deathbed. For them, time passes by so slowly that they still live in the Middle Ages. At the edge of the woods lives 9-year-old Janna with her mother in a luxurious house. Her father is always away on business trips. When Janna and Ganzerik meet one day, he thinks that his mother was right and that this is a girl to marry. He’ll only have to wait until she is old enough. The funny and highly imaginative story is told in fairly short clearly-structured chapters with distinctive blackand- white drawings that convey the atmosphere of the story very well. (8+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2005 - 217
De Kockere, Geert (text)
Musschoot, Griet (illus.)
Wielsbeke : De Eenhoorn, 2004. [42] p.
ISBN 90-5838-233-8
Identity – Philosophy
Man lives in his little house quite happily. Yet, once he starts thinking, he becomes totally obsessed with an agonising thought. To find relief from this torment, he uses the four basic elements: fire, water, earth, and air. At the end of the book, the broken Man lies on the beach, still dealing with his torment. This is an artistically designed picture book about the question of »Who am I?«. The typographic diversity as well as the illustrations in various techniques make this true art. The philosophical idea behind the story is complicated and a lot is left to the interpretation of the (young) reader. This exceptional book for children is ideal for reading together with adults. (9+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2005 - 218
Doncker, Wally de (text)
Derave, Veerle (illus.)
Tsjilp, zegt de vis
(Chirrup, said the fish)
Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok, 2004. 90 p.
ISBN 90-5908-095-5
Identity – Change of roles – Philosophy
A sparrow is looking at her reflection in the water and dreams of being somebody else. With the help of magic words she swaps bodies with a fish, while both creatures keep their own minds. Being in somebody else’s body, however, turns out not to be so easy and sometimes even dangerous. In the end, the fish wants his own body back but the sparrow refuses. The story is written in a very poetic style, using only monosyllabic words. The black-and-white illustrations and the design of the book give the story an extra dimension. The philosophical idea of the book, i.e. how to deal with your identity even if you’re not inside your own body, is explained in an easily accessible way for young children. (7+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2005 - 219
Leeuwen, Joke van (text/illus.)
Waarom een buitenboordmotor eenzaam is
(Why an outboard motor is so lonely)
Rekkem : Stichting Ons Erfdeel, 2004. 94 p.
ISBN 90-75862-70-9
This non-fiction book deals with the history, variety and peculiarities of the Dutch language spoken in the Netherlands, Flanders, Surinam, Aruba, the Netherlands Antilles, and South Africa. Through text and pictures we learn about words from the Middle Ages that don’t exist anymore, about words with more than one meaning, or why the Dutch alphabet has 26 letters. Even the new forms of language used for e-mailing and text-messaging is included. The combination of text, illustrations, and typography is fascinating, well thought-out, and efficient. The book offers a great deal of information all wrapped up in a very humorous story. Thus, the well-known Dutch children’s book author Joke van Leeuwen succeeds in creating a non-fiction book about the beauty and complexity of the Dutch Language. (12+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2005 - 220
Leue, Dimitri (text)
Clement, Sabien (illus.)
Lodewijk de koningspinguïn
(Lodewijk, the king penguin)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2004. 55 p.
ISBN 90-209-5873-9
Penguin – Dream – Freedom – Differentness
Lodewijk the king penguin is different from the other penguins of his colony. He is always tottering around and could be called a real doubter. He always does things his own way and that sometimes leads to conflicts with the other penguins. Since a penguin is a bird, Lodewijk firmly believes he can fly, but this opinion results in severe arguments with the king and so he is banished. The beautiful, rhythmical story about a quest for freedom and the fulfilment of dreams is divided into several scenes, and every chapter has a clear line of suspense. The dialogues enliven the story and make it suitable for reading aloud. The colours used in the illustrations of this well-designed book perfectly match the environment of the penguins. (8+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 221
Haeringen, Annemarie van (text/illus.)
Beer is op Vlinder
(Bear is in love with Butterfly)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2004. [28] p.
ISBN 90-258-4225-0
Love – Differentness
Bear is in love with Butterfly and does everything to attract her attention: He paints red hearts on almost every tree, but Butterfly doesn’t appreciate this »mess«. He knits a coat for Butterfly, but she says it looks like an egg-cosy. Then, he even builds a high house for her, but Butterfly suffers from fear of heights. In the end, Bear gives up, cuts all his presents into little pieces and sets fire to them. Butterfly finds the gloomy clouds of the fire so beautiful that she immediately declares her love for Bear. Both the text and the illustrations of this picture book are gorgeous. The repetition in the story is a carefully planned element that creates a lot of suspense and leads to a very poignant final act. The full-page illustrations in watercolour and ink perfectly reflect the fanciful atmosphere; at the same time, they show various funny details that go beyond the text. Text and illustrations invite young children to imagine what it means to be in love. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 222
Heesen, Martha
De Ijzeren Hemel
(The Iron Heaven)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2004. 112 p.
ISBN 90-451-0125-4
Granddaughter – Grandfather – Invention – Envy
After school, 10-year-old Loor often visits her grandfather who invents amazing machines. Grandfather also listens to her stories, for instance about her quarrel with her best friend who ›exchanged‹ her for a new classmate. Together they share the most wonderful moments in grandfather’s workshop »The Iron Heaven«, till the day when Grandpa makes a new friend who plans to exhibit and sell all the inventions. Loor hates this woman and desperately tries to prevent all this. The beautifully written and well-structured story describes the emotions and feelings of a girl who can’t stand the fact that somebody suddenly disturbs her close relationship with her grandfather. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 223
Jonge, Harm de (text)
Smit, Noëlle (illus.)
De Peperdans van Panzibas
(A special dance for Panzibas)
Amsterdam : Van Goor, 2004. 94 p.
ISBN 90-00-03580-5
Love – Death – Animals – Philosophy
Manne Mens (a human being) likes to sit on the edge of the pool and listen to the conversations between the poet H. Duif (a pigeon), the ever-pessimistic Mors Mol (a mole), the cheerful, flirtatious Bluebel Libel (dragonfly), the more or less philosophical Pa Pad (a toad), and some other animals. They all dream about the land behind the horizon called Panzibas. In twelve loosely connected chapters, the animals philosophise about the really important issues in life: Love, death, and what will happen after death. The very humorous dialogues show the animals’ different points of view. The full colour illustrations match the atmosphere of the literary texts very well. (9+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 224
Moeyaert, Bart
Dani Bennoni : lang zal hij leven
(Long live Dani Bennoni)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2004. 84 p.
ISBN 90-451-0145-9
Football – Sexuality – Friendship
It’s the summer of 1939 and you can feel the threat of war. 10-year-old Bing asks the football player Dani Bennoni to teach him how to play football but Dani refuses simply because Bing doesn’t have the ›right legs‹ to become a good player. As a kind of revenge, Bing and his friend Lenny set Dani and Martha, who is secretly in love with him, at each other’s throats. Little by little, the reader unravels the secret between Bing and Dani Bennoni. Behind the sober, suggestive words and the sophisticated references in this short novel, a lot of secrets, suppressed emotions, and sexual desires are hidden. The style is uncomplicated, direct, and even physical, and the text pays lots of attention to facial expressions, smells, and all sorts of noises. (13+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 225
Noort, Selma (text)
Klaassen, Sandra (illus.)
Nou moet jij!
(And now it’s your turn!)
Dordrecht : De Inktvis, 2004. 74 p.
(Bart en Esra)
ISBN 90-75689-35-7
Toddler – Everyday life – Nursery school – Multicultural society
Bart and the Turkish girl Esra are both three years old and live next to each other. They meet with all kinds of small adventures alone and together with their parents. One day, Esra is jealous when Bart is asked to water the flowers at the nursery school. Another day, she goes up and down the elevator in a shop all by herself. This collection consists of 24 well-written stories to read aloud about very recognisable situations of adventurous toddlers. The colourful illustrations in watercolour with outlines in ink add an extra dimension to the stories. The cultural differences between the Dutch and the Turkish family are never discussed explicitly but are a natural ›ingredient‹ in the stories. (3+) ☆

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 226
Schubert, Ingrid (text/illus.)
Schubert, Dieter (text/illus.)
Mijn held
(My hero)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2004. [28] p.
ISBN 90-5637-623-3
Mouse – Love – Courage
A mouse wants to declare his deep love to his girlfriend. He starts with an overstatement, vowing that nothing will keep him away from her. Then, he tries to list all the things he will do to be with her: Water, mountains, or ravines – nothing will stop him. For all his enterprises, he uses a long red rope. It serves as a tightrope, as a lasso to catch a camel, or might come in handy to catch some thieves, too. In full-page illustrations full of atmosphere with a lot of details and special attention to nature, these imaginary adventures are told. The small illustrations on the left pages, showing the two mice sitting on their branch, hint at the protagonists’ emotions that are recognisably human. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 227
Various (text/illus.)
Verhalen van de ronde tafel : tien verhalen over koning Arthur en zijn ridders
(Tales of the Round Table)
Amsterdam : De Bijenkorf/Zirkoon Uitg., 2004. 96 p.
ISBN 90-853-1031-8
Middle Ages– King Arthur – Round Table – Knight
These stories by ten well-known Dutch authors of children’s literature are based on or inspired by the legends of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. They are not faithful retellings of the tales but rather stories dealing with the important themes of the legends and using their characters. This provides a rich diversity of stories with sometimes surprising perspectives. Every story is illustrated by a different artist whose pictures add an extra dimension to the story. In a very useful ›who-is-who‹, characters and issues of the original legends are described. The beautifully designed book offers a kaleidoscope of stories by the best Dutch authors and illustrators. (12+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 228
Vriens, Jacques (text)
Schaap, Annet (illus.)
Tien torens diep : een verhaal over vriendschap
(Ten towers deep : a story about friendship)
Houten : Van Holkema & Warendorf, 2004. 159 p.
ISBN 90-269-9800-7
Netherlands/1958-1960 – Mining industry – Friendship
1958. Stef is in sixth grade at primary school. He knows that in a few years’ time he, just like his father and brother, will have to find work in the mines together with his friend Victor. The two boys and the girl Wietske have a secret club and undergo the most exciting adventures in the village where life’s joys and sorrows are controlled by the coalmine industry and the Roman Catholic Church. In this humorous yet touching novel about the friendship of three coal miner’s children in the 1950s, the positive and the negative social circumstances are described in a well-balanced way. This is a thrilling story for children and at the same time a document of historical interest. (11+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2005 - 229
Vries, Elly de
Duveke : een kleine roman
(Duveke : a short novel)
Amsterdam : Sjaloom, 2004. 86 p.
ISBN 90-6249-450-1
War – Peace – World War II
This short novel set during the last year of World War II is written from the perspective of Duveke, a perceptive and intelligent girl of almost five, who reflects on everything and interprets events with her own logic. Her father is part of the Dutch Resistance and her mother is so busy that she forgets to answer Duveke’s questions. The girl is not given a lot of love from her parents and always feels like an outsider. This is not primarily a historical novel about the last year of the Second World War, but rather an impressive and sensitive story that examines the impact a war can have on people of all ages. (10+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2006 - 216
Minne, Brigitte (text)
Olaerts, Wout (illus.)
Van kol, poes, rat, uit en raaf
(About Kol, Puss, Rat, Owl and Raven)
Wielsbeke : De Eenhoorn, 2005. 62 p.
ISBN 90-5838-330-x
Daily life Friendship
Kol, the witch, Puss, Rat, Owl, and Raven live in a five-storey hut in the forest. Each inhabitant has its own peculiarities: Kol is mad about porridge, Rat always wants to sit in front of the television, Puss is expecting kittens, Raven likes to tease the others, and Owl is very wise. Together, they share innumerable daily adventures, but sometimes there are also frictions and misunderstandings between them. This highly imaginative tale about four animals and a little witch describes recognisable emotions for children. The author knows how to tell a funny and engaging story for beginning readers with only one-syllable words. The modern, appealing mixed-media illustrations complete the story. (6+) ☆

Belgium (Dutch) - 2006 - 217
Thé, Tjong-Khing (illus.)
Picknick met taart
(Picnic with cake)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2005. [28] p.
ISBN 90-209-6171-3
Animals Search – Picknick
Mr. and Mrs. Dog are very proud of the cakes they prepared for the animal picnic. Unfortunately, the animals meet all kinds of obstacles that have to be removed on their way to the picnic field and then a little ›accident‹ with the cakes occurs, but in the end everything seems to turn out alright. However, when they arrive at the designated picnic spot, they suddenly realise that the cakes have disappeared after all. Two mice are suspected to be the thieves. This beautiful textless picture book has a lot of different storylines to offer. The story is very well composed, leads to an unexpected climax, and can easily be followed in the illustrations. The detailed watercolour pictures give children endless reading pleasure. (4+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2006 - 218
Van Rijckeghem, Jean-Claude
Van Beirs, Pat
Jonkvrouw : een roman
(Lady : a novel)
Antwerpen : Facet, 2005. 279 p.
ISBN 90-5016-446-3
Flanders/14th century Marguerite van Male – Gender role – Love – War
Marguerite van Male is born in 1341. Her father, the Count of Flanders, who wages a war against the English that will turn into a disaster for the Flemish army, had been hoping for a son and is deeply disappointed. Marguerite behaves like a boy, is obstinate, learns the art of fencing, and possesses her own sword. Everything seems to be going well until she is married off to Edmund van Langley, a very ugly and malicious Englishman, at the very moment that Filips van Rouvres falls in love with her. This fascinating novel introduces the everyday life of a young girl at the court in Bruges. It vividly describes the religion and superstition, the aristocrats’ way of life, the horrifying events during the war, and the terrible consequences of a deadly disease such as the plague. All of this, plus the admirable characterisation of the main protagonists and the evocative creation of an authentic atmosphere of the 14th century, make this book one of the best historical novels for young people of the last years. (14+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2006 - 219
Veldkamp, Tjibbe (text)
Boer, Kees de (illus.)
Kleine Aap’s grote plascircus
(Little Monkey’s big pee-circus)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2005. [28] p.
ISBN 90-8568-101-4
Gender-specific aspects Humour
Little Monkey has a little willie and is very talented in piddling therefore he sets up his Little Monkey’s Big Pee-circus, which is a huge success. Apelien, a little female monkey, is not allowed to compete in the circus, of course. However, after the monkey girl has demonstrated that girls actually pee, too, the astonished Little Monkey finally allows her to take part in the circus. This well-composed, humorous picture book tackles a topic that is rarely dealt with in such an original way. The gender-specific aspects of girls and boys presented in words and illustrations will certainly inspire interesting talks with children. The hilarious and literary text is a pleasure to read aloud, while all the details in the pictures lend an extra dimension to the story. (4 +)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 220
Grobler, Piet (text/illus.)
Het vogeltjes ABC
(The birds’ ABC)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2005. [60] p.
ISBN 90-5637-675-6 / -685-3
Birds Alphabet
In this alphabet book, every letter is introduced on a double-page spread and shown in capital and small letters. There is a lot of action in the illustrations following the pattern of action and reaction, with all kinds of birds as protagonists. A big bird pursues a little bird, but when an even bigger one appears, the big bird cries »Iiiee!!« (letter I). A worm tries to escape from the beak of a bird, but in the end he is eaten by the bird, who says »Njam njam« (for »yummy«; letter N). Most of the words used to represent the various letters are onomatopoeic. The beautiful language and the magnificent, humorous, and surprising illustrations will make this alphabet book a raving success with readers of all ages. (5+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 221
Hammerstein, Mariska (text)
Boer, Kees de (illus.)
Het grote feestenboek : van zwempartij tot straatfeest
(The big book about celebrations : from swimming party to street festival)
Amsterdam : Ploegsma, 2005. 125 p.
ISBN 90-216-1848-6
The Netherlands Celebration – Daily life – Holiday – Tradition
In this splendidly produced book with an abundance of colourful illustrations, the central focus is on celebrations from the daily lives of children in the Netherlands. In addition to (inter)nationally well-known festivities such as New Year’s, Carnival, Easter, the Feast of St. Martin, Christmas, and Saint Nicholas, a great number of more personal celebrations are also included in the book: the first day of going to school, graduation (or the final swimming lesson), the start of the summer holidays, or moving to another city. For every celebration, the inspiring book for parents, teachers, and other educators provides a short description of its origins and offers lots of delightful and unusual suggestions for all sorts of activities. (6+) ☆

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 222
Jong, Hanneke de
Sterke schouders
(Strong shoulders)
Houten : Van Goor, 2005. 155 p.
ISBN 90-00-03614-3
(originally published in Frisian in 2004) Father - Son - Mental illness
When you are sixteen, it’s time to stand on your own feet. Therefore, the main protagonist of this novel, Willem, has left his home island. Nevertheless, his past is still bothering him. What happened during his childhood? Why is he so angry with his father? By and by, the boy finds out more about himself, but also about his father’s illness. This story about a topical problem, written in a modern language full of emotion, provides a convincing description of a boy’s coming-of-age. The fact that Willem wants to become a filmmaker is part of the clever literary structure which uses film shots as flashbacks. Willem’s dreams help him uncover secrets from the past and repair the broken relationship between father and son. (14+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 223
Lieshout, Ted van (text/illus.)
Mama! Waar heb jij het geluk gelaten? : gedichten & prenten
(Mum! Where have you put the happiness? : poems & pictures)
Amsterdam : Leopold, [2005]. [32] p.
ISBN 90-258-4639-4
Poetry Emotions – Art
This special collection presents poems about all kinds of emotions very recognisable to young people: Topics touched on are the unexpected loss of a father, the relationship between a mother and her son, nostalgia for one’s former life, a teenager who stops speaking because he has lost his loved ones, or a young person who finds moments of happiness. The wonderful poems offer aspects for identification to readers of all ages. For the illustrations, Van Lieshout used various techniques (such as photography and digital imagery) that are explained in detail at the end of the book. This is not only a poetry collection about emotions, but at the same time a book about art, and therefore also useful for educational purposes. (11+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 224
Remmerts de Vries, Daan (text/illus.)
Piertje is jarig
(It’s Little Worm’s birthday today)
Hilversum : Klaproos, 2005. [28] p.
(Moffel en Piertje)
ISBN 90-77119-76-0
Sadness Friendship – Birthday
Little Worm is anxious to open his birthday presents. When his best friend, Mole, delivers his gift, Worm thinks it’s a football. But what is a worm without legs supposed to do with a football? The angry little worm hurries to the next friend and is offered a flight on her back. Yet, Worm is too heavy and so they don’t manage to take off. Little Worm feels extremely sad, disappears into the forest, gets lost, and eventually meets Mole again. Now, he discovers that Mole’s present was the moon illuminating the forest. This well-structured literary and humorous picture book about friendship points out how important it is to listen to each other. The brightly-coloured mixed-media illustrations with interesting details add an extra dimension to the story. (4+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 225
Sollie, André
Nooit gaat dit over
(This will never end)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2005. 92 p.
ISBN 90-451-0207-2
Homosexuality Loneliness
This book tells the tender and sad story about two neighbouring boys who are very attracted to each other. Whereas the younger one feels completely confident about his love, the older one is unsure and enters into a relationship with a girl before he becomes conscious of his true feelings. The difficult relationship between the boys is characterised by sadness and loneliness: Both boys’ fathers are absent and while one mother more or less manages to take care of the family, the other one hardly looks after her son. In this beautifully written, quiet story for adolescents, every chapter is a compact unity and a story in its own right, in which the author renders a convincing portrayal of the protagonists, the atmosphere, the situation, and the dialogues. (14+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 226
Tellegen, Toon (text)
Törnqvist, Marit (illus.)
Holt, Klaas ten (music)
(<Proper name>)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2005. [44] p. + 1 CD
ISBN 90-451-0214-5
Imagination Witch – Oppression – Injustice – Resistance
This modern fairy tale for all ages points out the importance of resistance against oppression. Every time, Pikkuhenki, a minuscule little witch invisible to human beings, flies over the kingdom, she witnesses a lot of injustice but soon discovers that she has a lot of power over people or animals when she flies into their minds. One day, for example, she helps a dog and a bear by letting them know how to escape from their cruel owners. Another time, she gets into the mind of young Iwan and guides his activities to show that people are able to fight against injustice. In this beautiful picture book, text and illustrations match extremely well. Iwan’s red hat is an eye-catching element in the greyish paintings, the barking dogs and dancing people seem hypnotised in an absurd way in some pictures, whereas other illustrations reveal the fear and submissiveness of the people. (8+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 227
Westera, Bette (text)
Haeringen, Annemarie van (illus.)
Scholten van Aschat, Gijs (narration)
De vuurvogel
(The Firebird)
Haarlem : Gottmer, 2005. [32] p. + 1 CD
(Universal kindercollectie klassiek)
ISBN 90-257-3988-1
Stravinsky, Igor / The Firebird
This volume, part of a series of well-written, beautiful little picture books that introduce the highlights of classical music to young children, presents Igor Stravinsky’s story about Prince Ivan who quarrels with the giant Kashchei. In an , but very engaging text, the author easily captures the plot and atmosphere of the complicated original story. The detailed illustrations perfectly match the text and add an extra dimension to the story. On the enclosed CD, the story is clearly and vividly read aloud, accompanied by a recording of the music from 1974 conducted by Bernard Haitink. This picture book proves that classical music can be introduced to children in a modern and interesting way. (6+) ☼

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2006 - 228
Zwigtman, Floortje
Baarn : De Fontein, 2005. 509 p.
ISBN 90-261-3103-8
London/19th Century Victorian Age – Prostitution – Homosexuality
This historical teenage novel, situated in Victorian London at the end of the 19th century, tells the story of 16-year-old Adrian Mayfield who, at the young age of 14 already runs his parents’ pub. After they have to shut down, he is forced to accept a boring job as a tailor’s assistant. In this shop, he meets Augustus Trops, who introduces him to the world of artists, and, soon, Adrian becomes an artist’s model. Under a different name, he also works as a male prostitute and becomes involved in burglary and blackmail. This vivacious story focuses on Adrian’s inner conflicts without disguising his opportunism. Explicit sexual scenes are functional to the story. Apart from the fictitious protagonists, the novel also features many historical characters, such as Oscar Wilde. (14+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2007 - 213
Clement, Dorine (text)
Clement, Sabien (illus.)
Het grote verlangen
(The great longing)
Tielt : Lannoo, 2006. [40] p.
ISBN 978-90-209-6483-7
Friendship – Love – Desire
Elise and Cyprian are best friends. One day, the boy tries to tell Elise something important, but it seems that he simply doesn’t know how to express his feelings. Therefore, he decides to go on a journey to discover the right words while Elise remains at home. During his absence, the girl literally longs for him: She gets longer and longer, until the day Cyprian returns carrying a box with two hearts. This poetic story is accompanied by surrealistic illustrations in collage-technique created from old copperplates and new gouache paintings in sober colours. The characters are depicted with oddly proportioned limbs so that their whole body expresses their emotions. The concise text is written in a beautifully rhymed rhythm that strengthens the poetic character of the book. (5+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2007 - 214
Schuurmans, Hilde (text/illus.)
Plotter is jarig
(Plotter’s birthday)
Hasselt [et al.] : Clavis, 2006. [28] p.
ISBN 978-90-448-0606-9
Birthday party – Envy – Friendship – Jealousy
Little dog Plotter will soon be six years old and he looks forward to having a real birthday party. The first guest to arrive is Pollie, the little pig. Soon, she takes over the whole party organisation and it almost seems as if she were the birthday girl whereas Plotter is pushed into the background. After a while, he feels his anger rising. Later, as they sit in the sandpit together, Pollie admits that she was jealous and apologises to Plotter. This entertaining picture book offers plenty of possibilities for identification for little readers. The full-page illustrations, rendered in ink and water-colours, both follow the story faithfully and add new aspects to the text. The book naturally lends itself to discussing the topic of jealousy with young children. (4+)

Belgium (Dutch) - 2007 - 215
Vandermeeren, Hilde (text)
De Vos, Rosemarie (illus.)
Mijn eerste sprookjesgroeiboek : ik lees het zelf!
(My first fairy tale book : I can read it on my own!)
Leuven : Davidsfonds/Infodok [et al.], 2006. 166 p.
ISBN 90-77942-20-3
Fairy tale – Adaptation
This interesting fairy tale collection includes 24 (both well known and lesser known) tales from Perrault, the Grimm Brothers, Andersen, and Madame Le Prince de Beaumont, retold for first readers. At the beginning of the book, there are comicstrip-like retellings with monosyllabic words that can even be read by first graders almost immediately; the tales placed towards the back feature longer texts that budding readers from second or third grade will be able to work out. Even the extremely short versions perfectly manage to keep the essence of the original fairy tales alive. The accompanying illustrations, mostly rendered in dark acrylics, are fresh and vivid. (6+)

Special Mention - Belgium (Dutch) - 2007 - 216
Verrept, Paul (text/illus.)
Wielsbeke : De Eenhoorn, 2006. [28] p.
ISBN 978-90-5838-377-8
Father – Son – Distress
One day, the 16-year-old first-person narrator feels an inexplicable urge to venture outside into the fog. He walks past invisible houses to the playground in a park where he bumps into the slide. Suddenly, he is transported back to the moment when he was seven years old and his father recited a song about leaving. The next day, he disappeared. The boy’s mother never talks about his father’s abrupt departure nor does she answer her son’s questions. In the fog, the son senses his father’s presence and derives some comfort from the idea that he might have come to say that he loves him. Yet, when the fog lifts, the boy is alone again. This impressive, complex picture book combines a poetic text with enchanting illustrations. Despite the dreamy atmosphere, the story also confronts readers with the harsh reality because the question about why the father left remains unanswered. This book should be read by adults together with their children. (10+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 217
Bekebrede, Noortje (text/illus.)
Een raar gevoel
(A peculiar feeling)
Nieuwegein : Vereniging »Ouders, Kinderen en Kanker« [VOKK], 2006. [30] p.
Illness – Siblings – Sadness
Lot’s little sister falls seriously ill and is taken to hospital, and the parents seem so preoccupied with her illness that they completely forget about Lot. At the hospital, the adults are too immersed in important conversations, and her little sister gets all the presents. And above all, playing alone is definitely no fun. Eventually, Lot is able to talk about her emotions with her favourite aunt and discovers that feeling sad and lost (and slightly jealous) is completely normal in this situation. The succinct text of this unusual picture book, which opens vertically (just like a wall calendar), is accompanied by slightly distorted mixed-media collages. Children will easily identify with the main character’s feelings. (7+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 218
Bon, Annemarie
Houten : Van Holkema & Warendorf, 2006. 143 p.
ISBN 90-269-1521-7
Truth – Lie – Reality – Munchausen Syndrome
To earn some pocket money, fifteen-year-old Mette often takes care of little children. One day, she babysits the child of a family she has never been to before. At first, everything seems perfectly alright, but the evening ends in a terrible nightmare. The mother returns and finds her baby dead in its bed. Naturally, Mette is suspected to be responsible and is questioned by the police. She asserts that she didn’t do the baby any harm, but it takes a long time for all those involved to learn what really happened. This moving novel is told in short chapters from the perspective of both Mette and her boyfriend. With a lot of empathy for the vividly portrayed characters, the author unravels the mystery of the thrilling plot. (14+)

The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 219
Dudok de Wit, Michael (text/illus.)
Vier bevertjes en een kastanje
(Four little beavers and a chestnut)
Amsterdam : Leopold, 2007. [28] p.
ISBN 978-90-258-5030-2
Death – Grief
Four little beavers are sitting under a chestnut tree when suddenly a chestnut hits one of them on the head. The bump hurts terribly, and so the friends set off in search of Old Beaver to ask him how to stop the throbbing pain. Yet, when they finally find the ancient animal, he is lying on the grass unable to move his stiff joints. The beavers stay with him all night, and by the following morning, Old Beaver has died. They dig a beautiful grave for him and put the chestnut inside, hoping it will slowly grow into a huge chestnut tree. This picture book features colourful animation-film-like illustrations drawn from unusual perspectives. The story is simple, but the theme of death and afterlife is developed in a very convincing way. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 220
Groothof, Frank (text)
Huiberts, Marjet (song texts)
Rogaar, Karst-Janneke (illus.)
(<Proper name>)
Amsterdam : Nieuw Amsterdam Uitg., 2006. 79 p. + CD
ISBN 90-468-0071-7
Gilgamesh epos – Persia
This is a compelling contemporary adaptation of the famous epic about Gilgamesh, the Persian king of Uruk. Gilgamesh is forced to fight his enemy, the savage Enkidoe, but the combat ends in a draw and they become good friends. Together they perform all kinds of heroic deeds, such as killing the keeper of the cedar wood. As Enkidoe was initially sent to Gilgamesh by the gods so they would be able to keep a tight rein on Gilgamesh, the gods are infuriated by the friendship and seek revenge. This spellbinding retelling with numerous modern elements does credit to the original epic of Gilgamesh. An eloquent storyteller leads the readers through the book, which is adorned with highly detailed illustrations. On the accompanying CD, the story is told in an engaging voice and complemented with songs. This attractive and felicitous combination of book and Audio-CD invites the audience to sit back and relax, listen to the story, and enjoy the pictures. (9+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 221
Jonge, Harm de (text)
Tulp, Wouter (illus.)
Josja Pruis
(<Proper name>)
Houten: Van Goor, 2006. 135 p.
ISBN 90-00-03748-4
The Netherlands/1956 – Boy – School – Twins – Brother – Death
One day in 1956, a new pupil arrives in the classroom: Josja Pruis, who claims to be the only surviving half of a Siamese twin. One of his new classmates, Homme Prins, also had a little brother once who died immediately after his birth. Whenever the boy asks his mother about his brother, she starts crying. With Josja’s arrival, a lot changes at school but in the end, the boy vanishes as abruptly as he came, leaving Homme with a lot of unanswered questions. This powerful, complex novel, with three different levels, intertwines the search of Homme and his girlfriend for more information about Josja’s past with that of Homme’s own past. The author compellingly portrays the various characters and their friendship. (10+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 222
Posthuma, Sieb (text/illus.)
Mannetje jas
(Mr. Coat)
Amsterdam : Querido, 2006. [26] p.
ISBN 90-451-0245-5
Friendship – Love
In this modern fairy tale, readers meet a little man who never gets warm, no matter how many coats he wears. Eventually, he comes across a woman who suffers from the same problem. They fall in love, and their mutual affection warms them both. This out-of-the-ordinary picture book is full of humour. Even though the text may not be easy for small children, the meaning of difficult words and complex sentences becomes evident through the context. The emotions of the characters are delightfully expressed in both words and pictures. The full-page mixed-media illustrations (pen-and-ink, water-colour and collage) are brimming with details, and every time readers go back to look at them again, they are bound to discover something new. (4+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 223
Rinck, Maranke (text)
Linden, Martijn van der (illus.)
Meisjes om te zoenen
(Absolutely delightful girls)
Rotterdam : Lemniscaat, 2006. [28] p.
ISBN 978-90-5637-828-8
Prince – Love – Metamorphosis
A huge crowd of beautiful animal girls is queuing up in front of the frog prince’s palace, eagerly waiting to kiss him. It’s the poor prince’s difficult task to choose the fairest of them all. While the beautiful hummingbird is the first one to approach him, the other animals have to wait their turn, chattering animatedly about the best way to impress His Royal Highness. When, in the final round, the chosen animals are invited to kiss the prince, a surprising metamorphosis takes place. This picture book features attractive and very realistic illustrations with shamanistic motives of North American Indians. The story is cleverly composed and thus keeps the readers in suspense until its unexpected ending. (5+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 224
Roovers, Eus (text)
Vriends van der Steijn, Ingeborg (illus.)
Reus en dwerg
(Giant and Dwarf)
Haarlem : Uitg. Holland, 2006. 44 p.
ISBN 90-251-1002-9
Everyday life – Friendship
This enchanting book for small children tells short stories about the numerous adventures of Giant and Dwarf, two unusual friends. The topics touched upon are going on holidays, getting lost and being unable to find the way back home, playing hide-and-seek, and discovering true friendship. Dwarf is the one who always takes the initiative in their various activities. Although the two friends are very different, they are both ingenious characters. Little children will recognise themselves easily in the protagonists’ exciting experiences. The entertaining stories, in which difficult words are explained in a childlike way, are interspersed with a lot of dialogue. They are complemented by idiosyncratic illustrations with plenty of details. (3+)

Special Mention - The Netherlands (Dutch) - 2007 - 225
Verroen, Dolf (text)
Nahmias, Veronica (illus.)
Slaaf kindje slaaf
(Slave, my little child, slave)
Rotterdam : Uitg. Ger Guijs, 2006. 95 p.
ISBN 90-6734-451-6
(also published in German in 2005)
Surinam/18th century – Slavery
This touching story is told from the perspective of a twelve-year-old white girl on the threshold of maturity growing up in Surinam in the 18th century. Maria’s birthday present is a small black boy – her first personal slave. For the girl, slavery is completely natural, and she talks about it without a trace of guilt. Today’s readers, however, are confronted with the cruel reality of adults treating slaves like property. The text is written in short and simple yet carefully constructed sentences. The pencil drawings faithfully depict all the different characters of the story, who look just as modest and austere as they are described in the text. (Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis, 2006; Gustav-Heinemann-Friedenspreis, 2006) (10+) ☆ ☼