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A groundbreaking return to the essence


Gregie De Maeyer

In 1993 Gregie De Maeyer was a much-lauded writer and illustrator, who had garnered numerous awards with his colourful drawings and cheerful stories. But with ‘Cycling’ he made a radical U-turn. The drawings went back to basics and the text was imbued with a similar intensity. Bet is tired of her tricyle and wants to start cycling on a proper bike. But nobody is prepared to teach her. She is angry with everything and everyone. This book, with a style that borders on expressionism, earned De Maeyer the Flemish State Prize for Youth Literature.

Gregie De Maeyer translates the big existential questions for children in an unflinching and accurate way
Jury report Flemish State Prize for Youth Literature

‘In a Hole’ followed later that same year. Huey is in a hole and doesn’t know how he got there or how to get out again. Nobody pays him the slightest bit of attention. Or do they? Lastly, in 1994, ‘Mummy’ was published, in which Helena would love to crawl back into her mum’s tummy before discovering that being a big girl has its advantages too.

Emotions distilled in text and image about panic, trust, security and the fear of being abandoned
De Standaard

To mark the twentieth anniversary of Gregie De Maeyer’s death, Van Halewyck has collected these three books, in which De Maeyer experiments with different illustration techniques, into a single volume. It is clear from reading these texts just how good he was at empathising with toddlers and preschoolers, for whom not everything is always fun. The State Prize jury praised their authenticity, warmth and emotional impact. An unmissable collection from one of the godfathers of Flemish children’s literature.