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Longing for friendship and conviviality


Klaas Verplancke
An exquisite and philosophical word palette
'Both funny and transgressive… A total artist'
Corrado Rabitti, publisher at ZOOlibri (Italy)

'Back in 2001, when ZOOlibri’s adventure had just begun, Klaas Verplancke won the Bologna Ragazzi Award Special Mention for the gorgeous 'Jot'. When I was introduced to him, I told him: “You’re a genius! I don't know when and how, but I can guarantee I'll publish you in Italy, I swear it!” Among Klaas's titles intended as artistic picture books are two real jewels: 'Jot' and 'Roots'. They are saturated with images, situations, thoughts, depressions, pressures, and they pick you up and then slow you down: in a word, life. As for picture books for kids, it's obvious that I love 'Giant' and 'Nelly': they are simply perfect. To end the list, his erotic books are both funny and transgressive. Klaas Verplancke is a total artist, absolutely, he can move with lightness from erotica to religion to classic tales to graphic books to paintings to magazines to posters to portraits to beer labels. He does so never by being ordinary and predictable, but by amusing and being amused and inviting those who look at his work to think about what they're observing.'

Nelly builds a gigantic house at a spot with fantastic views. But when her friends Bird, Bear, Duck and Cow come by to visit one by one, she realizes she misses the view of the forest, the mountain, the pond and the meadow. Her friends prefer not to spend time at her house either for the same reason. So Nelly begins by knocking down the first wall, then the second, third and fourth, until all that’s left is the roof over her head. And then Bird, Bear, Duck and Cow all want to come and visit – and all at the same time.

The illustrations glow, and conjure up the feeling of a safe home

Klaas Verplancke’s work has already won countless awards, including the Bologna Ragazzi Award and the Boekenpauw. This book, too, reveals his talents. Nelly’s story confronts children with their place in nature. It’s not always easy to demolish the walls around you and expose yourself, but if you do manage to do it, you can be part of nature and the world around you. The illustrations only serve to enhance this book: they exude such warmth it’s as if you’re reading in front of an open fire.

A full-fledged read-aloud story and picture book
De Standaard