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Feel-good story about friendship and daring

Rosie and Moussa

Michael De Cock & Judith Vanistendael

‘Rosie and Moussa’ illustrates the fact that cultures and generations do not have to be at odds with each other. Rosie goes to live in a new flat with her mother and quickly makes friends with the boy on the floor above, Moussa, and with the elderly Mrs Hemelrijk. Together they have a fun adventure on the roof, which has a great view over the city. This is a small and intimate story, written with beauty and warmth and without any false sentiment.

A lovely, modern story about a friendship between two children in the big city
Reformatorisch Dagblad

With his well-chosen images and lively dialogues, De Cock creates enchanting characters. The subtle humour and gentle observations make ‘Rosie and Moussa’ a true gem. The author manages to give this story for seven-year-olds depth, something that is often missing in books for this age group. De Cock forms an excellent team with Judith Vanistendael, whose illustrations sometimes lead a fascinating life of their own. Her first-rate, often humorous pictures are natural, subtle, perceptive and expressive. The sequels, ‘The Letter from Dad’, ‘Best Friends Forever’ and ‘Rosie and Moussa’s Secret’, have been as well received as this first book.

As amusing as it is touching
Knack
De Cock is a gifted and mild observer
De Morgen
‘Rarely have a translator and his editor taken so much pleasure in their work’
Rolf Erdorf, award-winning Dutch-German translator

‘When two people tell the same story at the same time… the results can be magnificent. That is the case with ‘Rosie and Moussa’ by Michael De Cock and Judith Vanistendael. Author and illustrator discussed together what should be drawn, what was better written, and even what would be best left out. The result is an expertly told story, beautifully related in both pictures and words.

Rosie and Moussa are two children who live next door to each other, who can make something out of anything and nothing. If you don’t have a dog, then an old ginger tomcat will have to stand in. And if you don’t own much stuff, then you can move house in a taxi. But why did Rosie move into her new place not only without a removal van, but also without a dad? She doesn’t want to be the one to tell Moussa. Even though her bedroom is directly beneath his. Moussa, though, would be only too happy to make a hole in his floor, so that he can go and see Rosie whenever he wants.

Rarely have a translator and his editor taken so much pleasure in their work. It’s also the first time that a publisher stated 24th December as the deadline in my translation contract. What a great Christmas present! It’s almost as exciting as wanting to make a hole in your floor to talk to your new best friend.’