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An exotic quest with sharp edges

The Boy, the Hornbill, the Elephant, the Tiger and the Girl

Carll Cneut & Peter Verhelst

A boy is taken to a secret valley by the men of his village, where he is to be initiated into everything a man needs to know. But when he is alone in the valley, he hears terrifying noises coming from his village. It turns out that no one has survived a herd of elephants stampeding through his home. That includes his sister, who cannot truly let go of the boy and her life until he has successfully completed some trials of strength.

So beautiful that you often want to read passages twice
Friesch Dagblad

Peter Verhelst has written an intriguing and enigmatic story about a boy who goes through an initiation ritual, all by himself. But then his real initiation begins: he has to learn to live alone. Fear, courage, loss and death are the themes that emerge from Verhelst’s poetic words. Carll Cneut complements the story with pictures that show the beauty of nature and the insignificance of humans. The setting and atmosphere are reflected in these illustrations, which are wonderfully dense, allowing a ray of filtered light to slip through here and there, just like in a real rainforest. This is a book that calls for slow and attentive reading, so that you can immerse yourself in this wonderful story with all of your senses.

Cneut's imagery is no longer a tribute to the power of aesthetic capacity; his pictures are beauty itself