Skip to main content
A beautiful exploration of happiness and hope

The Dog That Nino Didn’t Have

Anton Van Hertbruggen & Edward van de Vendel

Nino has an imaginary dog that can and dares to do everything: imitate squirrels, sit on Great-Grandma’s lap or dive into the deep. The little dog also hears everything Dad says on the telephone when he phones from far away. But one day the imaginary little dog suddenly disappears, because Nino has been given a real dog. This dog is nothing like the all-comprehending daredevil the imaginary dog was. Fortunately, there are many other animals Nino can fantasize about.

Pure joy
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

In this moving story about the healing powers of the imagination, Anton Van Hertbruggen and Edward van de Vendel broach major themes such as sadness and loneliness. The isolation of Nino, who seems to wile away all his time with imaginary animals, is clearly palpable throughout the book. Newcomer Van Hertbruggen cleverly distinguishes himself through his unique style, with dark earthy tones and dynamic compositions. Desolate, truly disconsolate landscapes inspired by the Scandinavian countryside reflect the little boy’s emotions. The prints evoke the longing for adventure and escapism, but also a rather bleak atmosphere. Dreamy, realistic and fascinating enough to want to look at again and again.

A perceptive and moving exploration of childhood yearning
The New York Times Book Review
An unusual tribute to the consolations of imagination
The Wall Street Journal