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A journey around the world on stilts

The Stilt Walker

Mattias De Leeuw

A man is sitting in his cabin in the forest, all by himself. When he stares out of the window, all he sees are trees. It is a beautiful forest, but the man isn’t happy: he demolishes his little house and with the timber he assembles a pair of tall stilts. At long last he can see the horizon. What’s more: with giant steps he can now go and explore the wonders of the world. His journey takes him to the sea, where he sees snorkellers, mermaids and octopuses. Then he sets sail for more exotic climes: he rests in a palm tree, sees a herd of bison in an American canyon and lands in the middle of a cat-and-mouse game between cowboys and Indians. He counts sheep in the mountains and visits Eskimos at the North Pole. When the stilt walker returns home in winter, he makes another cabin out of his stilts, but this time with all the colours he has encountered during his voyage.

A fine debut – it looks like the well of promising young Flemish illustrators has not run dry yet.
De Standaard

In ‘The Stilt Walker’, his wordless debut, Mattias De Leeuw deploys an effortless drawing style with the spontaneity of sketches and an effective colour palette. Thanks to this smooth synthesis his pictures are alive with movement. Besides, there are plenty of side stories to discover in the many details.

A wonderful story, with all the reference points to let your imagination do the rest
A gorgeous book based on a simple idea and developed in a beautiful way
Jaap Leest