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A poetic fable about the importance of stories

The Whale Library

Judith Vanistendael & Zidrou

A postman at sea has to leave his loved one again and again to set sail in his rickety boat. This is even harder for him now that she is pregnant. One night, his boat is overturned by an enormous, ancient whale. She carries an entire library inside her belly and soon takes a liking to the marine postman. She lends him a book and asks him hundreds of questions about life on land. A special friendship develops. But one night the postman can’t meet her at the agreed time. The whale sticks around, waiting for him, which enables the hunters to catch her.

A tale of exceptional beauty. Moving, tender, thoughtful and unique
Ligne Claire

When two extremely talented professionals join forces, the result is bound to be impressive. Zidrou’s poetic and playful fable about the importance of inspiring stories is lifted to an even higher level by Judith Vanistendael, whose gorgeous paintings depict the characters and their surroundings with great love and tenderness. She has fun with sumptuous underwater scenes and excels in the depiction of seemingly banal everyday life. Maintaining a fine balance between picture book and graphic novel, at times drenched in nostalgia, at others full of joy and happiness, ‘The Whale Library’ celebrates life without ever losing sight of death.

Judith Vanistendael conjures with every shade of blue and makes this story her own. The brilliant outcome is both warm and slightly surreal.
De Morgen
Vanistendael once again proves her credentials as one of the strongest visual artists in Flanders and beyond.*****
De Standaard