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Poetry in words and pictures

When the Queen Disappeared

Sabien Clement & Anna Vercammen

The queen has disappeared. Vanished. Without a trace. Who is left behind? The king refuses to go outside, the court jesters are fleeing the kingdom and the princess is waiting for the thaw. Where is the touch of a prince when your heart is frozen?

A special kind of fairy-tale with marvellous illustrations
NBD Biblion

Anna Vercammen has written a poetic story about grief which is nevertheless quite funny. The pictures by Sabien Clement complement Vercammen’s words beautifully, and the illustrator’s elegant lines portray the queen’s slow disappearance in an original way. The mix of pure illustrations and collage gives rise to a visual playfulness that is well-matched to the text. ‘When the Queen Disappeared’ is a special fairy-tale about loss and hope.

The fragile text is poetic and imbued with a subtle humor which lightens the heavy theme
'One of today’s leading innovators in the field of picture-book making'
Martin Salisbury, illustrator, professor of illustration and author of 'Play Pen' and 'Illustrating Children’s Books'

'The illustrative work of Sabien Clement is characterized by its depth of respect for both the written word and the reader, be it a child or an adult. The artist’s drawings exude empathy and warmth. Consequently, she is able to tackle a wide variety of subject matter but always with an emphasis on human emotion and interaction. Clement does not fall easily into the box called “illustrator”. Speaking about such labels, she has said: “I see myself as a ‘drawer from the heart’. If this becomes a picture book, that’s fine. If it becomes a painting, that’s fine too… If a picture book transcends the normal, if the pictures move you emotionally, then for me it’s fine art. But I am not really concerned about the words.”

This ability to engage so deeply with or “get under the skin of” her characters and their motivations, whilst experimenting fearlessly with various graphic media marks Sabien Clement out as one of today’s leading innovators in the field of picture-book making.'