Another gorgeous Timmers spectacle, full of captivating details.
De Morgen on 'The Monster Lake'
Bear can’t find his glasses anywhere, and without them he can’t see properly. On his way to Giraffe, Bear sees all kinds of animals that were never there before. He makes Giraffe curious and they set off together to retrace the route. But now with his glasses on (they were on his head all along), Bear can no longer find the deer, the crocodile, the elephant and the flamingo. Might his glasses be broken?
Dazzling and distinctive design combined with subtle humour
Pluizuit on 'Henry'
Brothers Aldo and Rino love Nonna’s spaghetti. When Nonna trips and drops a plate on the floor, the two brothers have to share the remaining pasta. They bolt it down, until a single strand remains. With one end in his mouth, each does all he can to prevent the other from eating the last bit. In this playful and surreal story full of visual humour, friendship, sharing, brotherhood, letting go and getting things into proportion are central.
Sensitive and delicate, with streaks of unruly humour
Slug tells Toad that something is about to happen, without saying exactly what. Together they wait. When the sun rises, it becomes clear to the reader what Slug means but meanwhile Toad has become too agitated to be able to enjoy the sparkling splendour. ‘Just Look!’ appeals to us to look around us, but even more importantly to want, to dare, to see everyday miracles.
A contemporary story that slowly seizes you by the throat
In the underwater state, the pale baron is the leader. He has a strong dislike of poets: one day he fires all of them into space. Fortunately, Felix and Felka are not poets but singers. Yet their names too find their way onto the list of ‘inferiors’ that the dictatorial baron wants to remove from his land. A painful story with humour about how we treat, or are in danger of treating, each other nowadays.
Pure and adventurous without any fuss; a breath of fresh air amid the hype of children’s book country.
Eleven-year-old Atta lives in the Stone Age. She is jealous of the boys, who are allowed to go hunting with the men. So she takes matters into her own hands – and finds herself eye to eye with a savage mammoth. Atta is a cocky and headstrong girl that gains a better knowledge of both herself and her prejudices in this thrilling adventure. Jolien Janzing brings to life a version of prehistoric times that makes a delightful setting.
Aline Sax convincingly shows how words can be used to make the horror of war almost tangibly present in the reader's mind.
Berlin, April 1945. Through the eyes of a German girl, Aline Sax arrestingly describes the horrors of war. She does so in short, measured, rhythmical sentences that slow the reader down and increase the impact. In filmic images, a reality unfolds that stresses the moral ambiguity of war. This haunting novel in verse looks at human beings from every angle, as cruel, courageous, cowardly, hopeful, but above all resilient.
The few, but beautifully chosen words support the magical pictures in the same way the friends are a powerful support for one other.
A girl looks out of the window, bored. She’s searching for something, even though she doesn’t know what. Suddenly, she hears wings flap. She goes outside, curious, and meets Bird and Fox.
'Fox, Bird and Me’ is a hopeful tale about the power of friendship and it shows how we can overcome difficulties with the help of others. But it can also be read as a book that calls for a revaluation of nature whilst also paying attention to mental wellbeing: a book about life itself.
Inspiring stories and beautiful illustrations make this book a real treat.
Voor uitgelezen kinderen
In ‘And They Lived’, Baeten presents an alternative reading of four well-known fairytales in which the female characters take the lead. Visually too, this book breaks with the classic approach to fairytale princesses. The colourful, atmospheric pictures with their wealth of diverse characters fill the pages.
A delightful book to read aloud on cold, wet days.
Crocodile Maurice ends up in a wood by accident. All animals quickly become fond of his cheerful company. But when a storm comes, he’s left behind, alone. What’s more, all the animals soon forget their new friend. Fortunately there’s Mole. Friendship and sociability, fleeing and finding refuge, and the beauty of caring for each other are central in this colourful picture book.
Not just for those who need such tender solace but for everyone else too, young and old. Highly recommended.
When Yule’s mother dies unexpectedly, everything around her feels different, sterile and cold, as if the house and everyone in it are suddenly made of glass. Only warm memories help Yule little by little to escape from her glass house full of sorrow. ‘Forever Close By’ is a book that brings warmth and comfort after the loss of a parent. The sensitive writing is strong in its simplicity, the powerful poetic sentences fitting seamlessly with the fascinating illustrations.
Van Der Veken’s line is so sharp that his world is beautifully streamlined.
THE NEW YORKER ON ‘FABRICA GRAFICA’
Jan Van Der Veken plunges with panache into the history and technological developments of space flight. With his fantastic retro-futurist drawings he proves himself an extraordinary illustrator with a style all his own. This nonfiction title for astronauts-to-be is once again an impressive achievement of graphic design.
Mira adopts a rescue dog called Turbo, a hopeless case. She recognizes herself in the dog’s trauma and fears, and decides to look more deeply into Turbo’s old life: she sets out in search of the hunter who brought him up the hard way. A powerful novel in Marita de Sterck’s unmistakable style.
Simply brilliant. A cathartic book that needs to be experienced
Raaf has had a bad day at school and yet again his mother has disappeared. So when the bell goes, he decides not to head straight home. He turns left instead of right. It’s the start of a remarkable road trip. Evelien De Vlieger interweaves a light adventure with an underlying layer of darkness in a way that is quite extraordinary.
Another gorgeous Timmers spectacle, full of captivating details.
Four ducks get bored of their little pond. ‘Come on, we’re going to the lake!’ decides one of the four fearlessly. Erik walks at the back of the group and cautiously expresses his doubts. The lake? Doesn’t a terrible monster live there? Unimpressed by Erik’s objections, the group continues undaunted, off on an adventure. In ‘The Monster Lake’, Leo Timmers demonstrates once again what makes him unique as an illustrator.
A collaboration between two gifted artists which resulted in a magnificent picture book.
Right from the very first sentence, ‘From Looking Came Seeing’ submerges the reader in the sense of loss felt by a woman whose husband has gone from her life for ever. Godon, with characteristic brilliance, portrays the loneliness, emptiness or aimlessness that his departure brings with it. In a soft, carefully considered palette, she closes down and opens out the woman’s world. Without doubt both a homage and an invitation to the human gaze.
A compelling historical adventure full of exciting, filmic scenes. Van Rijckeghem proves yet again that he’s one of the best writers in the genre.
Denmark, 870 AD. Yrsa is a tough Viking girl with a club foot who won’t let herself be pushed around. She is tasked with looking after a Christian hostage, but the two girls and everything they believe in couldn’t be more different. ‘Daughter of Doom’ is a cinematic adventure novel in which two women hold their own at a time when this was anything but a given. A remarkable book about fate, faith and free will, in vivid language.
A literary masterpiece. ‘Morris’ is Moeyaert at his best.
Morris climbs a mountain to fetch his grandmother's dog safely home for the hundredth time when a snowstorm catches them by surprise. Moeyaert depicts Morris, with masterly precision, as a loner who carries sadness within him and at the same time – almost to his own surprise – doesn’t let anyone mess him about. Sebastiaan Van Doninck's illustrations bring warmth and colour into the snow-white cold of the story.
Nelle is a dreamer. She likes school, but Mr Bart less so. In turn, the school teacher isn’t crazy about children. Nelle’s parents don’t have a lot of money, but by chance Nelle is able to buy a ticket for the school raffle. The most incredible thing happens: Nelle wins the first prize, a trip to a sun-drenched island for her and her parents.
Saved! is a compelling picture book, full of beautiful details, which invites our imagination to examine the effects of global warming. ****
Arend is born in a nest on an ice floe. The sun never sets there, which at first Arend finds rather pleasant. But then the ice melts and the nest slides into the cold sea. Arend acknowledges defeat. He takes to the air, spreads his wings and lets the wind carry him along. From the sky, however, Arend can see that the water is rising. Soon all the animals will drown, he thinks. Somebody must do something, but who?
We seldom see so much humour, beauty and linguistic creativity.
Cutting Edge, on ‘Show and Tell Me the World
In this unusual and colourful look-and-learn book, Schamp takes us on a journey through the centuries, from the invention of the wheel to the car of tomorrow. ‘The Biggest and Cheeriest Book of All Vehicles’ carries the unmistakable stamp of Tom Schamp. You’ll never tire of looking at the packed pages with their vibrant colours. A book that fills both children and the adults reading to them with joy.
Sassafras De Bruyn’s illustrations turn the book into a real gem.
Pluizuit on ‘The Book of Life’
People have always told each other stories – about gods, humans, minor quarrels or powerful magicians. In 'For as Long as People Have Existed' Sassafras De Bruyn has chosen thirty stories from all over the world, each of which has a metamorphosis at its heart. Her drawings, printed in tints of deep blue, create an extraordinary and surreal atmosphere that fits the book perfectly.
‘The King’s Golden Beard’ is an allegorical fairy tale as absurd as it is topical, with delightful humour. It makes children think about the meaning of power and the use of power, and demonstrates the dangers of dictatorial rulers.
Splendid true-to-life characters. Beerten’s sentences are measured and expressive, her dialogues informal, sometimes suggestive.
After the First World War, little Fredo migrates with his father to Liverpool, where he lives an unassuming but pleasant life. When the Second World War breaks out, every Italian in Britain is suddenly suspect. Fredo goes into hiding in the countryside with a woman with whom he finds solace, but when the war ends he’s asked to leave. In despair he travels back to his native Italy. Els Beerten’s sharply delineated characters and the profound psychological insights that we detect between the lines add up to a magnificent epic about migration, parent-child relationships and homecoming.
A book to cherish and enjoy, to take into your heart along with Bahar
'Bahar Bizarre’ is a joyful and uncomplicated story about growing up and identity. How are you supposed to know what you want to become? And how soon do you need to know? Bahar is a happy little girl with a unique outlook on the world and recognizable feelings about searching an unfamiliar place for a way to fit in, about making friends and being accepted.
One day, Crocodile decides to leave his pond and to head into the big wide world. That’s when he realises that quite a few of his friends are in trouble. ‘The Kind Crocodile’ is a light-hearted and funny cumulative tale about the unexpected power of teamwork.
A tale of exceptional beauty. Moving, tender, thoughtful and unique
A postman at sea befriends an enormous, ancient whale which carries an entire library inside her belly. 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.
Ruben’s grandfather Emiel is eighty-five and becoming more and more forgetful. Clearing out is dead wife's things triggers quite a few half-memories in him. Marita de Sterck tells a story of memory and love, and the pain caused, and eased, by both.
A multi-layered and dynamic adventure, full of surprises and ingenuity
A boy writes a letter to a girl. But just as he’s about to post the letter, a sudden gust of wind takes off with it. At the end of the book, the girl herself is also writing a letter. She gives it to her pigeon, which traverses the book in the opposite direction: from back to front. And so the last page becomes the first.
In the playful numbers book ‘What’s In That Hat?’, celebrated illustrator Judith Vanistendael joins forces with typesetter Peter De Roy. The two use basic wooden blocks designed to create woodcuts and Vanistendael conjures up animals in coloured pencil. The end result is a seemingly simple, but ingenious little book.
Little Mouse is running through the woods, trying to find granddad. Owl seems to know where granddad is and offers Little Mouse pride of place at his table. But Little Mouse soon discovers that Owl has other plans. ‘Little Mouse’s Big Adventure’ is a thrilling adventure and a gripping, heart-warming and humorous story to read to children.
JURY OF THE SILVER AND GOLD PAINT BRUSHES ON ‘CIRCUS NIGHT’
A little girl goes swimming with her mother and dreams about all the things she’ll dare to do when she’s bigger. She makes wild plans and dreams big, but secretly she’s glad she can be small for a while yet. ‘Later When I’m Big’ is a poetic book in which reality and fantasy overlap.
A work of art full of tiny and often funny details
Het Laatste Nieuws
Peter Goes delves into the science and myths surrounding the most important star in our galaxy. In beautifully composed spreads that brim with ingenious details, he throws light on the knowledge and convictions of people including the ancient Greeks, the Aztecs and the inhabitants of the Indus Valley, and describes the scientific developments of more recent times. ‘The Sun’ is a new highpoint in Goes’ oeuvre.
A sea of beauty. It’s difficult to imagine a more beautiful plea for love.
Penguin crosses the ocean to the house of his friend Bear. He wants to tell him a big secret, so big that it will change everything: he’s in love with Bear. Even the most hard-hearted of readers will be captivated by this love story for its humour and the playful, exceptional use of colour. ‘A Sea of Love’ shows that love is love, no matter who you are.
Lola is clever. Very clever. She solves every single problem with her inventions. But there’s one problem she doesn’t have a solution for: her little brother Lander seems sad. Why doesn’t he want to play with her? In her colourful drawings, Debroey shows that knowledge can be for everyone and that you’ve always got something to learn, no matter how clever you are.
A dog asks a cat to tell it something, anything at all. But the cat can’t think of a single thing. Then the dog flips things around and challenges the cat to think of nothing. It blows a fuse in the cat’s head: there’s always something. Something or nothing, that’s the question in this fun and philosophical picture book.
A delicate, enchanting narrative, clear in words and pictures.
‘The Bamboo Girl’ is an engaging and lavishly illustrated liberal adaptation of a 10th-century Japanese fairy tale. Mattias De Leeuw conjures up the Japan of times gone by, while Edward van de Vendel’s language is poetic and concise and full of beautiful imagery. A wondrous, extraordinary and moving fairy tale.
Yet more evidence of Jef Aerts’ flair for language; some of Ronke’s perceptions are pure poetry.
Ronke loves running. Preferably by the sea, with the wind in her hair, the sand beneath her feet and the smell of salt in her nose. But two years ago, she crashed into a toddler on the beach. Ronke is blind, that’s why. In ‘Ronke’s Night’ Jef Aerts brings the wonder of science and the power of the imagination together into a thrilling and poetic adventure.
You really do want to keep on looking at his illustrations
A girl searches in vain for her father. When she spots him in the distance and walks over to him, he disappears, and then appears to be waiting for her again. But as soon as she gets closer: nothing, nobody. This mysterious book with powerful monotypes addresses a topical issue: children in search of their roots and family bonds.
A philosophical story that will leave you speechless, with equally delicate illustrations
A white little girl plays indoors in her safe white room and constructs a fantasy life for herself. At night she dreams of adventures in the world outside. ‘Blanca’ is a philosophical story about not being able to go out and being thrown back on your own resources, a warm ode to the imagination, dreams and desires. The sensory illustrations in soft hues show how colourful white actually is.
It is about the pure pleasure of looking, and then looking again
De Morgen on ‘Whose Zoo?’
A playful, wordless picture book with a starring role for fruits, vegetables and insects, which encourages readers to look, search and look again like never before. Geert Vervaeke plays with simple, pure forms and vibrant colours that, when combined, produce unexpected new images. She hopes that this book will encourage children to let their imagination run wild.
Van Der Veken's line is so sharp that his world is beautifully streamlined.
THE NEW YORKER ON ‘FABRICA GRAFICA’
In ‘Ships & Boats’ we dive into the wonderful world of ships and shipping. The book includes a quirky selection from the technical aspects of ships, and is peppered with extraordinary facts and anecdotes. The playful illustrations in 'ligne claire' style and the extensive technical drawings make this book a graphic masterpiece for every captain in the making.
Yet another triumphant experiment for the award-winning Timmers
New York Times
Elephant is shipwrecked, right in the middle of the ocean. Luckily he finds an island that’s just big enough to stand on. Several rescue attempts go awry, but the island becomes a wonderful place in the process. In this jolly book, Leo Timmers swaps his beloved wheeled vehicles for boats. ‘Elephant’s Island’ is captivating proof of Timmers’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller.
This collection of four short stories for children by renowned Brazilian author Clarice Lispector is bursting with quirkiness and amusing ideas. And who better to illustrate these remarkable tales than Gerda Dendooven? In Dendooven’s work it’s not just the people whose faces are full of personality – she can seemingly effortlessly imbue a chicken or a rabbit with an inner world. Her utterly unique style complements Lispector’s like no other.
Charming and written with great passion. The love of language is palpable throughout.
In ‘The Bike Book’ duo Paul de Moor and Wendy Panders invite you to take a seat on their tandem for a wild ride, showing you everything that’s beautiful about bikes along the way. With his confident language, De Moor effortlessly sweeps you up in his enthusiasm. He leaves nothing out, so you can’t help but agree with the book’s subtitle: everything about the best invention ever.
Ramos’s playful, lovely art stands strongly on its own
The New York Times on ‘Sonia Delaunay: A Life of Color’
A beautiful princess called Tourmaline is imprisoned in a tall tower. Only the bravest knight of all can free her. Knight after knight is sure that he’s the bravest, but they all fail in their quest. Luckily there’s one fearless knight who doesn’t let anything daunt him. Or should that be: daunt her? A gentle, funny and atmospheric plea for more openness and less prejudice.
Modest and endearing yet grandiose and awe-inspiring
Pluizuit on ‘Pigeon’
Henry has a beautiful view of nature from his window, but his room is bleak and bare. Luckily he knows how to fix this: he’ll bring some of that beauty inside. In ‘Henry’, the acclaimed illustrator duo Jacques & Lise play with concepts like ‘empty’ and ‘full’, and the pages feature real peepholes. A beautifully designed book.
The ancient Greeks didn’t have it easy. Their country seemed to be awash with magical creatures, usually with malign intentions. And they also had to fear the wrath of the gods. This book recounts all the well-known Greek myths and legends in a modern and humorous way.
A dangling rope takes us on a chase through a city in this scintillating picture book without words. It is grabbed in turn by a water ballerina, a super hero, a window cleaner, a monkey in the zoo and a bandit on the run. Where does that rope come from? In this cheerful story, Mattias De Leeuw exploits the innate flamboyance of his drawing style.
Tomorrow morning Bluebeard and his brave knights will make mincemeat of Redfang and his men. Redfang is hatching the same plan. But as the two warring bands advance towards each other, they discover that bloodshed can wait. Game on! Restricting himself to using only a four-colour ballpoint pen, Benjamin Leroy has created a high-spirited adventure in four colours.
Cast-iron dialogues. Charlie’s anger is authentic and breath-taking
Charlies father has left, without any explanation or goodbyes. She is furious. Not so much with her father as with her mother, who must surely have driven him away. When she discovers her father’s real situation, Charlie turns her anger on him. Everyone’s lying, Charlie thinks, and she decides to do the same. Charlie is a keen observer with a black sense of humour, and ‘Liar Liar’ is a razor-sharp portrait of a girl who knows she is being overlooked.
A clear and accessible book written with children in mind
In this fun looking book the authors take an accessible approach to children’s most frequently asked questions about microbes, bacteria and viruses – the kinds of questions we are all preoccupied with in this era dominated by the Corona crisis. Sebastiaan Van Doninck’s illustrations are cheerful, colourful and fun.
It’s bedtime for seven young penguins, but they don’t fancy going to sleep at all. They want to play in the snow. When a red thread twirls past, their curiosity is piqued. A playful, accessible book to read at bedtime to adventurous and curious minds. Wide-awake toddlers everywhere will recognize themselves in this book!
This nonfiction book plunges us into the intriguing world of secret agents around the globe. From an overview of famous spies and fancy gadgets to tips to kickstart your own career as a spy. The imaginative and atmospheric illustrations complement the text and make 'Espionage' a gorgeous book for readers of all ages.
This is an unassuming and tender tale that gives a voice to birth mothers, who are rarely heard. The book is strikingly minimalist, with just a little text and a small illustration on each page. A book about the powerful bond between parent and child, about taking your distance, and about unconditional love.
Two dogs are sitting quietly in Brasserie Bulldog. Bad weather is forecast and it’s not long before the wind starts to cause chaos in their corner of the brasserie. For goodness sake, who left that door open?With his own unique collage style, Koen Van Biesen presents a lively new story full of details that catch the eye only after several readings.
Ten teams line up at the start of the Flying Competition for Birds. They’re all bursting to win, except that Team Owl has overslept yet again. In thirteen large, detailed landscapes illustrator Sebastiaan Van Doninck takes the reader along for a thrilling contest full of humorous details. In the bright watercolours we discover the real story of the race.
Bergé manages to touch upon a surprising number of topics, and always in a playful manner.
The hundred short chapters tell you all there is to know about classical music – about musical genres, famous composers and exceptional pieces of music, some more famous than others. Each chapter consists of a history section and listening tips, all in support of the main aim: to encourage the reader to go and listen to all this beautiful music.
A scintillating ode to an unbridled imagination, with exceptionally dynamic pictures
Juno is someone else every day: a conductor, a deep-sea diver, a racing driver, a teacher. Her imagination knows no bounds. But then a large beast creeps into Juno’s imagination, over which she soon loses control. With a stripped-down, minimal text andexuberant illustrations, ‘Someone Else Every Day’ is a playful ode to the imagination, while not denying that it can have a downside too.
Pure emotion evoked by a succession of drawings. A gem
In this terrific adventure chockful of exuberant fantasy and fun ideas, Daan and his ginger cat Panza are gathering the ingredients for that evening’s spaghetti. Stedho proves that this graphic novel doesn’t need words to tell its story. Daan, Panza and granddad Pier promptly conquer a place in the hearts of readers, be they children or adults.
The warm, colourful illustrations give the book great added value. Emotions are captured vividly, in both colour and composition.
Noen comes home from school angry, sad and confused.She’s being bullied because of her dark skin and curly hair. Her sister Maan tries to comfort her by pointing out what’s special about Noen’s skin and hair. She turns it into an ode to all brown girls, putting into words what brown girl magic means to her. This book offers girls of colour not just a window on the world but a mirror in which to see themselves.
Wonderfully strange and strangely wonderful, an epic dream captured in superbly meticulous detail
A paper boat is launched in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. It makes a long journey, meeting the strangest of beings, passing between towering mangroves and braving a devastating storm. In ‘The Wanderer’, his debut, Peter Van den Ende presents a wordless spectacle of pure imagination.
Nelen has a very measured writing style, which is seemingly simple but very moving. A marvellous book
Brothers Luca and Berio are inseparable. Their trapeze act is one of the highlights of the travelling circus they belong to. At the top of the tent trust between them is literally of vital importance. ‘All Things Light’ is a tender story set against a very dark backdrop, with Mussolini and his Blackshirts in power. The threat that has permeated every part of Italian life now also seeps into the circus on the fringes of society. A filmic and poetic book.
Vermeire penetrates to the core of Monet’s artistry
Claude Monet immortalised his love for his garden in hundreds of paintings: we all know his world-famous waterlilies. In much of Vermeire’s work plants, flowers, trees and animals occupy an important place, so she is the perfect illustrator to capture Monet’s explosions of colour in a picture book.
The master of animal illustrations and the king of animal stories come together in this inimitable book. In seventeen stories we meet animals who would like to be different, until they realize how special they already are. Both visually and in its storytelling, this is a delightful book.
De Leeuw does not need much to create a world of his own, showing us that simple can be great.
While his sister has been in the land of Nod for a while, brother is not yet ready for bed. First he has to tuck in his cuddly toy, chase away bad dreams, count the stars and feel cold. 'Sleep Tight!’ is a cheerful little book about not wanting to go to sleep, the power of fantasy and… of books.
Typical Timmers slapstick, with plenty of quirkiness, optical illusions and eye for detail
The king has seen a dragon and is afraid to go to bed before his three bravest knights have slain it. But where does the dragon hide in the dark? The three knights are undaunted, convinced they will soon find him. But it is not as easy as they had thought. A great adventure in saturated colour.
The illustrations, with a retro-futuristic streak, give the book a stylish aura.
'Planes’ is a remarkable reference work for pilots-to-be. It answers all kinds of questions about flying, the components of a plane, the influence of the weather and the atmosphere and about communication in an ever more crowded airspace. The unique illustrations in the so-called atomic style contribute to the book’s industrial look. Van Der Veken produces clever, highly stylised illustrations that are not only technically correct but also atmospheric and poetic.
One evening, the newsreader is at a loss for words, because it turns out there is nothing to be said about tomorrow. There will be no tomorrow. And outside a jet black darkness gradually takes over the city. An extremely optimistic book about the end of time.
Pieters invests Rabbit and Hedgehog with both a heart and a soul
Rabbit and Hedgehog are sworn friends. In these short stories, they ponder life, their friendship, the meaning of ‘later’, and always go back to each other after an argument. In the tradition of Arnold Lobel’s ‘Frog and Toad’ and Toon Tellegen’s animal fables, Paul Verrept and Nils Pieters have created two lovely new characters to cherish.
In ‘The Book of Life’ Floortje Zwigtman and Sassafras De Bruyn take a light-hearted look at everything to do with having a baby. Citing facts and legends from around the world, they show that wherever you go having a child is an event that gives rise to stories. Funny, lively and brimming with both facts and fiction, ‘The Book of Life’ is one of a kind.
A picture book full of crazy dialogue and vivid images providing hours of narrative fun
This story started off as a theatrical performance, which is reflected in the humorous dialogue and sharp, staccato lines. The bright colours in the illustrations complement the theatrical story exceptionally well. A pleasure to look at, with vivid colours, comical characters and imaginative details.
His language roars, rumbles and crackles. Only a born storyteller can write like this.
In the figure of the wonderfully defiant Stans, Jean-Claude van Rijckeghem creates an unforgettable character, and subtly brings topical issues such as gender and identity into an extremely convincing historical setting. Ghent, Paris, Vienna and the battlefields near the Danube come to life in his sensuous language, so much so that the reader can smell the blood, taste the beer and feel the cannons in his belly.
Verrept needs just a few words to evoke the drama of far-reaching events.
Fifteen-year-old Nabila has had enough of the monotonous life in her village. Egged on by the spirit in her head – her djinn – she travels to Beirut as a stowaway in her uncle’s taxi. Verrept sketches the hopelessness of life on the street in a city torn by both war and the widening gap between rich and poor. The greyish images with powerful charcoal lines and sombre colouring accentuate the dark threats to the city.
A beautiful and refreshingly written Christmas story
The unusual premise, Jan De Leeuw’s humour and light-hearted narrative style and the playful illustrations by Mattias De Leeuw make this winter fairy tale so much more than just another adaptation of the Christmas story. It is a book about giving and taking, with a touch of magic.
A great stylist, with an eye for detail and a knack for turning brief scenes into little gems
Jadran is five years older than Josh, but his head and his heart are those of a child much younger. When they find an injured young crane one day, Jadran wants to teach it to fly at any cost. The two boys go on a journey that is brave, adventurous and hopeless all at the same time. Poetic and sensitive without ever becoming sentimental.
A master of suspense and of the subtle untangling of painful situations *****
Her mother thinks Bianca is a girl that requires special treatment. Her father thinks she is unmanageable. And Bianca herself? She doesn’t say a word. Until one hot afternoon in August, Billie King, her favourite actress, is sitting in the living room, sipping a cup of tea. With Billie King around, Bianca is brave enough to take a decision. Moeyaert creates an oppressive atmosphere, in which smouldering tensions can erupt any moment.
Calm Leon takes Otto on a journey through the world of colour. This Encyclopaedia Otto-colorista is a feast for the eyes: after the restrained grey, black and white, the pages are a riot of colour and detail and there is always something new to discover. An abundance of colour you can’t stop looking at.
Vereecken captures the harsh reality in poetic sentences. An extraordinarily strong novel ****
Summer 1914. Through the eyes of eleven-year-old Alice we see the increasing alarm among the grownups: war is said to be imminent. Alice’s naivety makes way for a brutal confrontation with reality, but ‘Everything Will Be Fine, Forever’ is first and foremost a celebration of life and hope.
Viktor, a recreational hunter, has long dreamt of shooting a cheetah. When he finally manages to, his happiness does not last long. At night, he dreams of the cheetahs that have lost a friend. He is overcome by an unparalleled feeling of empathy and remorse and thinks of a shrewd plan to make amends.
Emotions distilled in text and image about panic, trust, security and the fear of being abandoned
Bet is tired of her tricyle and wants to start cycling on a proper bike. But nobody is prepared to teach her. She is angry with everything and everyone. This intense and authentic book, with a style that borders on expressionism, earned Gregie De Maeyer the Flemish State Prize for Youth Literature.
Shepherd Yara has only known her grandmother, herbalist Tanne, for a few years. Slowly but surely Yara learns why Tanne’s parents, husband and even her own daughter have turned their backs on her. Meanwhile, Tanne is growing increasingly convinced that the devil is coming for her. A fascinating book that reveals the truth bit by bit and draws the reader into a world of magic.
An unusually atmospheric and touching book about jealousy, friendship and betrayal
Eleven-year old Bent wants to break things and punch the new boy in the face. But behind all his anger lies fear and sadness. Jumping back and forth in time Herman van de Wijdeven peels away layer upon layer of the story, until we know what happened exactly on that fateful afternoon two days ago. Van de Wijdeven sketches a beautiful portrait of a friendship between boys that is being pushed off course.
The illustrations are works of art in their own right
Pieter Gaudesaboos has created a colourful series of books about remarkable houses full of surprising animals. ‘My House Is At the Zoo’ and 'A House Full of Friends’ are not merely colourful books for reading aloud, they are look-and-find books to teach children to look more closely at the illustrations. Just the job for true detectives!
A broad, shallow, teeming torrent of facts and marvels: Readers tempted to take a dip will be swept irresistibly along.
All aboard for a fascinating voyage of discovery in and around the water! In ‘Rivers’ Peter Goes travels to the most famous seas, lakes and rivers across Europe, North and South America, Asia, Africa and Oceania. Goes creates playful and extremely detailed double-page spreads in which text and image form a unified whole.
The pleasure of drawing leaps off the pages, which are packed with jokes
Daddy Monkey and his son are on their way home on the banana bike. But it’s so busy, and everyone’s driving so slowly! And Monkey Junior is in the mood for monkeying about. He escapes from his safety seat and goes off to explore the traffic jam. The street is like a playground! This wordless picture book is full of stories and fantastic details in vibrant colours.
An extremely successful experiment with astute metaphor
According to William Golding, if ‘Lord of the Flies’ were written with girls as the leading characters, they would never lower themselves to barbarism. Van den Broeck demonstrates in this powerful homage to Golding’s classic that this isn’t necessarily true.
An animal inside an animal inside an animal. Nothing is as it seems in this wordless look-and-find book. Geert Vervaeke plays masterfully with perspectives, compositions and positive and negative space. This book is one big optical illusion inspired by the Rorschach test and optical illusions.
Her illustrations are delicate, intimate and extremely beautiful.
The Guardian on ‘When David Lost His Voice’
In this stunning visual tour-de-force, much-lauded cartoonist and illustrator Judith Vanistendael reinvents herself. She returns to the essence: armed with scissors, glue, paper and a risograph printer, she creates the purest sequence possible. ‘Round the Block’ is an ode to fantasy and Vanistendael’s more than successful debut for a new target audience.
An unbelievably beautiful book. A unique, authentic voice in Flemish literature.
With a great sense of humour and a lightness of touch Evelien De Vlieger paints the portrait of a girl on the cusp of life, who thinks she wants to forget. ‘Wish You Were Here’ is about facing yourself, about letting go, and about daring to admit that you can’t. A bitter-sweet book full of lust for life.
A dazzling imaginary world full of colours and scents
In ‘Mrs Winter’s Hearth Fire’, a collection of 37 short stories about winter, Carl Norac and Gerda Dendooven give both a voice and a face to the year’s coldest season. They make winter sound and look radiant like never before. ‘Mrs Winter’s Hearth Fire’ celebrates winter in all its facets.
The illustrations are a feast of detail with lots of bright, cheerful colours.
Nellie the Mouse and Cezar the Frog have been inseparable for over twenty years and are best friends to little children. There’s a whole string of books and other publications around these two figures: from picture, text and activity books to a television series and hand puppets. Ingrid Godon and Bette Westera have now joined forces to give the franchise a fresh new overhaul.
In this two-metre-long colourful leporello, teeming with details and humour, we follow a girl and a boy on their voyage of discovery through a skyscraper and meet its remarkable residents. An enchanting wordless book that doubles as a measuring chart and exudes imagination and joyfulness.
All of his books are a feast to read and look at together
Leo Timmers shows off his best side in this cheery story about the scared cat Harry. He gives form to Harry’s quest with beautiful compositions and a relatively subdued colour palette. Timmers paints the fearful cat and his unfamiliar surroundings in his unique style, with precise details. A new highpoint in Timmers’ exceptional oeuvre.
A fantastically-designed book with surprising, funny facts and wonderful illustrations
Did you know that a giraffe can lick the inside of its ears? That we have been brushing our teeth for thousands of years? That you can weigh your head by putting it in a bucket of water? Or that astronauts pee into a vacuum cleaner?
‘321 Super-smart Things You Have To Know’ is a fine pillow book for younger and older Einsteins.
In this philosophical picture book, Elvis Peeters and Sebastiaan Van Doninck explore themes including home, property, and the budding awareness that others may have a very different take on things. ‘My Rock’ is a story about sharing the same space – a story that couldn’t be more topical today.
Discover why the glow-worm glows, how the bombardier beetle got its name and in what way a caterpillar can disguise itself. An exceptional ode to the ultimate boss on earth, who will mesmerize young and old.
Peter Goes created a magnificent search-and-find book of mazes and more. He once said ‘I unwind by delving deeper and deeper into drawings’, and it is clear that he invites his readers to do the same. Lose yourself in his labyrinth, and make sure you don’t skip the endpapers! They too will enchant you.
Following the adaptation and sanitisation of fairy stories by the Brothers Grimm, Disney and others, writers are increasingly restoring these tales to their original, complex and sometimes dark and creepy forms. Marita de Sterck is the unbeatable master.
Aerts has the ability to make emotions glow beneath his words.
Some friends are much more than that. They grow up like twin cherries on the same stalk. Adin and Dina have that kind of friendship. ‘Cherry Heaven’ is a sensitive story about going away and coming back, and about the power of friendship: in spite of Adin’s move to the city, the two children do whatever they can to stay connected.
Impactful. Shows shameful current realities that get deep under the skin.
A girl is hiding in the back of a lorry. She’s sharing the space with a horse, her mum, and Captain Compass, her best friend. They’re on their way to another country, where the walls don’t dance and the houses don’t fall, and where the sky doesn’t rumble like thunder when there’s not a cloud to be seen. A light book about a weighty subject.
In unconnected short texts, Ruth Mellaerts draws the reader into familiar situations, memories, thoughts and feelings. The interaction between words and illustrations lifts the book to a higher level and creates calm and beauty as well as words to ruminate on.
A great creative and imaginative adventure full of surrealistic braveness and subtle humor
Global Illustration Awards Jury
Oskar is a special toy dinosaur. Ever since a little boy received Oskar as a present, the two have been inseparable. So when the boy suddenly loses his buddy, he doesn’t just accept it, but sets off fearlessly in search of the creature. This is the start of a fantastic adventure in which mountains are moved, seas are crossed and the two friends face great dangers.
When a little girl sees a jet-black puppy in her bedroom window in this wordless picture book, it marks the beginning of an exceptional night. The clown on the bedroom wall also comes to life and transports the little girl to the circus. In ‘Circus Night’, De Leeuw plays with reality, imagination, dreams and fantasy.
‘The Book of Children’s Books’ is a kaleidoscopic book for reading, looking at and leafing through, for all readers who know how it feels to be a child, and a source of information and inspiration for publishers, booksellers, librarians, teachers – and for everyone else who is passionate about books.
Suzy Doozy is a headstrong girl with boundless energy and imagination. In a series devoted to her adventures, she more than lives up to her impish name. Benjamin Leroy and Jaap Robben illustrate and write with a lot of empathy and love for this recalcitrant heroine.
The illustrations demonstrate impressive skill and a steady hand.
Walter is always falling asleep. It doesn’t matter where he is: at his birthday party, on the seesaw, in the swimming pool. His parents try everything they can think of to wake him up, but nothing works. Until a little dog walks in by accident and licks Walter’s face. A wonderful universe full of magical details.
True gems of illustrations. An exquisite picture book
Owlet and Twiglet are two little owls who live in a nest on a branch of their beloved Apple Tree. The old tree has looked after them ever since their parents were killed by a hawk. Now it’s time for them to fly the nest, but will they have the courage? Sabien Clement expresses the vulnerability of the little owls in a beautifully sensitive way.
‘I Must’ is a collection of powerful portraits and philosophical texts full of compassion, vulnerable and confrontational at the same time. It exposes a merciless and terrible human tangle of obligations and expectations. Godon and Tellegen inspire thoughts, give a name to feeling and trigger involvement.
The central character in ‘Me and the Bear’ is young Leo, who in his own eyes meets with resistance everywhere. Only a brown bear does not run away from him. That is the beginning of a friendship that gives Leo enough confidence to go on.
We seldom see so much humour, beauty and linguistic creativity.
In this colourful encyclopaedia, children discover the world and learn new words in a playful way. The result is a hefty introductory and comprehensive work, full of dynamic characters and objects, offering a generous sampling of Tom Schamp’s craftsmanship. His illustrations represent a blend of Richard Scarry’s ‘Busy, Busy Town’ and Martin Handford’s ‘Where’s Waldo’.
‘Mammoth' is the story of Theodore Bob Princel the First. Theo’s parents are rich and successful, and they want nothing less for their son. He and Nanny Leg-Hair race through lesson after lesson after lesson. Until Nanny takes a nap, leaving Theo to set off on an adventure.
This adaptation of the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ classic is one to remember. Little Red Riding Hood remains the familiar protagonist, but this time is a self-aware and determined girl who knows what she wants. And what she wants is red.
Beautiful sentences, funny jokes and original ideas
This is not just any counting book: it is cleverly constructed around an increasingly complex list of presents and characters. De Leeuw uses fine, spontaneous lines to draw and paint characters of flesh and blood within stunning settings full of colour and life. It is a collection of sparkling scenes that completely absorb the reader’s attention.
The Very Tired Man and the Woman who Passionately Loved Bonsai
De Wereld Draait Door
A woman reads a wanted ad in the newspaper one day: “man seeks woman to die for”. When she rings the number, she hears someone sigh. She’s never heard such a beautiful sigh before.
In this picture book for adults, Kaatje Vermeire’s pictures and Peter Verhelst’s words each tell a story of their own. The reader combines the two, creating an artwork on every page.
The atmospheric, bitter-sweet illustrations make the sadness palpable and yet palatable.
'Stella. Star of the Sea' is a tale about loneliness, being different and searching for your place in the world. It is also a story about the boundless nature of parental love and about letting your children go so that they can be themselves. When writing this story, Dendooven was inspired by disturbing photos of refugees and by the horrors experienced by children in war zones.
Rosemary thinks fairies are terribly boring. And the worst of it is that she’s a fairy herself. She would rather be a witch.
To celebrate his twentieth anniversary as an illustrator, Carll Cneut has created new illustrations for this popular picture book.
The first real Dutch-language equivalent of the Treehouse Books
Gibbe wakes up one morning in the park, with no idea how he got there. Then he meets the Monday man (‘I’m the one who takes you safely to Tuesday’). This book is built on irony and absurdity and defies all the rules of children’s books. Completely crazy, it maintains its ironic style throughout.
Michael De Cock’s retellings of Greek myths leave room for the imagination and reconstruct these ancient stories in a contemporary and accessible way. A collection of beautifully illustrated and timeless adaptations of classical tales.
Godon is a master of using minimal media to represent emotional states.
Zilveren Palet jury
Let yourself be moved by this playful, poetic story about a grandson and his grandfather, who is slipping into dementia. With large, colourful and raw illustrations ‘My Grandpa is a Tree’ makes a sensitive subject approachable.
Verster is a master at evoking atmosphere and longing.
Five-year-old Matteo has the best day of his life when he gets a soccer ball and a pig for his birthday. For Vasco the pig, it’s also the best day of his life – it’s not even his birthday and he still gets Matteo. Edward van de Vendel beautifully describes the loving friendship between Vasco and Matteo, while Alain Verster adds another dimension to the story through his illustrations.