Dutch / The Netherlands

Die dag in augustus
(That day in August)

Kromhout, Rindert (text)
Haeringen, Annemarie van (illus.)
Amsterdam: Leopold, 2013. – 84 p.
ISBN 978-90-258-6188-9

Earthquake | Trauma | Art

The beautiful design of this book is striking, illustrating the healing power of art that is central to the story. It describes two days in the life of Enrico: the day before and a few days aft er an earthquake that destroys part of the Italian boy’s village. Enrico likes drawing, especially drawing portraits of his stubborn grandfather, who has refused the love of a woman because she wouldn’t let him joke about her belief in saints. Their conflict causes a split in a village that draws many foreign tourists coming to view the relics of a saint there. In the second part of the book, the villagers deal with the natural disaster that has struck them. The fine illustrations by Annemarie van Haeringen are presented as Enrico’s, telling a more beautiful truth than any photograph could, as Enrico learned from his late grandmother. These pictures not only communicate what Enrico sees, but also how he feels when seeing it.

Various illustrations are a beautiful tribute to life before the earthquake, and Enrico’s way of dealing with trauma. (Age: 10+)