A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

Dutch / The Netherlands

(Dead Simple)

Westera, Bette (text)
Weve, Sylvia (illus.)
Haarlem: Gottmer, 2014. – [112] p.
ISBN 978-90-257-5668-0

Death – Poetry

In this wonderful collection of illustrated poems, the writer and the illustrator have inspired each other to approach the theme of death in a unique way. Using different forms of poetry – songs, ballads, rhymes and poems – Westera explores diverse death-related subjects: the existence of heaven, suicide, inheritance, mourning rituals in other cultures, epitaphs and funeral cards. This doesn’t mean that “Doodgewoon” is a depressing book, because Westera’s tone alternates between serious and light. The language is solid, the illustrations are varied, fitting, colourful and imaginative, the interplay between the texts and illustrations is superb. The idea behind this book is that the only certainty in our lives is death – and that we should get used to that idea. Magnificently designed – a cloth spine, three ribbon markers, pages that vary in width, and an elegant layout – the book won the Woutertje Pieterse Prize 2015, one of the most prestigious awards in Dutch children’s and youth literature. (Age: 9+)