The designer of Olek Schoot een Beer was himself for decades a publisher of, among other things, children’s books. He has a unique insight into what makes a good children’s book, and this expertise is reflected in the production values of this beautiful and unusual publication.
The illustrations by Wolf Erlbruch are robust and heavy in tone, and for this the large format is well chosen. The endpapers are black, the typography of the main text is fairly coarse and likewise inky black. These are choices that are not easily made for a children’s picture book, but they create the perfect match for Erlbruch’s illustrations: everything looks just right. The text stock is a softly tinted matt MC, so that the atmosphere ultimately remains warm and friendly – just as the prints are initially frightening but are really very moving.
Perhaps the author too deserves some kind of recognition. This year he has supplied the inspiration for two Best Dutch Book Designs (see Verzamel de Liefde).