An ode to letters? Only logical that this is going to be one ahead of the rest for a panel of book judges, we hear you cry. But it was certainly no walkover for Harriët van Reek’s Lettersoep, in which Letterel and Letterpuss live together in a letter house. There was some muttering about the margins, for example. Even so, we immediately found the panel caught up in these texts about cutting out letters, dreaming about letters and looking at letters. ‘Stimulating, certainly. Brilliant for the bedtime interaction with the children,’ joked one member of the panel.
What struck us all was the book’s apparent simplicity. ‘It looks simple, but it’s actually complicated.’ For example, the contrast between the font and the drawings works very well, making this a children’s book that’s not pushy but still stimulating. Solid, skilful and spirited work from designer Barbara van Dongen Torman, who gives Harriët van Reek’s drawings all the space they need.