Harriët van Reek – Lettersoep

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.

Edition: 2015
Language: Dutch
Publisher / commissioner: Em. Querido's Kinderboeken Uitgeverij, Amsterdam/Antwerp
Designer: Barbara van Dongen Torman, Amsterdam
Lithographer: Marc Gijzen imaging and digital lithography, Voorburg
Printer: Wilco Printing & Binding, Amersfoort
Binder: Wilco Printing & Binding, Amersfoort
Dimensions: 220 x 260 x 9
Amount of pages: 40 p.
Number of copies: 2,500
Retail price in euros: € 15.99
ISBN: 978 90 451 1871 0
Font and foundry: Quadraat Sans (FontFont)
Binding style: sewn hardback; the first and last pages of the interior are the endpapers
Material: 170gsm Lessebo Design Smooth 1.2 Natural (interior), 140gsm Freelife Vellum White (binding)