A tour de force – that was the compliment most often heard about the picture book Schobbejacques en de 7 Geiten. Merlijne Marell takes us by the hand to ‘the fabulous world of fertile red cabbages, investigative rhubarb leaves and biting bramble bushes.’ We are in Grandmother and her goats’ kitchen garden, where suddenly a rogue appears. This is a situation that really gives the illustrator something to do. First and foremost the colour palette is a big success, with those deep purplish, orange and greenish shades. Together they conjure up a wondrous imaginary world. ‘This really appeals to the imagination’ sums up the general view. ‘It’s a real tour de force to print these woodcuts in waterless offset. It’s just fantastically well printed.’ Everything about this book is right.
‘Any printer would want to print it, only there are precious few who could,’ one panel member somewhat naughtily observed. These days the quarter-bound cloth binding, too, is common enough. This one has an added hand-made screen-print. In many respects Schobbejacques en de 7 Geiten reminds one of those old hand-made children’s books from Russia.