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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
by Joke van Leeuwen
Age Range: 12+
One day while out bird watching Warren sees something strange lying under a bush. He doesn’t know whether it is a bird in the form of a girl, or a girl in the form of a bird. He takes the creature home to his wife Tina who is desperate to keep and raise it as her own child. They call her Beedy and Tina sets about trying to teach her to speak and act as a human. There is only one problem though, Beedy has wings!
Eep! by Joke van Leeuwen, one of the most popular author/illustrators in the Netherlands, is an enigmatic tale that works on many different levels. Beedy is a mysterious free-spirited bird-girl whose quest for freedom gently resists attempts to make her human; first by Warren and Tina, then by Lottie, a young girl who wants to keep Beedy as a pet and finally by ‘the rescuer’ who will not be happy until he has rescued Beedy from potential harm. All learn from Beedy in a gentle and witty way about the importance of relationships and freedom.
The quirky illustrations are endearing and an integral part of the text. They help to convey the different emotions of the characters and the bizarre nature of their fears and day dreams.
A film version of Eep! was released in 2010.