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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 Sylvia Van Ommen
Age Range: 6-8
Have you ever been lucky enough to see a sheep weighing herself on scales or
riding a Vespa? Prepare yourself to witness all this and much more in this hilarious
picture book from the Netherlands and now published in the UK for the delight of
young readers. Sheep does not wait for anyone to trim her wool. She has already
made up her mind and starts to trim her woolly body herself. Then she goes to the
shop and buys some coloured dye, gets on her motorbike, sorts a few things out
and finally surprises a very good friend!
This is one of four European picture books being published this year by WingedChariot Press. The Surprise is a wordless picture book – you do not need words to savour it though – it is not a translation in the true sense of the word, but it has been included in Outside In to show that visual narrative can successfully cross international borders. The Surprise is Sylvia Van Ommen’s second book and shows her diversity of unique styles at work.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)