I Am A Hero
In the three stories of Ik ben een held the son is always smarter than his father. He takes on the monster Boneyboo, Bareghost and a fish that turns out to be a shark, each of them symbolizing various kinds of fear; fear of bones, of ghosts and of fish that might turn into monsters.
The Dutch Children’s Jury’s designation of Ik ben een held as one of its favourites of 1991, shows that this role reversal - the son has authority over his father and helps him in ticklish situations - is especially appealing for children.
The stories are built up with tight dialogue and short sentences which are very well-suited to children who have just learnt to read. Van Lieshout’s drawings are spread nonchalantly over the pages and, with their bizarre characteristics, support the stories’ hallucinogenic qualities.
By Joke Linders