Kiss the Girls
Meisjes om te zoenen (Kiss the Girls) is a wonderful variation on the Grimms’ fairytale of the frog prince. The little frog, looking for a sweetheart, welcomes a bunch of beautifully dolled-up girl animals to his castle.
In her light-hearted tone, Maranke Rinck tells a cleverly devised relay story, portraying every girl, each in a different room, with all her ambitions and her nerves: what will the frog prince turn into if he kisses the girl of his choice?
Meisjes om te zoenen is the sequel to Van der Linden’s and Rinck’s successful title Het prinsenkind (Lemniscaat, 2004). In this picture book, which also has stunningly beautiful illustrations, the animals journey with presents to celebrate the arrival of a prince.
In both books, it is mainly Van der Linden’s illustrations that draw the attention. And they were indeed already there before the story came along. He has spared neither expense nor effort to make these animals look their best.
Ivory hairpins, amulets inlaid with azure, shiningly polished golden leg rings, extravagant necklaces with shells and tusks, hats made of sewn-together precious stones: it looks as though he’s plundered the British Museum. This makes the picture book more of an exhibition than a story, but without a doubt it’s the most stunning one that young readers will ever have seen.
Pjotr van Lenteren