Lucas in the Snow
“When it snows, Lucas, it means that the angels are moulting,” Lucas’s granddad once told him. Lucas remembers those words when he steps out into a world of whiteness on the final day of the year. On his long walk that morning, the memories come tumbling down through his mind like snowflakes. Lucas has a lot of things to remember – his dad, for example. When they had that sunny holiday on Terschelling, his dad was still around, but now he’s dead and buried. And eating cherries in the long grass with Isabel, the girl with the red hair. So many things that felt so good and carefree last summer are now over. Or was everything not quite as wonderful as Lucas would like to remember?
In Lucas in de sneeuw, we accompany a pensive Lucas on his walk and find out about the rough patches in his seemingly idyllic childhood. The seductive Miss Blanche with her bright red nails and lips, who didn’t flash her friendly smile just at Lucas, but at his father too. The baby rabbits in the stomach of their dead mother. Meinderts conjures up these images in an understated, almost poetic style, projecting the events into the viewer’s mind like a series of impressionist paintings, making this novella about loss – the loss of loved ones, but also of childhood innocence – penetrate all the more deeply. However, in spite of the heavy subject matter, this melancholy tale has a rather cheerful tone – not only because the walk helps to clear Lucas’s head, but also because of the language, which is simple and transparent, and, of course, the beautiful illustrations. Annette Fienieg has created five enchanting screen-printed pictures that perfectly complement this dreamy story.
Meinderts and Fienieg have been creating books together for over twenty years, but rarely have their stories and pictures combined with such power as in Lucas in de sneeuw.