Boek

Benny Lindelauf en Ludwig Volbeda

Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor

This is a book that deserves a large international audience for its subject matter alone. With a great deal of humour, Benny Lindelauf describes a pointless war of the kind that could have taken place not all that long ago, not all that far away. Are we reading about the American civil war? Or are these scuffles and skirmishes Napoleonic? For the soldiers, it does not really matter: at the appointed time, they meet up to fight, and sometimes one army loses, sometimes the other.

In spite of this serious subject, Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor (How Tortot Lost His Fish’s Heart) is not a weighty book. Tortot is a marvellous cook, still managing to make delicious meals for the soldiers every time, with fewer and fewer ingredients. It is thanks to him that the men can keep on fighting the war. His life depends on his creativity. If he does not succeed, then he runs the risk of ending up before the firing squad. And then there’s only one way out: when the going gets too tough, he swaps sides and joins the other army.

One day, inside a barrel of pickled gherkins, he finds a young deserter who has lost his legs on the battlefield. He calls him Half-George and reluctantly takes the boy under his wing. The two of them go on to have one bizarre adventure after the next.

Ludwig Volbeda, known for his work for adults, has made timeless illustrations to accompany the story, packed with cannons and swords, emperors and castles, all of which tell their own fascinating stories. Even without reading the words, this is a book you can spend ages leafing through.

But is it all one big joke? The Handbook of Wartime Etiquette, the stomach-turning story about the ‘Virgin Cheese’ and the amusing exploits of the two vain emperors might suggest so. But just at the right moment it becomes clear that the tough cook Tortot, who says himself that he has the ice-cold heart of a fish, misses his mother and secretly dreams of peace.

Benny Lindelauf proves himself to be an unrivalled stylist – and, once again, one of the best writers for young people that we have.

NRC Handelsblad

Grimness, gravity and humour keep one another nicely in balance. […] A timeless and ageless parable about the absurdity of war.

De Standaard

Vertalingen

Benny Lindelauf

Benny Lindelauf (b. 1964) teaches creative writing to adults and children. From his debut book on, Omhooggevallen, which was a witty story about a girl with a vivid imagination, he has had a noticeably authentic style as well as content. The promise of the first book was confirmed with Schuilen in

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Details

Hoe Tortot zijn vissenhart verloor (2016). Kinder- en jeugdboeken, 240 pagina's.

Illustraties

Ludwig Volbeda

Age: 12+

Uitgeverij

Querido

Spui 10
NL - 1012 WZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 20 760 72 10

E-mail:
j.spooren@singeluitgeverijen.…
Website:
http://www.querido.nl

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