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Tanneke Wigersma

Acht dagen met Engel

Silke is a girl who prefers to be alone. Whenever anyone tries to make friends with her, things go wrong. One day, out of the blue, she finds Angel on her usual bench in the park. ‘Move it!’ thinks Silke. ‘That’s my bench!’

But this guardian angel has been sent from heaven to discover what is wrong with Silke. But Silke bristles and tries everything to get rid of this pushy girl. Fortunately for Silke, this time that’s none too easy.

Tanneke Wigersma, a new Dutch talent, has achieved something special in her book Eight Days with Angel. She has written a comforting book about a difficult subject, and it also manages to be funny, entertaining, and wise. We don’t find out what’s bugging Silke for quite some time, and in this way the reader has plenty of opportunity to get to know and appreciate her. The last thing she is is a pathetic victim.

When it becomes clear halfway through the book what really is the matter, the revelation makes a deep impression, leaving the innocent reader trembling on the couch, as it becomes clear just how strong Silke really is.

‘I’m a spider, “thinks Silke??, I hang in my web in the corner of the room. No one knows that I’m hanging here and no one can reach me with the vacuum cleaner. Down below in the room an unknown man is taking off an unknown girl’s pyjamas. I’m a spider so I don’t know them.’ Yet it is Angel who can ultimately convince Silke that she can’t keep quiet about her big secret for ever.

Big words are not needed for a subject like this, nor is tragedy predictable, as Wigersma shows peacefully and quietly. She gives all victims of incest a candid voice not heard before.

Pjotr van Lenteren

In a sincere manner, Wigersma has given a previously unheard and heart-rending voice to victims of incest. And, much to her credit, it is intended for an age group for which nothing adequate is available: children of around ten years of age.

De Volkskrant

In short, almost whispering sentences, Wigersma tells a shocking story. Not explicitly but latently, ominously present under the surface. In the description of everyday occurrences, the author succeeds in inducing an extremely oppressive atmosphere: there is something terribly wrong here.

Herien Wensink in Elsevier

‘And then the cow came rushing up to me.’ Trista curves her fingers into horns and moos at the class.
The children can’t help laughing, all except Silke, that is. She is thinking about the cow. Just imagine being a cow. Walking about and eating all day long. Green grass. Lovely. Silke lowers her head to reach the grass. Her straight brown hair changes into two ears. Her green eyes become large brown eyes. Her nose becomes a moist pink nose. She is no longer wearing a striped tee-shirt but a white skin with black patches. I am a cow, she thinks to herself.
I’m standing in the meadow. The sun is shining but I’m not going to lie down. I’m going to walk. Step by step. I have a heavy body that only moves with difficulty. It feels as though I’m trudging through mud. With each step the earth seems to tremble. I take a step forward. It is too slow. I want to move faster. I want to get out of the meadow. I start to run. I run even faster. My forelegs leave the ground. Feathers are growing on my feet, above and beneath. My hind legs become lighter and thinner. I don’t have a cow’s body any more. It is light. I have a body that can easily be blown away by the wind. I am a bird.

Vertalingen

Tanneke Wigersma

Tanneke Wigersma is a newcomer to Dutch children’s literature. She received rave reviews for her picture book debut Een konijnendenkplek. Wigersma was born in 1972 and went to art academy in Kampen, where she learned to illustrate – and how! The illustrations from Een konijnendenkplek were…

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Details

Acht dagen met Engel (2004). Kinder- en jeugdboeken, 96 pagina's.

Age: 9+

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The Netherlands
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